88 Survey Results: Survey Questions and Responses
Frequency is relative, and disciplines vary based on which library unit or person researchers are
approaching. For example, STEM researchers approach most often for data support humanities are
seeking support from our SCC or special collections. In general, we are not overwhelmed with requests
for DS support or partnerships.
It would be more often if we marketed our services, but that is not a priority now because we don’t have
enough resources to do so.
Many of the STEM and social science departments have in-house technical staff to support database
development, data analysis and visualization, and other foundational technologies.
Often, but the needs expressed are different. STEM: data management and finding funding
humanities: primary sources and items that can be digitized from the collection in order to analyze
trends social sciences: data sets to use as primary sources, how to visualize data.
Science-related support most often happens outside the library in labs. We have a very active digital
humanities center and digital social science center in our libraries.
Since founding the Alabama Digital Humanities Center in 2010, partnerships have been forged with
faculty and graduate students in over 15 different disciplines and departments across the university,
ranging from English, History, Modern Languages and Classics, to Art and Art History, Religious
Studies, Music, and Clothing, Textiles, and Interior Design. Our philosophy is very much one of
partnership and collaboration: this is not a drop-off service center, but rather seeks to establish
consultative teams to work on projects, bringing together subject-specific expertise of faculty
members alongside specialized IT, metadata, and project management expertise from within the
University Libraries to bring a wide range of projects to life in a collaborative environment. We
have supported more than 70 projects of varying scale, from long-term research endeavors to more
immediate pedagogically rooted work. The long-term research initiatives have involved establishing
partnerships not only across campus but also with other institutions including Somerville College,
Oxford, to make a searchable online archive of nineteenth-century materials, and St. Louis Public
Library to digitize rare twentieth-century newspaper holdings. On campus, we have worked with over
30 different undergraduate courses in 12 fields most recently the DH Center worked with faculty in
our Engineering Library to provide 3-D printing instruction for students in a quality control course
in Clothing, Textiles, and Interior Design, whilst at a graduate level the ADHC has supported classes
involving textual encoding (TEI) and digital visualizations in Modern Languages and Classics, and in
the Department of English.
Social sciences served most often due to GIS, research data, and statistics needs.
The digital scholarship support in the libraries is brand new this academic year, and has focused at first
on the humanities and will build out from there.
The DSC’s non-library clientele represents all disciplines, but to date projects are sourced primarily
in humanities, social sciences, and professional schools (journalism, media studies, etc.). Other DS
activities occur in branch locations for Science, Architecture and Allied Arts, etc.
The frequency may be more of a reflection of perceived resources than actual demand.
The kind of support required varies—for example, scientists and social scientists are more likely to seek
GIS support, whereas humanists tend to be more interested in working on digital collections.
The Libraries tracks only general use statistics we don’t have concrete knowledge about where
researchers are coming from.
The library has only had a few DS-related requests, but is moving towards being more supportive and
able to support such efforts.
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