Refining our conceptions of ‘access’ in digital scholarly editing: Reflections on a qualitative survey on inclusive design and dissemination

Merisa Martinez, Wout Dillen, Elli Bleeker, Anna-Maria Sichani, A.F. Kelly

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


In this paper we explore layered conceptions of access and accessibility as they relate to the theory and praxis of digital scholarly editing. To do this, we designed and disseminated a qualitative survey on five key themes: dissemination; Open Access and licensing; access to code; web accessibility; and diversity. Throughout the article we engage in cultural criticism of the discipline by sharing results from the survey, identifying how the community talks about and performs access, and pinpointing where improvements in praxis could be made. In the final section of this paper we reflect on different ways to utilize the survey results when critically designing and disseminating digital scholarly editions, propose a call to action, and identify avenues of future research.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)41-74
Number of pages34
JournalVariants: The Journal of the European Society for Textual Scholarship
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2019
Externally publishedYes



  • digital scholarly editing
  • access
  • accessibility
  • code
  • Open Access
  • dissemination
  • inclusive design
  • diversity
  • survey
  • cultural criticism
  • digital humanities

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