Evaluating XR: Standards for an emerging DH medium
Evaluating scholarly work in extended reality for the humanities requires understanding of both scientific and humanistic standards for the work. This article shows how humanities values and interests intersect, and at times conflict, with norms developed for the medium in scientific contexts, and reflects on the risks humanists take in exploring new approaches to scholarly practice. The discussion draws upon the work of a recent Digital Humanities (DH) institute that reflected on how the Extended Reality (XR) goals of immersiveness, completeness, and realism compete with valuing the visible traces of ambiguity, uncertainly, incompleteness, and foregrounding argument and documentation. It considers approaches to creating evaluation guidelines for XR as an extension of existing DH guidelines published by scholarly societies, and suggests ways in which multiple of these approaches to evaluation might converge in, on the one hand, multi-modal and reflective XR documentation practices that include written supplements, and on the other, in broadening the scope of what kinds of creative and storytelling work fit into academic evaluation contexts in the humanities.
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