¶ 4 Leave a comment on paragraph 4 0 This report is from the pen (i.e., laptop) of the “open access maximalist” of the first round of reviews. My initial reservation remains: this submission begins by including historical scholarship in its discussion but concludes with public-facing websites and the superb textbook that the authors themselves have edited and overseen. If those are the central examples, no one would disagree that “history can be open source.” Yet then history journals are effectively removed from the discussion although they are major purveyors of historical scholarship. A dimmer view of access to them is possible: readers, authors, and editors (in the sense of a journal editor but also a copy editor and a fact checker) are all integrated into a financial system that is hardly democratic. We still need a reckoning of the costs involved in someone reading an article, an author publishing and article, and a variety of editors improving an author’s work. I remain disappointed that this issue is not even on the table in this submission.
¶ 5 Leave a comment on paragraph 5 0 That said, this is a very good submission that wears its political heart on its sleeve and that traces a sinuous path of digital history from its beginnings in the early phases of computer applications in historical scholarship through different phases of higher education in the last half century to The American Yawp and current projects that aim for both methodological sophistication and engagement outside the historians’ profession. It serves well as an intellectual autobiography of The American Yawp. The Yawp is so good that an article in the AHR seems appropriate as a parallel to its growing use in higher education. I myself have used it in two different courses, one a survey, the other a seminar.
¶ 6 Leave a comment on paragraph 6 0 Moreover, this submission does a good job of clarifying the issues involved in public outreach for historians today. Some scholars pursue arcane topics. Others develop topics with much potential for public interest. Many of us could straddle both worlds if we understood better how to do that. The discussion beginning at paragraph 42 elucidates these issues very well by bringing forward an number of examples, and it should be very helpful for new and established authors who are thinking about greater outreach for their own work.