Writing History in the Digital Age began as a "what-if" experiment by posing a question: How have Internet technologies influenced how historians think, teach, author, and publish? To illustrate their answer, the contributors agreed to share the stages of their book-in-progress as it was constructed on the public web.
To facilitate this innovative volume, editors Jack Dougherty and Kristen Nawrotzki designed a born-digital, open-access, and open peer review process to capture commentary from appointed experts and general readers. A customized WordPress plug-in allowed audiences to add page- and paragraph-level comments to the manuscript, transforming it into a socially networked text. The initial six-week proposal phase generated over 250 comments, and the subsequent eight-week public review of full drafts drew 942 additional comments from readers across different parts of the globe.
The finished product now presents 20 essays from a wide array of notable scholars, each examining (and then breaking apart and reexamining) if and how digital and emergent technologies have changed the historical profession.