Transliteracies research reports focus on one or more of the “Objects for Study” in the project’s Research Clearinghouse. Reports are relatively brief documents designed to give a broad, multi-disciplinary audience a quick, efficient grasp of the object of study, its context, and its possible relevance for the issues important to the Transliteracies Project.
The standard report format is as follows:
- Summary: 200 words or less.
- Description: Description of the object for study (accompanied by appropriate images, screenshots, etc.). The description is designed to be as objective and efficient as possible, in the manner of who / what / where / when / how / why. It may include brief excerpts quoted from home pages, mission statements, introductions to articles, and so on.
- Research Context: Identification and quick description of the relevant, contemporary field of research, together with a suggestion of why this object for study might be of current interest to the field.
- Technical Analysis: Synopsis of main technical specifications, methods, or approaches. “Technical” has varying meanings depending on the nature of the object for study. A report on a hardware invention, software innovation, or new technical protocol (e.g., the early codex book, woodcuts, lithography, e-ink, interface technology or design, search technology, XML, text-encoding, etc.) might include a hardware, software, or usage description as appropriate. A report on a social-science, humanities, or art work might include a description of theoretical approach, evidentiary method, etc. (evidentiary method, for example, is one of the innovations of William St. Clair’s 2004 book on The Reading Nation in the Romantic Period). A report on an artistic form (e.g., ode, ballad, emblem, electronic poem, new media art installation) might include a description of such features as structure, versification, typography, layout, graphic design, software platform, database design, etc.
- Evaluation of Opportunities/Limitations for the Transliteracies Topic: Speculative commentary on what the object for study might offer to the Tranliteracies goal of understanding and “improving” present-day online reading practices. What are the Transliteracies research opportunities or directions suggested by this object of study? What are the limitations or problems of such an approach?
- Resources for Further Study: Short bibliography of works or links.
- Optional: Point(s) for Expansion: Links or cross-references to related items in Objects for Study or other related issues that a fuller article might research.
Research reports should be sent to the Transliteracies administrative research assistant (Lisa Swanstrom) for copy-editing, formatting, and posting to the site (with a cc: to Project Director Alan Liu). [Contact info]