Introduction: Projects, Partnerships and Collaborations: Service Models for Digital Scholarship


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Introductory slides and remarks for the panel "Projects, Partnerships and Collaborations: Service Models for Digital Scholarship" held at the 2012 Digital Library Federation Forum.

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  • Good morning. I’m Mike Furlough from Penn State University, and I am the moderator/respondent for this morning’s session titled “Projects, Partnerships and Collaborations: Service Models for Digital Scholarship.” This morning’s panel will highlight services that support “digital scholarship” at three University Libraries:  Cornell, New York University, and the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.   We intend for these three presentations to spark a broader discussion about how we in our libraries support digital scholarship in all disciplines. There are challenges to doing so: budget, service models, uncertainty over what is needed, faculty apathy. 
  • What do we mean by digital scholarship?    Abby Smith Rumsey has provided one definition in the report out from the 9th Scholarly Communications Institute based on UVA.  “Digital scholarship is the use of digital evidence and method, digital authoring, digital publishing, digital curation and preservation, and digital use and reuse of scholarship.” I’ll speculate that this definition tends to lean towards the humanities and non-quantitative social sciences. But it is still broad enough to cover work in all fields.  We may see that the each institution may emphasize certain aspects over others, as each one stakes out a space and services models that in some way extend library services beyond our historical boundaries.  In the past five years or so, there are three broad types of services for digital scholarship that we have heard about a lot at DLF and many other similar forums:Publishing services, beginning with institutional repositories and extending through adoption of tools such as Open Journal Systems. Research data management & curation services, including consultation in drafting data management plans for NSF, holding workshops, offering repository services to researchers. Supporting the “digital humanities,” which may include anything from the Scholars Lab at UVA, graduate student training, or support for complex web-based projects using primary resources.  You will probably want to highlight others.  The degree of sophistication and depth of capacity for these services vary quite a bit, as you might expect for activities we often label “experimental,” or “new.”   We have a way of talking about these various programs that always seems to lead to a frequent refrain:  
  • “Things really need to change in libraries!”What things?   All kinds of things!  Everything!   The types of services we offer,  the funding models we rely upon,  our willingness to take risks,  our organizational structures,  our own specific organization,  the types of people we hire,  he types of people we work with,  the people we work with,  YOU!   In other words, each one of those activities--publishing, data curation, and digital humanities support--raises larger questions about priorities, resource management, culture, and even mission.  Several recent blog posts and reports about the library’s role in supporting digital scholarship quite nicely.
  • Example 1: Jahnke, Asher, and Keralis: Library should become active and engage researchers, who still perceive the library as an information provider, not an information manager/organizer or creator.
  • Example 2: *Miriam Posner: Institutional and administrative factors impede our ability to tackle DH.
  • Example 3: *Bethany Nowviskie:  Library as service model is part of the problem: model the process of creation.  We are researchers/creators ourselves.Speaking today as "Institutional and Administrative Factor"  I believe that these three posts very basic question:  
  • "Is research the Libraries mission?"  
  • If yes, what do we mean by that?  Yes, librarians do research, yes we facilitate research.  But these can be in tension. How do we do/facilitate at the same time?Can we provide models and basic customer service at the same time? How do we balance out the desire to invest with the imperative to run still-valued services and/or downscale others humanely?How do we sell to our funders (students, faculty, provosts, donors)  the Library as Creator/Instigator as opposed to Library as Collector/Service?I don’t have an answer for those, but we wanted you to be thinking about these questions this morning as we go through the presentations and discussion. 
  • Here’s how this morning will work.  For the next hour or so, until the break, we’ll have our three panels outline how they are providing, planning for, and preparing themselves for digital scholarship services.    After each panel, we will take 5 minutes for questions and then move briskly to the next.  I will follow these presentations and offer some observations on common themes and challenges that will lead us back to some of those big questions I just posed.AFTER THE BREAK, we’ll come back, and have some brief back and forth among the panelists. This should lead us into a group discussion that includes all of the audience.   Intro the titles of presentations. Presenters introduce themselves. 1. North Carolina2.  New York 3.  Cornell We will take time for 1 or 2 brief clarifying questions after each presentation (5 minutes)
  • Introduction: Projects, Partnerships and Collaborations: Service Models for Digital Scholarship

    1. 1. Projects, Partnerships andCollaborations: Service Models for Digital Scholarship Digital Library Federation Forum November 5, 2012
    2. 2. “Digital scholarship is the use of digital evidenceand method, digital authoring, digitalpublishing, digital curation andpreservation, and digital use and reuse ofscholarship.” Abby Smith Rumsey New-Model Scholarly Communication: Road Map for Change Report from Scholarly Communication Institute 9
    3. 3. “Things really need to change in Libraries!”
    4. 4. “There is a clear need for libraries to move beyondpassively providing technology to embrace thechanges in scholarly production that emergingtechnologies have brought. Few researchers see thelibrary as a partner, and most of the researchers inthis study seemed to regard the library as adispensary of goods (i.e., books, articles) ratherthan a locus for badly needed, real-timeprofessional support.” Lori Jahnke and Andrew Asher, Spencer D. C. Keralis The Problem of Data, CLIR Report #156
    5. 5. “In my experience, many of the barriers tocompleting digital humanities projects in thelibrary arise not from librarians themselves, butfrom a set of institutional and administrativefactors that will be familiar to most people inLibraryland.” Miriam Posner “What are some challenges to doing DH in the Library?”
    6. 6. “What if we saw our libraries’ obligation to thedigital humanities community as being less aboutthe provision of smooth and reliable services andmore about modeling the digital humanities beingdone right for traditional faculty and grad students– and for the present & future generations of DHscholars & #alt-ac professionals?” Bethany Nowviskie “A Skunk in the Library”
    7. 7. Is research the Libraries mission?
    8. 8. Is research the Libraries mission? Of course it is.What do you mean by “research?”
    9. 9. Our Speakers1. From Project to…Services? Jenn Riley, University of North Carolina2. Introducing NYU to Digital Scholarship: A Faculty-Library Partnership Monica McCormick, Annette Smith, and Jennifer Vinopal, New York University3. Collaborative Service Models: Building Support forDigital Scholarship Jason Kovari, Wendy Kozlowski, and Danielle Mericle, Cornell University