COPIM: What Is Computational Publishing?
Computational publishing is an emerging area of experimental book publishing that we are investigating as part of COPIM’s Work Package 6 on experimental book publishing and reuse. There’s a lot to unpack in the term ‘computational publishing’: computers are used for a range of processes in all types of publishing from large-scale commercial publishing to small-scale zine publishing. What is computational publishing and how is it distinguished from the regular use of computation in publishing?
As a broad definition, we use ‘computational publishing’ to refer to publishing a book which combines human-readable text and computational functionality. However this simple definition requires some refinement in order to distinguish the contemporary experimental publishing practice from historical precursors like the hyperlinked publishing that forms the basis of the World Wide Web and interpreted programming languages which combine text and machine-readable computer code.
Contemporary computational book publishing refers to publishing which incorporates new and more advanced computational elements into human-readable books. Andrew Odewahn (2017) outlines a few of the computational elements that can be incorporated into computational publications including but not limited to:
rich dynamic media that can play in a browser;
interactive data visualisations;
executable code blocks;
About Gary Price
Gary Price (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. He earned his MLIS degree from Wayne State University in Detroit. Price has won several awards including the SLA Innovations in Technology Award and Alumnus of the Year from the Wayne St. University Library and Information Science Program. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com. Gary is also the co-founder of infoDJ an innovation research consultancy supporting corporate product and business model teams with just-in-time fact and insight finding.