Historians should document their findings and be prepared to make available their sources, evidence, and data.
Inspired by the above quote from the AHA’s Standards on Professional Conduct (2011), I believe in using the internet to enhance research practices, improve scholarly communications, and, ultimately, to produce better scholarship in the field of history.
On Twitter and on this blog, I advocate for the open access, digital scholarship, and digital humanities movements. In real life I help to build digital platforms and research tools that can enhance the work of scholars, benefit students, and even entice the general public. I also try to set good examples and develop best practices in my own research and writing.
Through my work with the History and Public Policy Program, I help to obtain and make freely available archival sources from around the globe through the Wilson Center’s Digital Archive, an online repository.
Connected with this work, I edit the Chinese Foreign Policy Database, a platform containing thousands of documents, curated collections, and a timeline related to China’s foreign relations since 1945.
In the interest of transparency, reproducability, and collegiality, I seek to publish online, whenever possible, the archival documents on which my own work is based and make them available to other researchers. In 2016, for example, I simultaneously published a research article in the International History Review while placing all of my archival data in an open access online database. I continue to consider how historians might make online data sharing part of the publishing routine.