An initiative to help humanities scholars create, archive, share and re-use electronic scholarly editions in a collaborative environment has attracted more than $600,000 in project funding.

The University of Queensland (UQ)'s eResearch Lab in the School of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering (ITEE) is heading up the initiative which has received funding from the National eResearch Collaboration Tools and Resources (NecTAR) project.

Scholarly editions preserve literary works of artistic, intellectual, or historical significance, by establishing authoritative texts that are accompanied by critical analyses, scholarly essays, scanned manuscripts and explanatory notes.

To improve the efficiency and accuracy of such scholarly editing, the Australian Electronic Scholarly Editing (AustESE) workbench will support the collaborative authoring and management of electronic scholarly editions.

Senior Project Manager from ITEE's eResearch Group, Wilfred Brimblecombe said AustESE is a collaborative research project between UQ and a number of national and international partners.

“Supported by $619,208 in funding from the NecTAR project, AustESE brings together researchers from UQ, The University of NSW, Curtin University, The University of Sydney, Queensland University of Technology, Loyola University, and The University of Saskatchewan,” Mr Brimblecombe said.

“AustESE aims to develop a set of interoperable services to support the production of electronic scholarly editions by distributed collaborators in a Web 2.0 environment.”

In addition to enabling faster authoring of more accurate scholarly editions, the AustESE workbench will provide a platform for greater sharing and re-use of the digital resources and annotations that comprise electronic scholarly editions.

The project will develop standards and best practice guidelines for creating and archiving electronic scholarly editions.

It will also produce a set of open source tools: for annotating variances between texts; aligning images and textual documents; and collating the various distributed resources that together comprise an electronic scholarly edition.

For more information or to track the progress of the AustESE project, visit the project website where you will find links to the team blog and twitter account.