The project team for the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Digital Humanities Advancement Grant “Integrating Digital Humanities into the Web of Scholarship with SHARE” has begun its work exploring ways to use SHARE to make digital humanities (DH) projects more discoverable. This 2017–2018 planning grant involves a survey and focus groups of DH practitioners, and a workshop convening DH experts to identify potential uses for SHARE in aggregating metadata about DH scholarship. Updates on both of these efforts are provided below. Through these efforts the SHARE team hopes to better understand the human and technical requirements needed to enhance the discovery of all digital scholarship assets.
Survey on Digital Humanities Workflow
In November 2017, the project team administered a survey aimed at understanding how digital humanities faculty and staff discover, create, and reuse digital scholarship. Additionally, this survey sought to uncover workflows and tools that scholars use at each stage of their research process. While the full survey results are still being analyzed, early results provide interesting insight into these topics.
When asked to identify the typical outputs of a digital humanities project, the majority of respondents indicated that metadata, digital data, and digital images were regularly created.
The majority of respondents also indicated that they share some components of their research.
Results also indicate that the majority of the shared material is the raw assets.
One compelling result is the frequency with which researchers leverage university services to complete various project-related tasks, such as analytical support, grant writing, and more. The most prevalently used university service was the digital humanities/digital scholarship center, followed closely by the library.
Q: Which campus services did you involve in the following research activities for your DH project? [Select all that apply]
A full report of the survey results and analysis will be released by mid-February.
The Denver Workshop
In mid-February during the American Library Association (ALA) Midwinter Conference in Denver, Colorado, the SHARE team will convene approximately 40 invited experts in digital humanities practice, librarians, publishers, and managers of disciplinary and institutional repositories and related, large-scale, digital library projects to work on challenges in discovering DH scholarship. While some of those challenges are well-known—for example, the tendency for DH projects to live on stand-alone websites rather than in repositories, and the related complication of identifying and describing component parts of the work—the interventions and services to address them within the scholars’ workflow are less documented and understood. Through a combination of lightning talks and active working sessions, participants will collectively define key issues around DH project metadata, and how SHARE’s metadata-harvesting technology can integrate with the world of DH registries, identifiers, and repositories to improve discovery for this important area of scholarship.
The workshop will be facilitated by Nancy Maron of BlueSky to BluePrint, and the participants’ collective work will inform the grant project. The next phases of the project include site visits by project team members to DH centers (either based in libraries or not) and prototyping discovery tools using the SHARE harvester with institutional and/or disciplinary repositories or registries.