In the rich soup that is digital humanities, there are a few ingredients that lend a special flavor. One of these is collaboration: far from being taboo, collaboration is the encouraged mode of working. Another ingredient is open source: we borrow and build on each other’s code and data to make even more interesting things. A third ingredient—one we haven’t quite added enough of—is credit. Digital humanists believe that everyone who contributed to a project should get full and fair credit.
These DH values are the impetus behind my contribution to the maker challenge: a plugin for Omeka called Honor Thy Contributors.
Honor Thy Contributors is intended for Omeka sites that have multiple collaborators who have added items to the project. It extends the Omeka open-source platform. It’s primary feature is to give credit to the contributors by making transparent what each person’s contribution is.
The plugin finds out the names of the people who have contributed and how many records they have added to the database, with a link to all those records. It displays that information in a table on a page, and adds a link to that page to the public navigation. Here is an example from the American Converts Database:
The plugin lets you edit the title, the URL slug, and the text before and after the table of contributors.
For now the plugin uses a method to calculate the number of contributions that is convenient for the way we do things at the American Converts database, but I’m currently working on an update that makes it more congenial to the way things are done on every Omeka database, especially sites that use the excellent Contribution plugin.
The code is on GitHub. Check out the develop branch for ongoing development, but download the stable version from the master branch. Here is the link to a ZIP file of version 0.1.1, the working version as of the Saturday afternoon of THATCamp. Once the plugin is sufficiently tested I’ll send it to the good folks at Omeka for public display.