This past June I went to my first ALA conference seeking inspiration on what to do next. I had just put in my two weeks notice at a paraprofessional library job to focus on which final classes to pursue for my Master’s in Information. In between linked data and zine panels I met up with a classmate, Camille Thomas, who opened my mind to the idea of an internship with FSU’s Office of Digital Research and Scholarship. She spoke positively about her graduate assistantship experience and how I could apply myself in this new field. Right before the semester began, I met the DRS team for the internship interview via Hangouts, since I’m based in central Florida. Apparently Camille also recruited an intern for them the year before, and I’ve since joked that she should consider asking the office for referral bonuses because I signed up right away.
With the approaching Symposium on Invisible Work in the Digital Humanities, I’ve been thinking increasingly about my transition from graduate work in a “traditional academic department” to working in a library. As a graduate student, I was aware of the fact that my work was rendered invisible by the fact that it was often not treated as work. Indeed, until very recently, graduate assistantships at private universities were not treated as real employees. And often graduate students are ineligible to become PIs on grants, or receive other opportunities that would allow them to advance in the field. Central to the idea that graduate students don’t “do real work” is the idea that their labor and research is somehow secondary or derivative of “real work” done by faculty. Even in the digital humanities, graduate labor is figured as research assistantships, project management positions, and coordination.
The issue of “centrality” in a research project (especially a funded research project in which there are “principal investigators”) is a problem for DH researchers in libraries as well as for graduate students. As a recent article in Digital Humanities Quarterly entitled “Student Labour and Training” points out, graduate student research outputs often come in the form of less academically viable formats (like blog posts and social media). The authors note that students’ “lack of involvement in the dissemination of project outcomes […] prevents both students and the academic field as a whole from seeing student research as tantamount to faculty research.” Arguably, the traditional outputs of conference papers and single- or co-authored publications allow students more room to diverge from the PI’s stated goals for the project. The idea that students could be writing and generating scholarly products that expand upon, rather than simply feed into, a faculty members’ stated goals is somewhat jarring in an academic landscape. To many, graduate students are apprentices rather than budding practitioners in their own right.
As I moved into the realm of practitioner (in the sense that I was considered a valid employee by FLSA and NLRA), I began to realize that, while some issues of labor disappeared, the issue of centrality to research remained. I have had the good fortune to work in a library that is open to exploring digital scholarship, and has indeed encouraged my efforts in the digital humanities. Yet, there is a still-persistent underlying question about the utility of some of the work I have done: “How are you serving the existing needs of the scholarly community?” Often, especially when new initiatives have been posed, the immediate question has been “Have you done a climate survey?” or “What are the preexisting needs of the campus community?” My reaction to this sentiment has been similar to that of Dot Porter’s to the OCLC report “Does Every Research Library Need a Digital Humanities Center”:
It is galling for these professionals to be told, as they are in the OCLC report, that “the best decision is to observe what the DH academics are already doing and then set out to address gaps,” and “What are the DH research practices at your institution, and what is an appropriate role for the library? What are the needs and desires of scholars, and which might your library address?” and especially “DH researchers don’t expect librarians to know everything about DH, and librarians should not presume to know best [my italics].” What if the librarians are the DH researchers? What if we do, in fact, know best? Not because we are brilliant, and not because we are presumptuous, but because we have been digital humanists for a while ourselves so we know what it entails?
I understand the impulse from librarians to take their cues from researchers in more “traditional” academic departments, especially considering the fact that library and information science is considered a social science, where climate surveys, environmental scans, and other such methodologies are common. However, the fact is that in the context of digital humanities, librarianship and information science as disciplines have greatly influenced the types of intellectual work that is being done in the field. To artificially remove this influence from the equation is a disservice both to librarians and to potential collaborators.
Part of this problem comes back to the issue of “centrality” I mentioned with graduate work. Acting as if the library’s (or a librarian’s) goals should be derived from the goals of faculty limits the potential impact of scholarship from librarians, either through limiting the media or venue through which it can be disseminated or limiting the findings it is allowed to make. And it’s not just the idea that librarians should be in service to faculty; it’s the idea that libraries (as organizations) generate priorities based on faculty priorities, which then filter seamlessly down to the librarians doing on-the-ground work. When talking about the complexities of librarians’ work (or service), Trevor Muñoz points out the significance of the venue of publication for the first major special issue on digital humanities librarianship: “Attending critically to this context means noting that this very welcome special issue on digital humanities and libraries was published in journal devoted to library administration” (emphasis in original). However, I would like to point out the significance of framing digital humanities as, primarily, a discussion for library administrators. It is, of course. However, it also contributes to the idea of DH in libraries as being a top-down issue, rather than one that is done in exploratory ways by librarians that feeds up into wider library (and, yes, university) goals.
Even the promotional materials for the Invisible Work Symposium betrays some of the underlying sentiment about the role that libraries play in the wider university community. From the announcement:
Imagine, for example, a typical project between a professor of history and a university digital scholarship center. Is the digital scholarship center simply providing a service, or are they considered an equal partner in the work? […] Similarly, the digital scholarship center might be thinking about recycling the resulting code for use in other projects, contributing to broader digital scholarly efforts, and so on.
In this scenario, the labor of the “digital scholarship center” is always collectivized and always working with the intention of feeding into broader efforts. The assumption that there is always one mission for a group of library staff and that this mission is univalent and universally agreed-upon. I think that this view reduces the impact that individual librarians actually play in research projects. Which is not to say that libraries don’t have unified (and often stated) goals. Libraries frequently use strategic initiatives to promote specific areas, focus collection development and digitization around specific subjects, and play to the strengths of their employees and the wider university community. However, I’d like to posit that this is no different than how departments look for candidates in key areas or conduct cluster hires for faculty positions.
I think the main problem is that flattening the various perspectives and individual research interests of librarians exacerbates perceptions of library staff as “in service.” By acting as if librarians prioritize research solely upon the basis of administrative-level or department-wide mandates, we are basically saying that the work of librarians is fungible: “Anyone who can do this prescribed work in a procedural manner is qualified to do this job.” In treating the laborers who build and sustain infrastructure, design metadata schemas, and preserve and provide access to research as essentially fungible we are treating library spaces as neutral and failing to acknowledge the rhetorical and political impact of universities as sites of knowledge production. Pushing back against this notion is especially critical in a time when administrators see libraries as primarily empty student space, and when outsiders ask “Why do you need libraries/librarians when you have Google?”
Since so many of the methods from the digital humanities are the intellectual descendents of research done in library and information science, it makes sense that librarians would own their intellectual contributions to DH work. In order to give librarians the institutional power to assert their ownership of their research, it is essential for us to acknowledge that library employees’ research agendas are not simply derivative of wider library goals (generated in some sort of nondescript aether of environmental scans). Rather the opposite is the case: the research interests of individual employees are essential to shaping the type of work that is done at an institutional level.
There is a serious, systemic problem in scholarly publishing that disadvantages academic authors, their institutions, the global research community, and the general public. The problem stems from the subscription-based model of scholarly publishing, whereby publishers place academic journal articles behind paywalls so that anyone can’t pay can’t read them.
Open Access (OA) is a movement based on the principle that this situation is fundamentally unjust, and that the fruits of academic endeavor should be freely available to everyone. OA archiving and publishing are the two main strategies for accomplishing this goal, and they promise to benefit both the global research community and individual authors, moving published research into the open and thereby broadening its readership and generating more citations. OA is also fast becoming a requirement for recipients of research funding, as many public and private funding agencies are enacting public access policies to make the results of funded research accessible to all.
Open Access Week, Oct. 24-30, is an opportunity for the global research community to learn more about this important movement and the many ongoing efforts to make it the new norm in research and scholarship. To celebrate the occasion, FSU Libraries is hosting a number of workshops related to OA publishing, and we hope you’ll join us to learn more about OA and how it can benefit you as a student, teacher, or researcher. In addition, we’d also like to take this opportunity to highlight some important milestones in efforts to advance OA at FSU over the past year:
- The launch of DigiNole, FSU’s Research Repository, on a new, open-source software platform
- The adoption of a new Faculty Senate Open Access Policy by unanimous vote
- The adoption of a new University Public Access Policy for Research Publications
- The launch of Open Access @ FSU, a new website to support faculty participation in the Senate OA Policy
So, what can you do to advance the cause of OA and start taking advantages of the benefits it can bring to you as a scholar?
- Check out these short video interviews with FSU faculty: Xan Nowakowski, Mark Riley
- Come to one of our upcoming workshops to learn more about OA
- Read your publication contracts and understand your rights as an author
- Deposit your papers in DigiNole, FSU’s research repository
- Explore OA publication venues like the Public Library of Science
- Endorse OA on campus: talk about OA with your friends and colleagues, and consider signing an OA declaration
- Contact us to schedule a presentation on OA publishing for your next departmental meeting, graduate seminar, or campus event
For more information, see our research guide on Open Access, or contact Devin Soper, Scholarly Communications Librarian at FSU Libraries’ Office of Digital Research & Scholarship. And don’t forget to follow the conversation on Twitter! #OAweekFSU
Digital research and scholarship is a developing and exciting field – and there are equally many new and exciting tools to choose from. LEAD (Locate, Enhance, Aggregate and Demonstrate) your research to success by using the platforms outlined below! Continue reading Getting Started: Four Tools to LEAD Your Research
For budding digital humanists, it can often be difficult to know what you need to learn. On top of writing for courses, exams, presentations, and learning the traditional work of your field, you now need to learn a series of unfamiliar methods and terms (many of them opaque acronyms: RDF, TEI, JSON). Even knowing where to ask for help is a challenge, since DH resources are frequently scattered across campus.
If you’re attuned to channels of communication in the digital humanities, you’ve probably seen a lot of learning opportunities this summer: DHSI in Victoria, HILT in Indiana, the DH conference (in Kraków this year). All of these are excellent places to immerse yourself in the field of digital humanities and to learn about the great work current scholars in the field are doing. There’s only one problem: these conferences and training events are prohibitively expensive. Even with scholarships and waived tuition, it can be very difficult to get yourself across the country (or the globe!) to learn about DH, especially if you’re in school.
This is why the Office of Digital Research and Scholarship is offering a 10-week workshop series on topics in the digital humanities. These classes are designed with busy students and scholars in mind. We will be offering two sessions per each weekly course, with one session in Strozier library and another in a different building on campus. The workshops are divided into “hack” and “yack”: sessions that are discussion-based and sessions focusing on learning a new tool or DH skill, respectively.
We’ll be offering sessions on the following topics:
- Getting Started in the Digital Humanities
- Markdown and GitHub
- Managing Digital Projects
- Text Analysis and Visualization
- Copyright and Digital Projects
- Introduction to Text Encoding
- Digital Tools in the Classroom
- Network Visualization
- Publishing in the Digital Humanities
Come join us in exploring this exciting new area!
*Micah’s Note: This is a guest post from Matt Hunter, who interned with me this past academic year. Matt’s enthusiasm and knowledge were an incredible asset to DRS this year, as we established our office, hosted events, and kicked off our program of digital humanities support. His time and efforts provided great momentum, and we’ll be the lesser without him. Good luck Matt!
Over the past academic year, my last in the MLIS program at FSU’s iSchool, I worked as an intern in the Office of Digital Research and Scholarship (DRS). I joined the DRS in the summer of 2015 after connecting with classmate Camille Thomas, who worked under Micah at the time. Camille spoke of some cool vaguely-digital projects underway down in the Stygian depths of Strozier Library’s basement, and I asked if I couldn’t join in on the fun.
My introduction to digital work in libraries was a weekly “R&D” group meeting where some nascent DRS staff brainstormed media-rich mapping projects to build a portfolio of a tools and services to support. Although the project ended up falling through a couple weeks later, it was still cool to play around with HistoryPin and the library’s digital collections. Looking back now, that brainstorm session couldn’t have been more ideal; we covered a variety of digital scholarship topics in one meeting – content development, tool analysis and selection, copyright considerations, to name just a few – and even had to deal with what happens when a project fails! After two semesters working on projects, reviewing tools, writing proposals, and learning more about modern librarianship than I could imagine, I still think back to that first discussion as a distinct turning point in my library career.
As a new office in a new area of librarianship, DRS is somewhat unique and unfettered by tradition and long-established departmental rules or guidelines. This freedom allowed me to blaze my own path in projects, and be part of a creative support network spreading across campus. I jumped onto as many projects as I feasibly could, and covered a pretty wide spread. Over the year, I worked on things ranging from metadata entry to drafting a digital humanities strategic plan for FSU Libraries, to digital publishing. Here’s some of the highlights.
Internship, Fall 2015:
This semester was dedicated to learning how librarians worked in the research process of universities, and understanding the state of digital scholarship as a discipline.
- Il Secolo metadata – The very first week working for Micah and DRS, I was assigned some “proper intern work” – cleaning up metadata records for a 19th-Century Italian newspaper housed in the FSU Digital Library. This was my first introduction to digital library systems, and despite Micah’s efforts to relegate me to Data Entry Intern, I used the experience to explore the guts of Islandora.
- Digital Bibliography project – This started out as a simple faculty request for the management and display of a bibliography online. After researching possibilities, I developed a (semi-)functional prototype, which can be viewed here. The faculty member liked it enough to pitch it to DRS’s upcoming Project Enhancement Network and Incubator (PEN and Inc.) program for full development support!
- Digital Scholarship Symposium!
- I learned the ropes of Voyant, a text-analysis tool, and assisted Abby Scheel, Humanities Librarian, with her workshop. We played with different visualizations from the North American Slave Narratives
- I was also introduced to Tableau and CartoDB, providing cool entry points into mapping that I now have in my quiver of tools.
- I took the initiative to develop a Digital Humanities Strategic Plan, outlining how FSU Libraries might develop services and support infrastructure to support non-STEM researchers doing digital scholarship. After interviewing a handful of faculty who were already heavily involved with digital humanities research at FSU on what they would like to see, I drafted and presented this plan, which is under consideration and has been (I’m told) used as the framework for future support plans! This was a huge experience for me.
- Acronym/abbreviation research: I had briefly heard of some of the alphabet-soup of topics DRS worked with on a daily-basis, but to go from recognizing to being able to knowledgeably talk about OA, TEI, DataViz, GIS, CC, Digischol, DH, TaDiRah, DiRT, R, and all the names of tools and processes that are thrown around took a goodly chunk of the first few months of my time. There is a serious reliance on jargon in the office, and it took a while to really be able to keep up! Micah also likes to coin business-y sounding new buzzwords for fun, which is weird – “coordinize”? “re:mergence”? I fought him on this a few times. It was a good time.
- Scalar, Zotero, Slack – Among the dozens of other tools I was exposed to I spent the most with these three. Scalar and Zotero because of the bibliography project I was working on, but Slack was a great way to communicate with the team outside of my in-person hours and really helped with feeling like I was connected to and a part of the office. Being able to send emoji in “work” correspondence was also pretty cool.
- Signed on for Internship Part 2! As December rapidly approached, I realized I wasn’t where I wanted to be with the completion of some of the projects I had spearheaded, and I asked the team if they wouldn’t mind if I stuck around for just a little bit longer so I could wrap things up as best I could. This set the stage for Internship, Part Deux.
Internship, Part 2: The Internship Strikes Back
- Percolator – When Sarah Stanley joined the team in November, she brought a ton of cool ideas to the table, one of which was having an open space and time for anyone to come discuss digital projects. I loved the idea because it put the library center stage as a valuable part of the scholarship process (something that I’ve come to feel very strongly about being a Good Thing To Do). We started hosting the Percolator every Wednesday 3p-5p, and this is where I spent most of my intern time. These meetings were absolutely amazing introductions to new ideas and tools. For example, I:
- learned how to use TEI to encode a 19th Century cookbook with elements that could be referenced and queried in corpus searches;
- looked at ArcGIS projects to see socio-economical divides in food availability between greengrocers and fast-food shops
- Publish or Perish: Conversations on Academic Publishing and the Institute on Copyright in Higher Education – in February, I took a few days off from my real job to attend these fantastic events hosted by the library on the topics of publishing and copyright. I can’t say nearly enough about how amazing the speakers were or how much I learned from taking part in the conversations that happened those two days, but I am incredibly grateful I got the chance to attend and learn so much.
- Proposed and presented at THATCamp Florida! – This was one of the cooler experiences I had in my internship year, for a bunch of different reasons. The biggest is that this “un-conference” was really the first time I felt like I knew enough about digital scholarship stuff to talk knowledgeably about it and not feel like I was faking it. My proposed session there was supposed to be a conversation about funding and research and libraries, but it ended up with me just talking about how things work at FSU (as I understand them). This was fine and well and good, and still a fantastic experience, but my main takeaways from this conference came from outside my own session.
- Proposed (and was accepted to present) a paper at the 2016 Keystone Digital Humanities conference with Sarah! – Because my traditional academic background (Classics/Latin) values papers and conferences so highly, I feel like this acceptance (and the super awesome paper we’re going to present) is the encapsulation of my accomplishments in the internship. Talking about funding and digital humanities at a conference with notable and highly-respected players in the digital humanities fields is beyond anything I could have expected when I joined the team last summer, and I think it’s rather fitting that it’ll be a year after my original R&D meeting. I am beyond excited about this opportunity, and I can’t wait until June!
Maps have long served as a tool for colonialism, by promoting conquest, dividing up land, and asserting ownership. This 16th century Europa Regina map exemplifies this, by positioning Europe as a world ruler, and sequestering other continents off to the sidelines. Indeed, maps often distort the size and shape of the world, so that European powers seem the most prominent and powerful within the image.
The advent of many new digital tools has given us means to push back against the dominant narratives that maps tell us about our world. Tools like this map puzzle allow us to see how projections distort the sizes of certain countries. Mapping projects like those at Radical Cartography give us a window into how we can represent geospatial information differently and critically.
Digital platforms like Wikipedia also give us the opportunity to present new and different information about the world that could not necessarily be contained in paper resources. In that spirit, the Office of Digital Research and Scholarship is hosting a Wikipedia Edit-a-thon, in collaboration with the Department of Art History and the Caribes project. The focus of the edit-a-thon will be topics related to the Caribbean. We will edit and correct existing pages to add more resources, citations, and information. We will also create new pages about important topics that have not been entered into Wikipedia yet.
For the occasion, I decided to create a map of the Wikipedia stubs related to the Caribbean. I focused on the Caribbean buildings and structures stub list, since this project is a collaboration with an Caribbean architecture project (Caribes). I found the geographical coordinates for all of the entries that were categorized as stubs. This allows us to visualize the areas of the Caribbean that have less complete information in Wikipedia.
Mapping could be used to visualize many other gaps in Wikipedia’s information base, and this is certainly not the only area in which Wikipedia is lacking. However, digital tools and resources like digital maps and Wikipedia could allow us to shift the focus towards important but underrepresented figures, events, and movements in the world’s history. However, we can only accomplish this if we put time into building out those information sources.
Join us this Thursday April 14th, from 10a-2p in the Art and Design Library (2020 WJB) for the Caribbean Wikipedia edit-a-thon. Bring a laptop if you can, and we’ll provide the training, treats, and text resources.
Here at FSU, we are starting to create connections between different members of the campus digital humanities community. Now, we hope to build a network within a wider global community.
Day of DH is a yearly event where digital humanists from across the globe share what digital humanities means for them. This year’s theme, “Just what do digital humanists really do?,” is meant to highlight the day-to-day work of a those identifying with the larger DH community.
FSU is picking up steam on the teaching and learning side of DH. Our Program in Interdisciplinary Humanities is launching an M.A. in Digital Humanities and is accepting its first class this fall. Dr.’s Lisa Wakamiya and Allen Romano are at the helm of that program, and working diligently to interweave broad research interests, affiliated faculty from around campus, and the libraries into a rich program of study.
University Libraries plays an active role in the DH community. Our Office of Digital Research and Scholarship and Special Collections and Archives department are center points for content and expertise on developing digital projects. We are excited to partner on the upcoming symposium, Invisible Work in Digital Humanities, set for Nov. 17-18th. We are also developing a model for growing our DH community, pedagogy, and projects simultaneously: we percolate (open office hours), incubate (structured proposal/project development cohort), and then accelerate (project management and completion.)
Finally, we are proud to feature the work of a few faculty members doing digital humanities here in Tallahassee in the featured profiles below. This list is by no means exhaustive, just the 6 folks that emailed us back to be included here. 😉
Our Digital Humanists
Digital humanities work is being conducted across several departments, from the iSchool to the department of English. FSU is even starting to think about how to do work collaboratively across multiple departments:
Paul F. Marty is a Professor in the School of Information at Florida State University. His research and teaching interests include museum informatics, technology and culture, innovation and design, and information and society. His academic work centers on the study of museum informatics, which explores the sociotechnical interactions that take place between people, information, and technology in museums. He has long been interested in how digital technologies can improve understanding of and access to our shared culture, and his research in this area looks at the intersection of technology and culture in our schools, our professions, and our everyday lives.
The Linked Women Pedagogues Project is a multidisciplinary collaboration between myself and Dr. Tarez Graban, Dr. Stephen McElroy (FSU Department of English) and Sarah Stanley (FSU Libraries, Office of Digital Research and Scholarship). The LWP project will extend Dr. Graban’s work to simultaneously trace the intellectual influence of women in the field of rhetoric and writing studies and contribute to critical historiography. Women’s archival representation in rhetoric and writing studies has been flattened by the incremental circulation of their texts, projecting significant gaps in public canons from about the 1870s to 1970. Sometimes these gaps are the result of archival collecting practices, but in other cases they are due to the contingent or untenured positions held by women pedagogues. This combination of archival practice and institutional mobility makes it more difficult to locate them in traditional venues such as conference programs, published textbooks, or faculty course lists, inspiring us to look for other locations or spaces where their influences might be visible. In response, LWP moves feminist historical inquiry towards a model of locatability: a flexible ecology that describes how histories get written as a result of historians’ interventions with them, how those histories get valued or devalued through the circulation of archival resources, and how intellectual capital is assigned or not assigned through various history writing practices.
FSU has several projects that bring together areas of study from across the globe, from Japan to Serbia to Italy. The following is just a sampling of the work being done today.
Understanding the Japanese Tea Ceremony (chanoyu) requires experiencing it in person and through one’s own hands. My course The Tea Culture of Japan (Spring 2016), in addition to traditional text-based learning, offers students access to the actual rare materials that are at the heart of chanoyu: they participate in a hands-on tea ceremony at the Tallahassee Buddhist Community, they make tea bowls with the CeramiNOLES (FSU’s student-led ceramics club), participate in a student-led Kimono workshop, and join a session led by a collector of traditional Japanese objects. As preparation for this fieldwork we use media analysis. Using the Mediathread online platform, I created two assignment that involve the analysis of visual media: in one of them students annotate collaboratively the film Rikyû (1989), which depicts the origins of chanoyu; in the other, students upload an image of a material object and annotate it on the screen. Both assignments ask students to comment on each other’s annotations. Students have consistently reported that these media analysis assignments contribute to their knowledge, capacity of critical evaluation, and interest in the discipline of chanoyu. Mediathread was developed by Columbia University; this summer I will work with a group of Computer Science majors at FSU to develop a similar tool for our specific environment.
The Southeastern Europe Digital Documentation Project (SEEDD) is a collaborative effort with Brown University’s Dr. Anne Chen. SEEDD aims to document and promote the prominence of southeastern Europe in the archaeology of the middle and late Roman empire. Sarah Craft, a Postdoctoral Fellow in Classics, is currently working with the Digital Research and Scholarship (DRS) team to develop a prototype with which to test and demonstrate the flexibility and usefulness of such an endeavor. As such, the SEEDD Project has a strong pedagogical component: undergraduate students in Dr. Craft’s current ARH4154/5161 Archaeology of the Later Roman Empire course are basing their final projects on SEEDD documentation procedures, and in the process, they are gaining important research skills while also contributing to an active research project.
In collaboration with the FSU Libraries Digital Research and Scholarship team, I recently completed a first sample of the digitization of the Italian newspaper Il secolo. As many other fragile primary sources, Il secolo was until now accessible only in situ, at Italian National Libraries, in microfilm or CD form. The digitization that is currently presented by FSU allows access to Il secolo from anywhere. While our hope is that each user will find different applications and ways to interact with Il secolo, the primary uses that we have envisaged in creating this resource are research and teaching oriented. The digitization enables researchers to easily access the periodical as a primary material source for their scholarly work. It also gives teachers the flexibility to use it in a classroom setting, as a resource tool through which students can acquaint themselves with the lexicon, style, and content of such an innovative newspaper. Within both contexts, Il secolo can be used as a linguistic tool, to analyze how the Italian language has changed since then; as a thematic and historical reference, to understand what events were deemed newsworthy by the journalists and the public; and as a literary source, as it allows today’s readers to access the most widely read novels of the time (feuilletons), published in installments in each issue. Finally, Il secolo contains several individual authorial voices that are very important to our understanding of that time period, and in particular to the evolution of the political and social thought of the Democratici (broadly speaking, the representatives of the left and extreme left in and outside of Parliament) in the post-Unification years.
* Post actually written/drafted by Sarah Stanley, our resident/acutal digital humanities guru, who can teach herself any digital tool in less than a week. In preparation for a Wikipedia Edit-a-thon next week, a launch point for a larger project we’re involved in, Sarah mapped stub articles to help us visualize the lack of representation for Caribbean architecture on Wikipedia. In December, she taught herself Drupal, in a week, to spin up the Dr. Valisa’s Il Secolo project website. Sarah also Gephi-ized the network of digital people, places and projects here at FSU. Go Sarah, the ultimate DigiNole!
Perhaps you are a new professor at Florida State University. And perhaps you have some articles you would like to publish. However, there are a few things getting in your way:
- Publishing contracts often confusing and restrictive, leaving faculty with little control over their work once it has been published
- The journals you would like to publish in often keep your work behind a paywall so that only a fraction of the world’s population can access it (which decreases your the impact of your research)
- Journals that do allow you to make your work openly available often have high article processing charges (APCs) which you can’t necessarily afford
The Office of Digital Research and Scholarship at the University Libraries specializes in academic publishing and open access. If you have any questions about DigiNole or the OA policy, contact Devin Soper (850.645.2600), Scholarly Communications Librarian at Strozier Library.
It can be difficult to get started in interdisciplinary fields like the digital humanities, since people and resources are sometimes fractured and spread across different departments, schools, and even institutions. As a new staff member, I encountered this problem first hand. I often needed to know about the happenings in digital humanities around campus, but struggled to find out what goes on outside of my own department in the library. Since I am a member of the Office of Digital Research and Scholarship (and since we are always trying out and teaching digital research tools), I decided to use Gephi to solve this problem.
Gephi is used to create network graphs—visualizations that show connections between different things. The “things” that we are trying to connect are called “nodes” and the connections themselves are called “edges.” Scott Weingart’s excellent “Demystifying Networks, Parts I & II” provides a detailed overview of the terminology and logistics of networks.
In the context of my project, the “nodes” are people, projects, and places on FSU’s campus. The “edges,” lines, connect people to places and projects, and projects to places. All this data was compiled into two separate comma separated value (.csv) files: one that described the different nodes, and another that showed which nodes were connected to each other.¹ I then uploaded these files into Gephi’s data laboratory.
Gephi automatically generated a very simple, grey, and bland network graph. I then edited the view so that nodes displayed different colors depending on what type of node it was. People are purple, projects are green, and “places” (departments/discussion groups) are red. I then changed the display so that the nodes were generally evenly spaced, which allowed for better visibility.² I also made the node labels visible, which allows you to see the names of the different entities in the digital scholarship environment at FSU. And here’s what the graph looks like!
The FSU Digital Scholarship Network. For a larger, better-quality version of this image, click here
Now, this visualization is nowhere near the complete network of people doing digital work at FSU. It was really only generated from the people and projects that the Office of Digital Research and Scholarship has encountered in our short existence, but we will continue to expand this list as more people engage within and across this network at FSU. Our hope is that by visualizing the interconnectedness of different scholarly activities at FSU will facilitate the creation of new and better knowledge.³
If you are interested in starting a digital research project, but find this visualization overwhelming, please stop by the Percolator: our “Digital Scholarship Support Group”, every Wednesday from 3-5 on the lower level of Strozier in the Technology and Digital Scholarship suite. The Percolator is an informal space to workshop project proposals, explore new tools, and discuss issues in the field of digital scholarship.
FSU Libraries’ newly formed Office of Digital Research and Scholarship (DRS) provides support, infrastructure and consulting for technology-focused research projects in the areas of digital humanities, academic/digital publishing, data management, and more. We are focused on connecting people to people, building collaborative research partnerships across campus, and providing platforms for new forms of scholarship. Visit lib.fsu.edu/drs for more information.
¹ You can find the .csv files for this document here.
² I used a layout based on the “Fruchterman Reingold” algorithm, if you are looking to generate a graph like this one.
³ Are you doing digital work at FSU and not yet on our list? Add yourself here!