As part of the “Day of Digital Humanities, 2013″ (Monday, 4/8/2013), I’ll be blogging over here about my day of digital scholarship.
Monica McCormick and I just published an article entitled “Supporting Digital Scholarship in Research Libraries: Scalability and Sustainability” in the Journal of Library Administration special issue “Digital Humanities in Libraries: New Models for Scholarly Engagement,” edited by Barbara Rockenbach (Columbia University). In this issue the authors explore how libraries can support and participate in digital humanities initiatives, and some of the challenges of doing so.
Author Micah Vandegrift (Florida State University) negotiated with the publisher, Taylor & Francis, to add an addendum to the author’s agreement limiting T&F’s exclusive license to publish and retaining copyright and additional publishing rights for the authors. This is the agreement that we all signed. Read his description of the negotiation process, and more on the negotiation. In these posts Micah provides a nice model for other authors who want to do the same.
And for those without access to Taylor & Francis journals, or who just prefer to read open access versions of things, Micah also kindly created an alt/OA Table of Contents with links to the open access versions of our articles.
Vinopal, Jennifer, and Monica McCormick. “Supporting Digital Scholarship in Research Libraries: Scalability and Sustainability.” Journal of Library Administration 53, no. 1 (January 1, 2013): 27–42. doi:10.1080/01930826.2013.756689.
- Journal article: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/01930826.2013.756689
- Peer-reviewed pre-print: http://archive.nyu.edu/handle/2451/31698
- Special Issue URL: http://www.tandfonline.com/toc/wjla20/53/1
New York University Libraries and our partners in Information Technology Services offer effective enterprise-wide technology solutions for many academic practices, but we are still working to solve the “faculty Web site problem”—providing services for digital scholarship and publishing in a way that is both scalable and sustainable. This article describes our study of NYU scholars’ needs and digital scholarship support at other research institutions, and then introduces a service model we developed for supporting such services (which may include digitization, hosting of research data, digital publishing, the development of software for scholarly practices, and more). We then discuss the challenges to research libraries of implementing our service model in a scalable, sustainable way, by addressing project and tool selection, staffing, and organizational change.
At the Digital Library Federation 2011 forum, Monica McCormick (NYU’s Digital Scholarly Publishing Officer) and I participated in a session called “Supporting Digital Humanities in the Library” along with colleagues from Emory University: Tim Bryson, Miriam Posner, and Alain St. Pierre.
Here is a brief blurb about the session:
The information landscape has evolved in recent decades, resulting in an existential crisis for academic libraries. Activities we’ve taken for granted for more than a century (research and publishing models, our services, our content) need to be redefined in partnership with our users. Meanwhile, patrons demand new kinds of support and new modes of collaboration. In this panel, representatives from two academic libraries will describe their research into the changing roles of academic librarians in the humanities. At New York University, librarians are exploring new service models to support digital scholarly research, collaboration, and sharing. At Emory University, librarians are experimenting with a new model for how a library can lead and collaborate with scholars in digital humanities activity.
Our presentation, “Supporting Digital Humanities in the Library: Creating Sustainable & Scalable Services,” is based on work we and colleagues have been doing at NYU over the past 14 months. After the presentation we received several requests to share our slides, so we’re now making them available for all to see and use.
We look forward to hearing your thoughts about this topic.
A number of us at NYU Libraries just emerged from a 2-day strategic planning retreat. We did loads of good work and have the draft of a plan that should keep us busy for the years to come.
There were several words that kept creeping into our writing and then coming up for discussion/debate over the two days, including “holistic,” “integrated,” and “seamless.”
Coincidentally, just this morning on twitter Tito Sierra @tsierra (MIT) and Lorcan Dempsey @lorcanD (OCLC) had a conversation about interfaces and they used the phrases “logically seamed” and “well seamed” in order to “avoid the hubris of ‘seamless’” (to quote Lorcan). (Note: Lorcan took the phrase “well seamed” from Peter Burnhill, @strollerman).
Tito’s original post was about Columbia’s beta CLIO interface: ”Columbia University Libraries CLIO Beta unified library search application is very impressive http://cliobeta.columbia.edu/ ”
Tito went on to explain: “I like Clio beta because it provides an integrated, logically seamed (not boiled down), interface to heterogenous lib content”
In the NYU Libraries strategic planning retreat today, I agreed with the drift of our own discussion that “seamlessness” is not necessarily an achievable, or even useful, goal. Seams in data and interfaces exist for specific (technical) reasons and their exposure can indicate something about the complexity of the information landscape that we can’t or don’t want to completely hide. The seams can act as signposts (or warning signs?) for the user about what might be happening behind the scenes.
Though the expressions suggested by Tito and Lorcan are clumsy, I do also like the fact that they hint at the importance of decision-making about how to stitch and when/how to expose or smooth out seams, rather than attempt to obliterate them entirely.
Every good seamstress knows how important good seams are, how they help define and shape the garment. (Did you happen to see the Alexander McQueen “Savage Beauty” exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum? Here are a few seams worth considering: Plato’s Atlantis, It’s Only a Game, and Eclect Dissect).
Rather than aim for seamlessness, let’s think more about how to seam artfully and to strategically reveal to the user the construction of our search environments.
A week or so ago I received a request from someone suggesting that my blog readers might enjoy an infographic “about how Wikipedia is redefining the way we research,” and asking for my thoughts about it. This graphic, entitled “Wikipedia redefining research and eliminating encyclopedias” was posted on 3/15/2012 to Open Site and is making its way onto other websites.
I don’t disagree that Wikipedia is contributing to a change in the way we do research. What I do disagree with is pushing poorly researched promotional or “educational” materials that rely on misleading information. Since she asked for my thoughts, I wrote a reply and I share it here with you:
You should could [sic] have made the links in your list of sources clickable so people could more easily check your facts, which seem to have some serious problems.
For example, you say that library use is declining by 11%. But you got that figure from an article (link below) about library use of one single public library in concord NH. That same article contradicts your figure for nationwide use of libraries, and quotes the ALA’s “State of American Libraries” report. The 2011 “State of” report states that “The library-use figures that emerged from the poll were up several percentage points from a year earlier, testament both to Americans’ entrepreneurial spirit and libraries’ role in nourishing that spirit.”
The U Calgary website you link to is a wiki page that appears to be written by a group of students. Their credentials and affiliations are not provided; their information about libraries is naive and inaccurate; although they are from the U of Calgary they appear to be describing public libraries rather than academic libraries, yet their survey asks about campus libraries. They, like you, provide a list of links to resources but, like you, don’t provide direct citations for any of the “facts” you are sharing.
I’m not going into the information in the rest of your graphic because I can only assume the other figures you provide are equally untrustworthy as the ones I looked into.
Beware poorly sourced and inaccurate “facts.”