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Digital Scholarship in
the Humanities & Social
Sciences: Common
Themes
Allan Cho
Irving K. Barber Learning Centre
Woodward Library Working Group
Meeting - March 7, 2017
Why Humanities? Providing The Context
1. Common definition of digital scholarship?
2. Common themes between health,
sciences & humanities research
• data, GIS, open access, scholarly
communications, etc.
3. Supporting Faculty
• tenure, promotion, & review
4. Measuring digital scholarship -
• Alt-metrics? NYU Libraries
Areas of Digital Scholarship in the Humanities and
Social Sciences
• Examining Digital Objects from a Humanities Perspective - e.g.
fields of media studies and software studies
• Digital Pedagogy - technology in the classroom - e.g. course blogs,
websites, podcasts, webcasts, etc.
• Digital scholarly communication - using technology to explore new
forms of scholarly interactions - e.g. scholarly blogs, social media
• Digital Collections and Archives creation - digitizing and providing
access to physical and born-digital collections
• Humanities Computing - using computers to identify patterns in data
(texts and images) and then interpreting those patterns - text analysis,
GIS, network analysis
Solo Scholarship in the Humanities
Traditional humanities
scholars work in solitude and
on paper
• It is unusual to work in
partnership in the
humanities – and not
always looked upon kindly
in tenure evaluations
Tenure, Promotion, and Review in the
Humanities
In the contemporary tenure
system, receiving tenure
requires peer reviewed
monograph, promotion to full
professor requires at least a
second monograph
(Cheverie, 224)
Teaching versus Research Scholarship
Online teaching has gained wide
acceptance but online scholarship
has yet to achieve the same
acceptance and rewards as traditional
scholarship
• Digital scholarship can be “self-
published,” but in traditional
scholarship models it is looked
down on (Cross, pg. 550). National Library of
Austria]
Modern Languages Association (MLA)
Modern Languages Association (MLA) has taken a strong
leadership role, issuing Guidelines for Evaluating Work with Digital
Media in the Modern Languages in 2000
• The American Historical Association (AHA) sent a survey to
History Department Chairs
• Very few chairs indicated their departments had formal written
policies for assessing technology-related activities concerning
tenure (pg. 555)
• Technology is encouraged in teaching, but not research
Research Scholarship
• Whereas teaching conforms to an understood and
agreed curriculum and service is represented by
university committees, research is individual and
specialized.
• Research is the most highly regarded of the three
strands, yet the hardest to judge
• Most difficult for a general committee to assess
(Weller, 350)
Tenure, Promotion, and Review
• DH evaluation is held back with new forms of scholarship
because it lacks a roadmap for how to attribute credit
for digital projects
• Positive promotion and tenure decisions are based on
grants and publication in top-tier journals
• Who should be the referees of such projects, and with
what criteria for content, visual design, and engineering?
Tenure, Promotion, and Review
Applying traditional tenure
guidelines to digital
scholarship will fail, because
the traditional processes and
scholarship are profoundly
different
(Cheverie, pg 225)
References
Cross, Jeanne. Reviewing Digital Scholarship: The Need for Discipline-Based Peer Review. Journal of Web
Librarianship. 2(4): 2008- 549-566.
Anderson, Steve, and Tara McPherson. “Engaging Digital Scholarship: Thoughts on Evaluating Multimedia
Scholarship.” Profession 2011: 136-151.
Cheverie, Joan, Jennifer Boettcher, and John Buschman. “Digital Scholarship in the University Tenure and Promotion
Process: A Report on the 6th Scholarly Communication Symposium at Georgetown University Library.” Journal of
Scholarly Publishing. 40(3): 219-320, 2009.
Kirschenbaum, Matthew. “What is ‘Digital Humanities’ and Why Are They Saying Such Terrible Things About It?”
Differences. 25 (1).
Grusin, Richard. “The Dark Side of the Digital Humanities: Dispatches from Two Recent MLA Conventions.”
Differences. 25(1): 79-92, 2014.
Purdy, James, and Joyce Walker. “Valuing Digital Scholarship: Exploring the Changing Realities of Intellectual Work.”
Profession. 2010.
Weller, Martin. “Digital Scholarship and the Tenure Process as an Indicator of Change in Universities.” Universities
and Knowledge Society Journal. 9(2): 347-360, 2012.

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Digital Scholarship in the Humanities & Social Sciences

  • 1. Digital Scholarship in the Humanities & Social Sciences: Common Themes Allan Cho Irving K. Barber Learning Centre Woodward Library Working Group Meeting - March 7, 2017
  • 2. Why Humanities? Providing The Context 1. Common definition of digital scholarship? 2. Common themes between health, sciences & humanities research • data, GIS, open access, scholarly communications, etc. 3. Supporting Faculty • tenure, promotion, & review 4. Measuring digital scholarship - • Alt-metrics? NYU Libraries
  • 3. Areas of Digital Scholarship in the Humanities and Social Sciences • Examining Digital Objects from a Humanities Perspective - e.g. fields of media studies and software studies • Digital Pedagogy - technology in the classroom - e.g. course blogs, websites, podcasts, webcasts, etc. • Digital scholarly communication - using technology to explore new forms of scholarly interactions - e.g. scholarly blogs, social media • Digital Collections and Archives creation - digitizing and providing access to physical and born-digital collections • Humanities Computing - using computers to identify patterns in data (texts and images) and then interpreting those patterns - text analysis, GIS, network analysis
  • 4. Solo Scholarship in the Humanities Traditional humanities scholars work in solitude and on paper • It is unusual to work in partnership in the humanities – and not always looked upon kindly in tenure evaluations
  • 5. Tenure, Promotion, and Review in the Humanities In the contemporary tenure system, receiving tenure requires peer reviewed monograph, promotion to full professor requires at least a second monograph (Cheverie, 224)
  • 6. Teaching versus Research Scholarship Online teaching has gained wide acceptance but online scholarship has yet to achieve the same acceptance and rewards as traditional scholarship • Digital scholarship can be “self- published,” but in traditional scholarship models it is looked down on (Cross, pg. 550). National Library of Austria]
  • 7. Modern Languages Association (MLA) Modern Languages Association (MLA) has taken a strong leadership role, issuing Guidelines for Evaluating Work with Digital Media in the Modern Languages in 2000 • The American Historical Association (AHA) sent a survey to History Department Chairs • Very few chairs indicated their departments had formal written policies for assessing technology-related activities concerning tenure (pg. 555) • Technology is encouraged in teaching, but not research
  • 8. Research Scholarship • Whereas teaching conforms to an understood and agreed curriculum and service is represented by university committees, research is individual and specialized. • Research is the most highly regarded of the three strands, yet the hardest to judge • Most difficult for a general committee to assess (Weller, 350)
  • 9. Tenure, Promotion, and Review • DH evaluation is held back with new forms of scholarship because it lacks a roadmap for how to attribute credit for digital projects • Positive promotion and tenure decisions are based on grants and publication in top-tier journals • Who should be the referees of such projects, and with what criteria for content, visual design, and engineering?
  • 10. Tenure, Promotion, and Review Applying traditional tenure guidelines to digital scholarship will fail, because the traditional processes and scholarship are profoundly different (Cheverie, pg 225)
  • 11. References Cross, Jeanne. Reviewing Digital Scholarship: The Need for Discipline-Based Peer Review. Journal of Web Librarianship. 2(4): 2008- 549-566. Anderson, Steve, and Tara McPherson. “Engaging Digital Scholarship: Thoughts on Evaluating Multimedia Scholarship.” Profession 2011: 136-151. Cheverie, Joan, Jennifer Boettcher, and John Buschman. “Digital Scholarship in the University Tenure and Promotion Process: A Report on the 6th Scholarly Communication Symposium at Georgetown University Library.” Journal of Scholarly Publishing. 40(3): 219-320, 2009. Kirschenbaum, Matthew. “What is ‘Digital Humanities’ and Why Are They Saying Such Terrible Things About It?” Differences. 25 (1). Grusin, Richard. “The Dark Side of the Digital Humanities: Dispatches from Two Recent MLA Conventions.” Differences. 25(1): 79-92, 2014. Purdy, James, and Joyce Walker. “Valuing Digital Scholarship: Exploring the Changing Realities of Intellectual Work.” Profession. 2010. Weller, Martin. “Digital Scholarship and the Tenure Process as an Indicator of Change in Universities.” Universities and Knowledge Society Journal. 9(2): 347-360, 2012.