The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) has released a white paper that reports the findings of a two-year project investigating the value SHARE could have for digital humanities scholars. SHARE is an open-source community that develops tools and services to connect related research outputs for new kinds of scholarly discovery.
This project, partly funded by a grant from the US National Endowment for the Humanities, explored how scholars promote discovery of their own digital humanities work, and how they find digital scholarship or its components for their own use. The project involved a mixed-methods approach and four phases of work - an online survey of the digital humanist’s workflow; a design workshop of digital humanities practitioners and librarians to create wireframes of potential discovery solutions; a series of focus groups at digital humanities centers and libraries to explore attitudes and practices; and creation of prototypes to test some of the workshop-generated designs.
The white paper, by Cynthia Hudson-Vitale, Judy Ruttenberg, Matthew Harp, Rick Johnson, Joanne Paterson, and Jeffrey Spies, describes the project activities and what the team learned. The appendices include detailed reports on the survey and focus groups, as well as a report on a subproject that used web-scraping tools to extract descriptive information from a wide range of digital humanities projects created with the Omeka content management system.
The paper’s authors note, “This project demonstrated that those who work in digital humanities would embrace improvements to help them discover tools and data to use in new projects, but that today the complexity of formats, metadata structures, and discovery channels makes that difficult.”
The authors also observe that ambiguity exists around which digital projects constitute “data” and which are “collections.” The two types of projects are treated differently for purposes of discovery and long-term stewardship. Many focus group participants called for development of community guidelines to develop this distinction and its criteria. ARL, through its Scholars and Scholarship priority area, is committed to working with disciplinary communities, such as scholarly and learned societies, to craft such guidelines.
Brought to you by Scope e-Knowledge Center, a trusted global partner for digital content transformation solutions - Abstracting & Indexing (A&I), Knowledge Modeling (Taxonomies, Thesauri and Ontologies), and Metadata Enrichment & Entity Extraction.Click here to read the original press release.