The Programming Historian 2 is now accepting submissions from the community.
!Special Call for Authors for Command Line Lesson!:
In addition to our ongoing interest in submissions and ideas from the community, the Programming Historian 2 is currently looking for someone to write a lesson introducing the basics of the Command Line. This can be a new lesson written from scratch, or the prospective author can revise the ‘Command Line Bootcamp‘, tutorial written for the Praxis Program at the Scholar’s Lab. For more details on this opportunity please contact Adam Crymble (email@example.com), with no obligation. All Programming Historian 2 lessons are peer reviewed.
What we are looking for in a Lesson
The Programming Historian 2 (PH2) is a peer reviewed publication. The PH2 is happy to accept lesson submissions of up to 10,000 words, excluding code (2,000-4,000 words is ideal). We encourage prospective authors to contact us with their idea before they begin writing. An editor will be happy to discuss your idea and let you know if they think it is appropriate for our project.
Each lesson should have a clear objective that is introduced and achieved entirely within that single lesson. The target audience are those looking to expand their knowledge of research methods using computers and may include academics or members of the public. All entries should be written for an educated, non-specialist audience who is at least adept at using a word processor and at answering email. No further specialized knowledge should be assumed beyond what is covered in the lessons upon which your submission builds. An example lesson might seek to create a program that automatically downloads and saves a copy of all entries in the Old Bailey Online involving a female defendant. Larger tasks should be split up into more than one lesson which build upon one another.
Open Source, Open Access
The PH2 is committed to accessibility. All contributed lessons must make use of open source programming languages and open source software. This policy is meant to minimize costs for all parties, and to allow the greatest possible level of participation. We believe everyone should be able to benefit from this book, not just those with large research budgets that can be spent on software.
The PH2 is focused on accessibility as well as sharing credit where it is due. Upon acceptance, authors agree to release their lesson under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license, also known as a “by” license.
This means that you have the right to post your lesson to your blog, your local newspaper, or anywhere else you see fit without asking anyone’s permission. However, you grant the PH2 and anyone else interested in your work the right to do the same as long as they list you as the author. This allows the lessons to have the greatest possible impact by opening access. To promote this policy of openness, the PH2 is an open access publication, free and usable by anyone without a subscription.
Lessons must make every effort to use stable, non-deprecated (or soon to be deprecated) techniques, languages and software. Alpha versions of software should be avoided and Beta versions only used if they are extremely stable. When at all possible, lessons should be useable on Mac OS X, Windows 7, and Linux. If a lessons has not been tested on all three systems, the author should specify which systems have been tested.
An obvious challenge of working with the Internet is the fact that it is a dynamic environment that is constantly changing. This means lessons can quickly become out of date or broken as the pages they rely upon change or disappear. We’d like to keep all lessons working as long as possible. To help ensure this, we urge authors to use data for their lessons from bodies that are committed to keeping the data available in the same format for the forseeable future. This generally means data provided by governments, held in nationally recognized archives or libraries, or those who have pledged to maintain their databases in a stable manner such as the Old Bailey Online.
We believe that the skills learned in the lesson are what is important. It may be the case that to teach a skill using a stable dataset, you must turn to data that is outside of your research specialty – for example you may study 18th century Canada, but may be asked to use 20th century British data if your preferred dataset is unstable. We appreciate your assistance in keeping the PH2 technically sustainable.
Lessons must be between 1,000 and 10,000 words (excluding code), and must take less than 3 hours for a typical reader to complete. An ideal lesson takes between 30 minutes and 1 hour to complete. All lessons must have a clearly defined goal. Readers must understand at the outset exactly what skills or results they will achieve by working on a lesson. Lessons cannot end unfinished or at a position that an educated reader would not find logical.
Entries may make generous use of relevant links, but should avoid footnotes whenever possible as this can interfere with formatting online. Authors should make every effort to keep lines of code shorter than 86 characters in length.
The O’Reilly Publishing stylesheet is used for all formatting.
Please feel free to contact us with questions or suggestions. We’d love to hear from you.