4 Survey Results: Executive Summary
elsewhere in the institution, primarily central IT or engineering or statistics departments. Twenty-
nine respondents identified a variety of support that is also requested from vendors and virtual teams
beyond the institution, in particular to develop DS software, digitally publish, make digital collections,
and provide project planning. When asked to specify where support is available outside the library,
respondents listed a number of academic departments and campus-wide multidisciplinary institutes
some pointed to large digital humanities centers as partners on grants and projects, such as Michigan
State University’s MATRIX or the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media at George Mason
University still others noted multi-institutional collaborations, including the Boston Digital Humanities
Consortium, the National Center for Supercomputing Applications, and Calcul Quebec, a consortium
of universities in Quebec for high performance computing. Some respondents also listed cloud-based
vendors, independent developers and contractors, and fee-based services tied to specific repositories
and platforms.
All but one of the respondents reported that digital scholarship support is available to all
affiliated researchers (faculty, students, and other project members) (Q2). Some also provide support to
researchers from beyond their campus (23%) or to the general public (15%). Respondents’ comments
point out that in some instances schools and departments only provide aid for students and researchers
within those schools, but most respondents strive to support all affiliated researchers and meet this goal.
However, resources remain scarce for many libraries and even those with digital scholarship centers
sometimes have staff vacancies, limiting the volume of requests that can be accepted from the general
public, independent scholars, and unaffiliated faculty. Some respondents pointed out that their digital
scholarship program or center is still in its early stages. Others describe support as distributed across
campus, but with little coordination or central location for researchers to collaborate in a coherent
and consistent fashion. In these instances support can be more ad hoc in nature, and even when well
coordinated faces challenges in scaling to reach more of the campus. Whereas most of the libraries do not
operate under a cost-recovery model and provide their support for free, in some instances support for a
greater variety of DS components is available across campus at a charge. It is also notable that the ethos of
some library operations seems to be shifting toward partnership and collaboration rather than being seen
as a service bureau.
Library Staff Who Support Digital Scholarship
Not every research library has a digital scholarship or digital humanities center, but more and more
library staff within ARL institutions are becoming involved in providing DS services and support.
Many librarians and professional staff are being recognized as not only active contributors, but also key
collaborators on DS research projects. The survey asked for details on participation by a broad range of
staff, from librarians and archivists, to other professional and support staff, to interns, graduate student
assistants, and undergraduate workers (Q4).
All of the survey respondents reported that librarians support all DS activities, most frequently
by making digital collections, creating metadata, and offering data curation and management support
(90–95%), creating exhibits and project planning (85%), GIS and digital mapping (81%), digitization
(79%), digital publishing (76%), and even project management (72%). In fact, the category least often
reported—developing DS software—is still supported by librarians at 38% of the responding libraries.
Sixty-one respondents (85%) reported that archivists, other professionals, and support staff
also provide substantial support to several DS activities. Unsurprisingly, archivists most frequently
tend to contribute to digital collections and exhibits, digitization, digital preservation, and metadata
creation (61–50%). Other professionals contribute along similar lines, but with a few marked differences
such as technical upkeep (67%), interface design and usability (66%), database development (61%),
and developing DS software (57%) this tends to strengthen the argument that information technology
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