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Editorial Introduction to the Fourth Issue

Fotis Jannidis, Malte Rehbein and Laurent Romary

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1The 11th Annual Conference and Members' Meeting of the TEI Consortium, held at the University of Würzburg, Germany, from October 10 to 16, 2011, drew almost 160 participants from eighteen countries and three continents to Lower Franconia. Among the participants were several undergraduate students from the recently established BA program in Digital Humanities at Würzburg who not only volunteered to support the organization of this conference, but also had the opportunity to get first-hand insight into state-of-the-art research in text encoding for the humanities and have become welcomed members of this growing international community.

2Not only for them, but for all who participated in the conference, whether in person or online through social media, the conference program offered a great variety of events, including keynote presentations delivered by Edward Vanhoutte (KANTL) and Andrea Rapp (Darmstadt), paper sessions, panel discussions, posters, and ample time for community-building including a visit to the famous Würzburg wine cellars. The conference proper was preceded by technical workshops and tutorials and saw a special pre-conference event "Perspektiven Digital Humanities" (​?id=127459) for the German-speaking community who formed one year later a new DH association, 'Digital Humanities im deutschsprachigen Raum' (DHd).

3It is no coincidence that the motto of the conference, Philology in the Digital Age, was chosen the year that the conference was held in Würzburg. The university has had a strong tradition in Computerphilologie, which has now been extended by the appointment of a Chair, and inauguration of BA and MA programs in Digital Humanities as well as by the establishment of a research center for digital editing. A great range of topics was presented and discussed around this motto during the meeting,1 and we—as organizers of the conference—are proud to have the opportunity to publish selected papers in this fourth volume of the Journal of the Text Encoding Initiative.

4This issue of the journal reflects the range of topics addressed at the conference. It opens with a position paper by Christian Wittern who juxtaposes philological practices in the digital age with the lack of actual interest, as he sees it, in adopting dissemination modes towards end readers. Focusing on so-called "active readers", he demands new publication architectures that allow such readers to comment and enrich digital editions.

5Two papers follow which focus on editorial processes related to work on primary sources. Gerrit Brüning, Katrin Henzel, and Dietmar Pravida discuss Goethe's Faust as a complex example of a digital edition in which different views allow studying textual material from various philological viewpoints. The authors argue in favor of a twofold digital edition that reflects both documentary and textual views. Anne Baillot and Sabine Seifert, on the other hand, focus on the role that digital editions of handwritten sources from Berlin intellectuals in the early 19th century play within a comprehensive research project that ranges from deep analyses of conceptual networks to employing related digital humanities methods in teaching activities.

6The next two papers provide a more global view on the role of TEI-based documents within larger infrastructural projects. First, Matija Ogrin, Jan Jona Javoršek, and Tomaž Erjavec show how the TEI's module for manuscript description (msDesc) can be used as a foundation for representing large-scale registries of early modern Slovenian manuscripts. While describing specific issues related to the documentation of manuscripts in their chronological and spatial contexts, the authors additionally describe a Fedora-based online portal to access data relating to these manuscripts. Second, Brian L. Pytlik Zillig reports on the experience of the MONK (Metadata Offer New Knowledge) project to transform legacy TEI-documents from a variety of heterogeneous sources into one unified TEI P5 subset employing a full XSLT-based architecture. In particular, Pytlik Zillig demonstrates how this architecture can be used to assess the operations that have been undertaken during these transformations.

7Two papers providing technical insights into specific requirements for handling TEI documents conclude this issue of the Journal of the Text Encoding Initiative. Joel Fredell, Charles Borchers IV, and Terri Ilgen describe a method to deliver embedded fonts for encoded texts with special characters not provided by Unicode. While demonstrating the universal validity of their solution, they make a plea for a better integration of data presented as HTML with their TEI sources. Finally, Susanne Haaf, Frank Wiegand, and Alexander Geyken report on methods for assessing manual keying of printed text within the large-scale DTA (Deutsches Textarchiv) project. Their corresponding study, which analyzes sources of possible errors in both text transcription and in structural-TEI-based encoding, provides an in-depth understanding of what can be expected from a double-keying workflow.

8Enjoy reading!

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Electronic reference

Fotis Jannidis, Malte Rehbein and Laurent Romary, “Editorial Introduction to the Fourth Issue”Journal of the Text Encoding Initiative [Online], Issue 4 | March 2013, Online since 20 January 2014, connection on 06 December 2023. URL:; DOI:

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About the authors

Fotis Jannidis

Fotis Jannidis is Chair of Computerphilology and modern German literature at Würzburg University.

Malte Rehbein

Malte Rehbein is a member of the Executive of the German-speaking Digital Humanities association (DHd) and Editor-In-Chief of the Digital Medievalist. He is Assistant Professor of History at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and Director of the Center for Digital Editing at Würzburg University.

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Laurent Romary

Laurent Romary is Directeur de Recherche for INRIA (France) and guest scientist at Humboldt University (Berlin, Germany). He carries out research on the modeling of semi-structured documents, with a specific emphasis on texts and linguistic resources. He received a PhD degree in computational linguistics in 1989 and his Habilitation in 1999. During several years he launched and directed the Langue et Dialogue team at Loria (Nancy, France) and participated in several national and international projects related to the representation and dissemination of language resources and on man-machine interaction, coordinating the MLIS/DHYDRO, IST/MIAMM, and eContent/Lirics projects. He has been the editor of ISO standard 16642 (TMF – Terminological Markup Framework) and is the chairman of ISO committee TC 37/SC 4 on Language Resource Management, as well as member (2001–2007) then chair (2008–2011) of the TEI Council. In the recent years, he led the Scientific Information directorate at CNRS (2005–2006) and established the Max-Planck Digital Library (Sept. 2006–Dec. 2008). He currently contributes to the establishment and coordination of the DARIAH infrastructure in Europe as transitional director.

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The text only may be used under licence TEI Consortium 2013 (Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License) . All other elements (illustrations, imported files) are “All rights reserved”, unless otherwise stated.

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