C.4. Benefits…

C.4. Benefits of the Action

Describe expected benefits (with reference to section B).

The primary benefit of this Action for the field of literary research is on a methodological level. The Action allows literary researchers and IT-researchers to interact and debate on the recommendations for form and function of interoperable tools on a shared infrastructure for literary research. Deriving recommendations and suggesting standards for form and functionality of digital scholarly editions and publications by themselves are methodological merits, but by providing an IT infrastructure to support these standards, possibilities will be created to network research data and tools from very different sources and locations. These new methods for data networking will create significant opportunities to advance research by cross checking, comparing and amending research data and results. Such networked data will generate new research perspectives.

Tools developed to adhere to the interoperability standards of this technical infrastructure will be reusable by any researcher having access to the infrastructure (i.e. having access to the internet). Literary research results may therefore easily be reproduced, thus enforcing / promoting good scholarly practices in literary research. This is a secondary methodological benefit of this Action.

Another benefit is that by providing the said technical infrastructure, researchers will be able to share literary research and research materials in an interoperable way. Researchers will thus be able to collaboratively prepare, edit, publish and analyze digital literary editions on a institutional, national or international level, without having to worry about technicalities of the tools and infrastructure itself.

A methodological benefit is also to be found in creating the possibility for analytical tools to evolve on the shared infrastructure. Researchers can apply ‘proven’ tools to their materials, thus proliferating adequate tools. But because any researcher may extend and contribute tools, tools can eventually be evolved into even more excellent tools. Thus an internationally shared high quality scholarly research ‘workbench’ can develop.

A non-methodological secondary benefit of the proposed Action may be a reduce of costs for maintenance of tools. As digital literary research tools for the first time may be developed as an international collaborative undertaking, partners can share resources, tools and code bases. The necessity of reinventing and re-implementing tools on institutional level will diminish. Different key partners may focus on development of tools matching to their core-expertise and -capabilities, leaving necessary but cumbersome coding of peripheral components to the core business of other partners.