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Title: The challenge of designing a collaborative reference source for Southern African Literature
Authors: Stewart, Graham Douglas James 
Keywords: Encyclopaedia;Collaborative reference source;Online repository;South African literary history;Commons-based peer production
Issue Date: 8-Oct-2012
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Source: Stewart, G. D. J. 2012. The challenge of designing a collaborative reference source for Southern African Literature. English Academy Review, 29(2): 87-101.
Finding the right balance between editorial control and the widest possible participation by contributors is a critical challenge for the editors of the ESAACH Wiki. The Wiki is the online collaborative reference repository of the Encyclopaedia of South African Arts, Culture and Heritage (ESAACH).

The Verbal Arts section of the ESAACH Wiki was developed in the first phase of the project, and now comprises an extensive set of reference entries, compiled over a twelve year period. With its roots in a Southern African literary history project started in the 1990s, over four thousand entries have now been published on the Wiki, with the intention of utilising commons-based peer production to continue its development as a one-stop reference website of Southern African literature.

User analysis shows that the ESAACH Wiki is extensively searched by Internet users looking for information on Southern African literature. This article considers how best to open up the resource to a wider group of contributors.

Participation may range from a traditional print editorial model at one extreme to an open, un- moderated model at the other. Selected South African literary and biographical reference sources were compared to determine the most appropriate guidelines for an ESAACH entry.
Rights: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis Group in English Academy Review 29:2, 87-101 on 8 Oct 2012, available online: Green OA "Accepted Manuscript" upload to a repository permitted after an 18 month embargo (see Journal: English Academy Review).
Appears in Collections:Research Publications (Arts and Design)

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