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Digital Humanities 2013: session notes

July 19, 2013
dh word cloud

made with cirrus via voyant tools

As I often do at library conferences, I’m publishing my lightly edited session notes from Digital Humanities 2013 held in Lincoln, Nebraska. First and foremost, I want to stress what a rewarding and worthwhile experience coming to DH has been. As a librarian engaged closely in the efforts to support and enable digital scholarship, it is critical for me to hear firsthand about the work being done, as well as to tap into many of the issues around DH and its current form and state.

Please note that these are just notes, so please comment with any corrections, rebuttals, improvements, or questions. In general, it should be clear where I’m taking notes and where I’m editorializing, but where it’s not, I’ve put my comments in italics. Also, even though most of the talks list multiple authors (findable via the links), since I’ve used third person singular references for the most part in my notes, only the presenter is listed below.

One last note: I took and prepared these notes using Draft, a super lightweight and sensible online editor that also direct publishes to WordPress and other outlets. Highly recommended


Uncovering the “hidden histories” of computing in the Humanities: findings and reflections of the pilot project
Julianne Nyhan, University College London

Posed a battery of questions at the outset, including the simple one concerning why everyone works in centres. Others concerned knowledge transfer, access to resources, judgment, etc. The key point is that there is no real history of computing in the humanities, so it’s time to explore this. Their method is oral history, focusing on individuals, not projects, specifically people working in the field between 1949 and 1989. They pose questions about their work and the use of computers. Read more…

Digital Humanites 2013: some commentary

July 19, 2013

It seemed to make sense to separate this personal commentary from the notes I took on various papers and presentations at Digital Humanities 2013. These are intended to capture the kind of things that occur to one while sitting in the venue actually listening to talks but that then quickly fade on the plane ride home as one’s brain returns to the matters awaiting one upon return. As such these are not intended to be entirely thought-out or nuanced observations, but rather perhaps as conversation starters. I hope to get a few comments that will help me arrive at that more reflective understanding of those thoughts bouncing around in my head. Read more…

Becoming a DOI publisher

June 27, 2013

doi-for-blogI presented a segment in the Scholars Portal Webinar Librarian, Publisher today, and thought it might be useful to share the slides I used more broadly. My main point was that it’s reasonable both in terms of cost and effort for libraries who are publishing scholarly content to mint and register DOIs with CrossRef. Doing so has myriad benefits, and sends a strong indication to scholars and readers that one is taking the role of publisher seriously.

Collaborative writing with Draft

April 12, 2013

This post represents a proof-of-concept test for a tool I recently started using. It's called Draft and bills itself as "easy version control and collaboration for writers." To abuse an oft-employed meme, they had me at version control. Google Docs is a great tool, but for straight up writing and editing, Draft removes nearly all of the mentally cluttering options and lets one just write. Better yet, it makes collaboration utterly painless. And then there's that version control … simply fantastic for those of us who enjoy iterative writing.

It's being developed by Nate Kontny and has been out there for about a month at this point, and he's already added new features. One that particularly appeals to me is the ability to publish directly to WordPress and other platforms, which is how I created this post.

CNI Spring 2013 notes

April 11, 2013
alamo - san antonio

flickr – OZinOH

Another great CNI membership meeting is behind us. Saw a wide range of presentations, and found myself wishing as usual that there weren’t so many offered in parallel. As always with these notes, I’ve placed my own editorial comments in italics to differentiate them from the speaker’s words.

Opening Plenary – From the Version of a Record to a Version of the Record
Herbert van de Sompel, Los Alamos NL

Scholarly communication now includes many assets beyond textual articles: datasets, software, blogs, et al. The challenges are to group assets and version them.

Gave a tour of the history of efforts to modernize scholarly communication. Read more…

Supporting digital scholarship

February 25, 2013

Thankfully, there’s more to my professional life than fending off nuisance lawsuits. I have a great job here at McMaster, where I get to do many wonderful things. One of the most exciting is serving as the Administrative Director of the Lewis & Ruth Sherman Centre for Digital Scholarship.

In that role, the Montana State University Library invited me to their campus recently to speak on digital scholarship and meet with various groups, including one charged with developing a plan for offering similar services. They filmed the talk and put it up on the Tube, so I thought I’d post it here since I’m often asked questions about digital scholarship and what we’re doing here to support it.

Thank you for the support

February 21, 2013

As anyone reading this has already heard elsewhere, I’m being sued by a press for publishing a critical review on this blog. For many months, this was a private matter, but it has now gone viral. The outpouring of support reaffirming my right to a professional opinion has been copious and reassuring. Librarians, faculty, and publishers have all spoken out against this suits.

The story does not end with the support. It will continue until the lawsuits are resolved, which may take some time. At this point, however, I would like to express my profound gratitude to everyone who has spoken out on my behalf. There are far too many individuals to name, so I say a simple thank you to everyone. In particular, I’m grateful to those who have written articles, started petitions, gathered links, archived posts/comments, and done any number of other things to help spread awareness and document the results. To date, over 2,600 3400 people from around the globe have signed the petition.

Many organizations have also issued statements, including:

I’ve surely missed some, so apologies for that, and please feel free to send me corrections/additions. I’m humbled by this public support from a wide range of professional and academic organizations.

UPDATE Feb 25, 2012: added AAUP and ALA. Am also adding others as they appear. The list grows!


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