London - Experts believe they have uncovered fresh work by Charles Dickens after completing a project to digitise the 19th century weekly journals that the celebrated author once edited.

Scholars are confidant that punchy opinion pieces, penned anonymously by Dickens in response to the social ills of the day, reveal him to be the first “blogger”.

Dr John Drew, editor of Dickens Journals Online (DJO), issued a plea for volunteers to take part in a project to upload freely accessible, online versions of the weekly journals, Household Words and All The Year Round, which the author edited.

The project, hosted by the University of Buckingham, asked for volunteers to help sub-edit and proof-read articles for the digitisation programme.

The trained human eye is able to spot errors in language which a computer programme cannot.

Dr Drew wanted to complete the digitisation in February this year to celebrate the bicentenary of Dickens' birth.

Three thousand volunteers registered as editors, correcting 30,000 pages of text, some of which ran to 1,000 words.

Some enthusiasts became “moderators”, checking and correcting the work of other editors.

The magazines are now available on the DJO website: - The Independent