TAPAS Panel at Rome TEI Conference, October 2013

As the TAPAS project approaches its soft launch in early 2014, members of TAPAS and the TEI board of directors held a panel presentation at the annual TEI conference in Rome on October 5, 2013 to report on progress and seek feedback from members of the TEI community. Julia Flanders gave an overview of the project's development progress which includes beta-testing, load testing, and improvement of the TEI reading interface in fall 2013. Syd Bauman discussed the process of data profiling and the development of TAPAS schemas. TEI chair Elena Pierazzo described the negotiations between TAPAS and the TEI concerning the possibility of offering TAPAS as a benefit of TEI membership. Following the panel, there was an open discussion in which members of the TEI community were invited to offer feedback and ideas about the development of the service. One strand of discussion that received especially interesting debate at the meeting was the question of peer review. Peer review of digital humanities projects and digital editions has been challenging to arrange, and there is a felt need within the TEI community for methods of peer review that address the TEI encoding as well as the scholarly content of digital publications. Several audience members suggested that TAPAS should provide or facilitate peer review of TAPAS projects. Several methods were proposed, one of which would allow specific communities to establish peer review standards reflected in formal constraints such as schemas and display stylesheets. These constraints could be built into the TAPAS validation and display system as options that community members could choose. Although this won't be available within TAPAS at launch in 2014, we are interested in exploring the potential for peer review systems within TAPAS in the future, and this may be an opportunity for future grant-writing (perhaps in collaboration with the TEI).