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July 1, 2020

Second Newsletter of 2020

Jennifer Isasi

A cropped image with the word Summer.

We accomplished several goals in the second trimester of 2020: we have a new functionality, DOI numbers, new lessons, new and retiring project team members, and new supporters. We have had over 428,000 visits.

To all of you, thank you for relying on our lessons to learn or practice digital methods!

A New Citation Feature

Due to the nature of our published material on Programming Historian, many of our users don’t know how to refer to or how to cite our content. For each open-access and peer-reviewed article we already had embedded citation metadata in our HTML and ORCID’s for lesson contributors, along a “suggested citation” at the bottom of each lesson page.

In order to join the larger scholarly ecosystem and in partnership with the University of Sussex Library, you can now find that each article has its own DOI or Digital Object Identifiers. This link will permanently identify the article on the Internet, also allowing for easier citation.

This of course took a few technical changes or additions by Matt Lincoln, who also published a blogpost in May to assist other community members that might be looking into adding DOIs to their publications.

Full-Text Search Available

Our new technical lead and editorial member Zoe LeBlanc spent several weeks working to have a full-text searching option in our journals. Previously, users could use filter buttons to select lessons based on topic or activity, and sort them by date and difficulty. However, it was not possible to find lessons based on their content. Now you can!

Zoe, together with Matt Lincoln, tried different options but wanted to, ultimately, optimize speed as well as accuracy of results that worked with our static site arquitecture. If you are interested in learning about how this settings works, visit Zoe’s post “Full-Text Search for Lessons” on our blog (available in English only). Thank you Zoe for making this possible!

New Institutional Supporter

We are thrilled and honored to announce that The Edinburgh Centre for Data, Culture & Society (CDCS) is our newest Institutional Partner Programme member! Founded in 2019 as an initiative of the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Edinburgh and directed by Professor Melissa Terras, CDCS provides a locus for data-driven and digitally-engaged research across the disciplines and provides training, events and research support to a broad community of researchers.

Logo of The Edinburgh Centre for Data, Culture & Society (CDCS)

They share:

We are delighted to be able to support the Programming Historian: we value not only the excellent lessons and invaluable resources it provides, but also the principles of openness and collaboration upon which it is founded. As we help our local community develop new skills, we look forward to working with the Programming Historian resources and drawing on the generous expertise of its community.

The additional support of this institution will strengthen our open access publishing platform in numerous ways. Thank you!

Programming Historian members would likewise want to express their gratitute to the new Patreon subscribers of the trimester. With your $1, $5 or $15 donation per month, you are helping us continue our efforts to provide open access lessons for everyone with an interest in digital methods and a connection to the Internet!

Virtual PH Workshops

COVID19 has impacted the many in-person conferences and workhops on digital research and methods that were set to take place during this trimester, and the summer. Some have been switched to a virtual format and Programming Historian has collaborated in this endevaour.

Our Team Development Manager Adam Crymble and Global Lead Jessica Parr offered three virtual workshops for the University of Edinburgh (UK) in May 14, 18 and 27.

We hope everyone who attended these workshops found them very helpful and inspiring, and are now using Programming Historian to continue to learn about digital methods for their research and teaching.

New PH Member (and Publication in the making)

We have started working in what will be our fourth publication, Programming Historian em português, with their first member and managing editor Daniel Alves onboard our GitHub repo and workflow. Daniel is an Assistant Professor in the Department of History and researcher at the Institute of Contemporary History, both at NOVA-FCSH, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Portugal, where he also coordinates the Digital Humanities Lab.

Welcome, bem vindo Daniel!

Retiring Member

We sadly announce that our Technical Lead and editor Matt Lincoln has decided to retire from Programming Historian as of June 18th. It has been a pleasure to have him as a colleague and we have all learned a lot from his ardous work. I believe the entire community is grateful to him for making the journal more accessible, multilingual, citation compatible and searchable. For us editors, he made publishing lessons easier with metadata and link validation that flag potential errors before we can launch any new content.

In his farewell message to the team, he kindly reminded us:

that the heart of the work is in these lessons, not in our website or in our promotional materials. The total labor to support that core mission through organizational, outreach, and technical endeavors should never exceed the total labor of actually shepherding these lessons from submission to publication.

Zoe LeBlanc will now be leading the technical group in the journal.

New Lessons

Thanks to our network of authors, reviewers and editors, we continue to publish lessons and translations in different languages. Our new lessons are:


Do you use Programming Historian and want to collaborate? We are always looking for new lessons and you can contact us with your own idea for a lesson or a translation, or indicate your interest to peer-review lessons.

To help us make our work more sustainable and to continue being leaders in multilingual open access digital methods lessons, you can also join our Patreon subscriber list now!

The Programming Historian team wishes all of our readers in the southern hemisphere a happy begining of Winter and a happy Summer to those in the northern hemisphere! Stay safe.

A cropped image with the word Winter.

About the author

Jennifer Isasi is an Assistant Research Professor of Digital Scholarship and Director of the Digital Liberal Arts Research Initiative at Penn State, and a PhD on Hispanic Studies.