Digital editions of text: Surveying user requirements in the Digital Humanities

Greta Franzini, Melissa Terras, Simon Mahony

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper presents the findings of a web survey designed to better understand the expectations and use of digital editions of texts. The survey, modelled upon a detailed analysis of 242 projects, recorded 218 complete responses, shedding light on user requirements of digital editions. Specifically, the survey indicates that issues of data reuse, licensing, image availability, and comprehensive documentation are the most requested features of digital editions although ones which seldom are provided.This analysis feeds into previous studies on good practice in building Digital Humanities resources and puts forward practical recommendations for both creators and funders of digital editions in an effort to promote a stronger consideration of user needs. This survey will be of interest to those who produce digital editions of texts, including developers and engineers, and will also be of interest to those who commission and fund these projects, such as universities, libraries and archives, whose documentary collections are often showcased in digital editions.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages23
JournalJournal on Computing and Cultural Heritage
Issue number1
Early online dateFeb 2019
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - Feb 2019


  • usability
  • scholarly editing
  • digital editions
  • digital humanities
  • human computer interaction


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