98 Survey Results: Survey Questions and Responses
A mixture: access to content and tools, training, and longstanding research collaborations. Research
libraries have a strong role in helping to prepare graduate students to engage in digital scholarship.
A wide range of roles from introduction to digital methodologies to project collaboration to
preservation activities.
Academic research libraries who play a major role in digital scholarship (not just support but actually
have their own digital projects) will be the most visible and most successful.
As seen in the most recent strategic plan, digital scholarship activities are growing and strongly
supported, in addition to growing partnerships that are central to our strategic planning. Deeper
collaboration, partnership, and engagement across campus are central to our current efforts.
DS activities and services such as those listed in this survey are core to the future of research libraries.
Examples: expanding and supporting digital library development and use of unique collections in
research and instruction encouraging and facilitating open access in the digital scholarship workflow—
this include research data management active collaborations with research centers, institutes, VP
of research offices collaborations with archives and museums on our campuses and beyond (GLAM
initiatives) to develop shared platforms, tools, and encourage use of unique cultural assets across the
disciplines and across the curriculum.
Educational: offering more training and instruction on new tools, technologies in digital research.
More project management support. Digital research design support. More support for building
digital collections for teaching and research needs. More facilitating of conversations around digital
scholarship issues. More computation/analytics support.
Exploring innovative ways to enhance public scholarship, including partnering to lead efforts in
determining sustainable pathways for storage, sharing, and visualizing data. Also, our organizations
are uniquely positioned to empower faculty, graduate students, and undergraduates with knowledge of
tools and methods used in digital scholarship.
Going forward, research libraries have a tremendous contribution to make in terms of being hubs
where innovative librarians can engage in effective outreach to forge cross-campus partnerships with
subject specialists in departments across the university, and expertise in IT and in metadata which
may well be housed within the library itself. The Libraries at the University of Alabama are a prime
example of the ways in which these places can become a locus for this kind of scholarship, in particular
in working with scholars to create collaborative teams in which faculty and staff are all working
together to contribute to digital scholarship on the front lines. The Alabama Digital Humanities
Centers is testimony to the capacity of libraries to play a leading role both in creating collaborative
teams for digital scholarship, but also crucially in bringing key expertise to the innovations and original
contributions which those teams are making to the scholarship itself. In the past two years the ADHC
has grown from having six projects to over 70 through concerted, focused outreach engaging scholars
in over 15 departments in digital scholarship for both research and pedagogy purposes, and this has
been possible in large part because of the central role which the Libraries occupy in the university.
These are spaces explicitly available to everyone, which have enabled extensive interdisciplinary
collaboration and interdisciplinary conversation to spring up between faculty members from different
departments on campus who now have shared academic ground due to their shared approaches of
their digital scholarship. In the future, we expect libraries to capitalize on the fact that they are open
to everyone on campus, and to leverage that openness to introduce more scholars from different
departments to the kind of collaborative work key to large-scale digital projects. Librarians are well
positioned to play a leading role in this, as much of our work is collaborative in nature, involving the
pooling of expertise and the sharing of knowledge freely, as well as the negotiations inherent in the
collaborative process, and this is a great asset we can share with faculty members across campus.
Moreover, libraries can be excellent sources of the kinds of expertise needed for digital scholarship,
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