9 SPEC Kit 350: Supporting Digital Scholarship
awareness of issues related to digital scholarship, and open educational resources must also be built into
growing their support.
Where support for the digital humanities was offered in a largely ad hoc fashion five years ago, these tasks
are now more systematic, if not yet entirely coordinated from within the library. The survey data suggest a
few overarching patterns, many of which are borne out by the comments provided by respondents (Q23).
Scholars in the humanities come to the libraries for DS support at all of the responding institutions,
although the frequency varies: either “often” (58%) or “sometimes” (42%), although these are arbitrary
distinctions. Comments suggest that humanists also require long-term collaboration across the life-cycle
of a project, sometimes come for the special collections or digital collections more than other resources,
and will make use of digital humanities centers when available.
Researchers from the social sciences come for support less often: while 36% of respondents
answered ”often,” the majority (61%) said “sometimes.” The two who answered “never” explained that
their services are quite new. The type of support and collaboration is also more specific—typically GIS
and digital mapping, data visualization, sometimes statistics, and more rarely research data planning.
STEM researchers come to these libraries least often—only 15% of respondents answered “often” and
another 78% said “sometimes.” Two of the four who responded “never” were the same new services
as above. Several sets of comments explain that much of the support needed from libraries is phase
specific and of limited term, and that a number of these DS roles are available and close at hand in the
laboratory. Still, STEM do come to the library for help with data management, and sometimes grants and
funding requests.
When it comes to the library partnering with other campus units and some entities beyond
the institution (Q24), most of the respondents draw resources from beyond the library “often." Specific
partners that lead the field involve the institutional repository (50%), IT department/unit (50%), and
archives (43%). Given the interest in aligning the work of the library, IR, and press, as well as DS/H center
or hub in some places, it is surprising that the press ranked the lowest (8%) as a frequent partner. All but
a few respondents partner with external groups “sometimes,” although this most often tends to be other
libraries more than any other group (64%), followed by archives (49%), IT (41%), and the more generic
“agencies and/or companies unaffiliated with your institution” (45%). Those who responded with “never”
selected the university press as the least common partner (30 or 64%), with the archives only listed as
such once.
Source of Funds
SPEC Kit 326 reported that the majority of active digital humanities projects through 2011 were funded
from a combination of library operating budgets and grants some received funding from academic
departments, library IT, or special funds. In 2011, most DH researchers did not have funding when they
sought library support, although some were writing or planned to write grant proposals. This 2016
survey revisited funding with greater granularity, yet found the majority of support libraries provide for
digital scholarship continues to be drawn from their general budget (100%) or grants to the library (73%).
However, researchers have their own grant-based funds almost half the time (48%), with (one-time) gifts
often providing substantial support (42%). Endowments and general funds from the parent institution or
dedicated digital scholarship budgets also help to support this work at almost a quarter of the libraries.
Some respondents noted that specific tasks, such as scanning or digitizing materials, may be fee-based or
part of a cost-recovery model (Q25).
Previous Page Next Page