MLA Guidelines for Evaluating Publicly Engaged Scholarship

Follow @MLAnews on Twitter

Read the Thread As Well as the Guidelines

From the Executive Summary

The suggested principles of evaluation for public humanities projects are as follows:

1. the scope and impact of the project (How substantial is the work undertaken? What are its effects in the geographic and intellectual communities in which it participates? How does it change what we know or what we do?);

2. the form and dissemination of the project (How is the project shared with its audience? How is its form—print, digital, participatory, or otherwise—adapted to the specific needs of its public?);

3. the extent of existing deliverables and, where relevant, the future trajectory of the project (How has the project—if, like many digital or oral projects, it is a work perennially in progress—achieved some portions of its aims to date? How does it lay the groundwork for future development? How will such future development be evaluated?); and

4. the nature and extent of collaboration where applicable (How, for projects that involve collaboration among scholars or with a wider community, is collaboration structured? How are ethical relationships with the community or collaborators secured and assured?).

These questions are the key to valuing and evaluating public humanities scholarship, and this document elaborates on how they can be understood and applied.