In the past decades, many digital scholarly edition projects have been published and are available, often for free, online. Most of these editions are arguably the best editions of their documents or texts available, and many of them offer features enhancing research in the respective fields to a considerable degree.
Despite these facts, digital editions are often neglected by the established review institutions. This neglect has a number of consequences: digital editions are somewhat outside the established peer-control process; digital editors in spe cannot rely on criticisms that projects similar to their own have received; the methodology of digital editions not only needs to incorporate traditional issues of textual criticism but also has to be thoughtful of the closely related technical and methodologic issues.
In order to address these issues, we have founded RIDE, a review journal dedicated to digital editions and resources. RIDE aims to direct attention to digital editions and to provide a forum in which expert peers criticise and discuss the efforts of digital editors in order to improve current practices and advance future developments. It will do so by asking its reviewers to pay attention not only to the traditional virtues and vices of any edition, but also to the progressing methodology and its technical implications. Editors of existing digital editions will be able to improve their work by addressing criticism and digital editors in spe will be able to learn from previous problems both of a general nature as well as specific to their fields.
Moreover, RIDE will help scholars working on the methodology and the development of the field of digital editing by collecting formal data about each project that is being reviewed. The reviews and factsheets will also provide a snapshot of a project at the time of the review, so that later developments can be compared – an important feature in a world that is characterised by a much higher dynamic than the print-world exhibits.
All this, we hope, will contribute to the ongoing methodological discussions and help to establish a best practise editors can aim at as an ideal of a digital edition (aspects of this best practise, for example, touch on accuracy, citability, sustainability, long term preservation, documentation, transparency, etc.).