Evaluating Digital Work

While most of the suggestions in our readings for this week on how to evaluate digital work are eminently practical, there are a couple suggestions that I did question, particularly in the current economic situation. I am not questioning their usefulness, as I feel that they are in general all good ideas, but whether departments will actually implement these ideas. The first, and most questionable to me for the level of practicality, was the suggestion of cluster hiring. Even before I read the paragraph about cluster hiring, the header made me think: what French department could afford that or be willing to budget for that in this economy? To be fair, the authors of the article clearly show that this may not be possible, and offer alternative advice including inviting visiting lecturers, etc. As I continued to read the article I pondered the financial practicality of suggestions like supplying potentially expensive equipment.While here at Vanderbilt we may have access to GIS technology and experts, what about at smaller schools? Admittedly, I have no experience with department finances and therefore perhaps these concerns are not as problematic as I think they could be. On the other hand, as a third year graduate student contemplating the job market in the coming years, all I hear is how the economy is affecting hiring, etc. This made me reflect on the the larger question of how will DH establish itself in this precarious economy. Will the innovation of DH be enough to propel it even in this economy? Will DH solutions be more cost effective and therefore preferable (we have suggested that they could be more cost effective than print)? Also, I think this relates to my previous post on the remediation in the digital age- maybe education about the new opportunities of digital media will help departments to make the investment in both people and resources to establish DH in their departments. I do not have the answers to any of these questions, but I do think that they make good food for thought.