31 SPEC Kit 350: Supporting Digital Scholarship
The library has tools and datasets that could support digital scholarship but that are not yet actively
promoted. Recently a digital humanities working group was established to review and make
recommendations on library services of this type.
The library supports the activities indicated above only if the digital scholarship is a direct use of
library collections (GIS services and 3-D printing are an exception to this).
The Research Service Strategic Initiative is currently developing a formalized data management
support service for all affiliated researchers. Since fall 2014, the Digital Humanities/Digital Scholarship
Strategic Initiative Group has developed and implemented DH learning opportunities, such as the
DH Speaker Series and THATCamp Cincinnati 2015. The Digital Humanities Strategist provides the
library leadership to this group, comprised of 22 interdisciplinary faculty members and students. This
group will shape the new campus-wide DH/DS Collaborative in 2016.
The Studio coordinates with the Office of Outreach and Engagement for many of its collaborations with
community partners.
The support for various projects is unequal across the university. Basic advice is given to all. Some
areas will provide services for free and others will be available for a fee. The amount of support for
digital scholarship is somewhat dependent on grant funding, finding partners, or through center
affiliation. The library, while trying not to duplicate services available elsewhere, is also providing all
digital scholarship services to all constituents at no cost other than personnel. At this time there is not a
charge-back mechanism in place in the libraries for digital scholarship services.
The units at our institution responsible for support to faculty (Library, Academic &Research
Technology, Research Computing, College of Arts &Sciences computing &Multimedia Learning
Center) coordinate our projects through monthly meetings. These meetings were started in order to
forge a better understanding of what each unit does as well as coordinate a response to faculty requests
for support.
The University Libraries partners closely with other units on campus to provide support for a broad
range of digital scholarship services. For example, the Libraries partners with LATIS on support for
digital humanities projects and courses.
There are many of the things listed above that we do internally as part of collections we are digitizing,
but would not do as a service for our users. I have answered that we provide support in situations where
we would have a more in-depth discussion or offer services, rather than have a casual conversation.
There is little coordination of marketing of these support services.
University affiliates are the primary audience of these services from the libraries.
We are actively working to develop the infrastructure and consultation capabilities at the library, and
we are doing this in collaboration with a number of groups across campus.
We are in the early stages of enhancing our support. We hired a digital scholarship specialist in
September. She is working on an environmental scan of campus needs part of that scan is a survey
that just closed. Data analysis will begin shortly. We were excited that she got responses from over
70 faculty and grad students in the humanities and social sciences. We will be happy to share results
when available.
We do not have hard and fast policies across all services, especially as costs vary significantly from
one service to another. For instance, we have offered support for unaffiliated scholars to add their
preprints to the IR, because of a relationship with an affiliated faculty member. We have digital projects
(Documenting Ferguson) that allow members of the general to submit content, but we do not typically
offer broad support for digital projects to members of the general public.
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