On Saturday, 30 August 2003, the 1st International Workshop on Scholarly Hypertext was held at the University of Nottingham as part of the ACM Hypertext 2003 (HT03) Conference, the primary international forum for research into hypermedia theory and technology. The purpose of the full-day workshop was to help shape the nascent scholarly hypertext community by identifying emerging themes and possibilities for cross-connection and collaboration. Scholarly Hypertext research covers issues including the ways in which hypermedia can assist in the navigation and presentation of scholarly resources, non-linear argumentation presentations, and future forms of scholarly publishing in a hypernetworked world. KMi was the most strongly represented research group, with Simon Buckingham Shum chairing, presentations from PhD students Bertrand Sereno and Murray Altheim, and contributions to the discussion from Neil Benn and Clara Mancini.
The day kicked off with a presentation by one of the godfathers of scholarly hypertext, David Kolb, who set the workshop in context with an historical account of how the moves from an oral tradition to writing through to print impacted on critical thinking and scholarship, and how the hypertext genre might itself impact on scholarly inquiry. Other presentations included demos of tools for hypertextual reading and writing, work on the automatic presentation of scholarly hypermedia, and an environment for exploiting the hypertextual nature of scholarly archives.
However, by far the most valuable part of the day was the afternoon, devoted to discussion. This was a chance for everyone to contribute on issues ranging from how the various hypertextual systems on show might be integrated, to how to address sources of inertia to hypertextual scholarship, and significantly, how to support hypertext submissions for HT04. By the time the workshop came to a close, it had witnessed the birth of a new community of researchers and practitioners devoted to the advance of the field of scholarly hypertext. In the words of the Workshop Chair, here's to hypertextual scholarship!