Friday, October 14, 2016

New Brill Series on Digital Biblical Studies

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The first volume of a new series on Digital Biblical Studies has just appeared from Brill. It’s edited by Claire Clivaz, Paul Dilley and David Hamidović. Table of contents is here.

I’ve only looked at the chapters that piqued my interest.

The chapter by Houghton and Smith gives a nice overview of the process of producing the ECM. This article is free, by the way.

Chapter four gives a nice summary of what materials are available for Syriac studies and it’s also free. If you haven’t used syriaca.org, it’s a great resource.

Chapter nine gives a look at spectral imaging and may be of interest to ETC readers but I’ve only skimmed it myself.

I’m not sure what the plan is beyond edited volumes, but this might be a series to watch.

8 comments :

  1. A disgracefully shoddy piece of work. Try the opening of chapter ten: "Editing a text and make a critical edition are unique occasion for scholar to show his/her proficiency and knowledge. Across the process of edition, scholar gathers the highest skills and improves them." Do people really want to support a publisher that keeps on charging extortionate prices for work of this quality? Enough is enough.

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  2. Jason, I saw that particularly egregious case. But I found nothing of similar type in the other essays I read.

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    1. Peter,
      While I did not see any additional errors of this magnitude, it is evident that the copy editing that was done was, at least, not very thorough. There are instances where the reader must import knowledge into sentences. This is necessitated by clause(s) being left out of these sentences.
      Additionally, the article by Houghton and Smith, appears to be a poor job of making an article from the period before the release of NA 28 and the ECM, appear to be more recent. The update seems to be solely in the initial paragraph or two when speaking of the NA 28 and GNT5, but nowhere else.
      I am not sure "shoddy" is that far from the truth.

      Tim

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    2. Dear Tim,
      I'm perplexed by your comment. The article, as it says in footnote 1, comes from a paper written and delivered in 2013, after the appearance of NA28 and the Catholic Epistles in the ECM. Yes, there are a few figures which could be updated since then (e.g. page 114), but otherwise it describes the current workflow for ongoing work on the ECM. I'm not aware of another article which does this (although David Parker covers similar ground in his 2012 book listed in the bibliography), which is why I believed it was worth offering this chapter for publication in the hope that some might find it useful.
      Hugh Houghton

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    3. Tim,

      As for your comment on copy-editing, most publishers such as Brill (this includes De Gruyter, Mohr Siebeck, and many others) offer no copy-editing and unless you have sufficient funds to hire a professional copy-editor off your own pocket, you're stuck with what you can do on your own. I agree that publishers that set such exorbitant pricing ought to cover this, but sadly this seems no longer to be the case. There are a handful that still do so in Europe (such as CUP, OUP, T&T Clark), but most continental publishers, as it seems to me, don't. The situation in America seems to me to be rather different, however.

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    4. Peter Malik,
      Thanks for the information. It does indeed make a difference if the editing is limited to what the authors can provide. Yet, it is also amazing that scholarly publications which are priced like top tier publications do not include copy-editing. I am an avid reader of scholarly publications across multiple disciplines and have come to expect more when an article is published externally. Again, I appreciate the insight.
      Tim

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  3. As someone who once spent the better part of a year checking and editing a work for publication - reading and re-reading and giving it to others to read, correcting error after error until you were sure there couldn't possibly be any errors left - only to have it appear in print with enough surviving errors to make a veritable list, I therefore have a little more sympathy for the author who obviously didn't intend that, and a little less patience for readers who would condemn an entire work over a few mistakes. I mean, really, "a disgracefully shoddy piece of work"?? You'd pull out that big of a gun over a typo or two? I think you need to get some perspective; or at least a little charity.

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    1. These are not 'typos'. This is a non-native speaker trying and failing to write correct English. In such a case it is the publisher's responsibility to have the manuscript checked. That has obviously not been done. Brill publishes extremely expensive books. If it will not pay for the most basic copy-editing, it deserves to be called out for that, and authors should be advised to take their work elsewhere. Of course, Brill is not the only offender. Cf. Gnomon 83 (2011) 549 for another: "I do not know what exactly has gone wrong in the production process, but I know that De Gruyter should be ashamed of themselves for bringing to publication a book so riddled with errors. The standard of copy-editing is nothing short of disgraceful. The author must presumably take some responsibility too, but ultimately, the fault lies with the press." Nothing will change until scholars start to demand better.

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