Digital Scholarship @ The Libraries

Inspiring innovative digital scholarship at the OSU Libraries and beyond

Month: September 2014

Fall 2014 meeting of the Editors’ Group


Stage curtains

Image by Flickr user sarflondondunc, licensed under CC BY-NC-ND

All OSU faculty, staff, and students who edit scholarly journals are welcome to join the OSU Journal Editors’ Group for its fall quarterly meeting. 

Tuesday, October 7th, 1-2pm
Thompson Library, room 165

Topic: A Look Behind the Curtain: How Libraries Decide What to Buy
Jan Maxwell, Collections Strategist, OSU Libraries

The meeting will consist mainly of open discussion on the topic. If you are interested in attending, please RSVP by email to Melanie Schlosser.

Upcoming Research Commons workshops on Digital Scholarship-related topics

If you haven’t already heard, the Libraries will soon be opening a sparkling new Research Commons on the third floor of the 18th Avenue Library. Aimed at faculty, graduate students, and others who are engaged in research, the RC will be

both a space and a suite of services to support researchers at Ohio State.  With the Research Commons, you can attend educational and training workshops, be referred to other research support services across campus, schedule consultations with our expert partners, and showcase your research output to the broader university community.”

While the physical space isn’t going to be ready until 2016, the RC is kicking off programming this fall with a series of workshops.  The Copyright Resources Center recently blogged about the workshops they’re facilitating. Not to be outdone, here are the ones that Maureen and I are contributing to:

Opening Access to Your Research: Strategies for Digital Scholarship

Curious about ways to disseminate your work online? Thinking about creating a website or blog to showcase your research? Wondering what your options are for publishing digital content at Ohio State? Join ODEE and the Libraries Publishing Program to learn more about increasing the visibility and impact of your research through digital scholarship.

BYOD: Bring your own device for hands-on demonstrations of and tools offered by the Libraries Publishing Program.

Who: OSU faculty, postdocs, and graduates

When: Friday, October 24, 10:00am – 12:00pm

Where: 18th Avenue Library, Room 070/090

Undisciplined Research: Planning and Publishing Across Disciplinary Boundaries

Looking for collaborators in other disciplines at Ohio State? Want to hear about options for sharing your work digitally or starting a new open access journal? Join ODEE and the Libraries’ Digital Content Services to learn more about valuable tools for finding collaborators and making your work more accessible to researchers in other disciplines.

BYOD: Bring your own device for hands-on demonstrations of Research In View, the Knowledge Bank, and tools offered by the Libraries Publishing Program.

Who: OSU faculty and postdocs

When: Friday, November 14, 10:00am – 12:00pm

Where: 18th Avenue Library, Room 070/090

 You may also be interested in workshops on organizing your research data, and using images in the digital world, as well as a panel this Friday on the Department of Energy Public Access Plan. See the Research Commons events schedule for details on all of those.  

The HathiTrust Research Center at OSU

Yesterday, the Libraries had the pleasure of a visit by three representatives of the HathiTrust Research Center.  The HTRC exists to facilitate scholarly work with the large corpus of digitized materials in the HathiTrust repository. Their goal is to “to help meet the technical challenges of dealing with massive amounts of digital text that researchers face by developing cutting-edge software tools and cyber infrastructure.” Our guests – Robert McDonald, Miao Chen, and Zong Peng – provided a high-level overview of the Research Center, facilitated a hands-on session with some of the data and tools, and led us in a community discussion about local interest in text mining and the HathiTrust corpus.

Attendees at the hands-on workshop learn to access and mine data from the HathiTrust

Attendees at the hands-on workshop learn to access and mine data from the HathiTrust

There was a lot of information presented about how the HTRC came into being, its current architecture and projects, and plans for its future. I think the most useful thing for me, though, was getting a better sense of their current capabilities for – and attitude towards – working with researchers who want to use the data.

They want people to use the data and take advantage of the tool set they are building. It’s not only their primary reason for being, it’s also necessary to the development process to have users who can contribute to testing and requirements gathering. That said, the HTRC architecture and services are still very much a work in progress, and are not yet in a place where lots of unmediated, self-service research is possible. That means that most research projects will require an investment of HTRC staff time to facilitate, and staff time is, naturally, at a premium. So what do you do when you need people to use your services, but your services are still in development? You prioritize, of course. The HTRC is focusing on a small number of research projects where the researcher is: 1. at a HathiTrust member institution (which OSU is!), and 2. willing to partner with them on the necessary development. This is not to say that they aren’t willing to support other projects, especially if they can do so in a simple way – like a data dump that the researcher can manipulate locally.

The other really interesting thing for me was to learn about how carefully they are walking the line between facilitating research and protecting the copyrighted material in the HT from unsanctioned access and use. Legal action around the Google Books project and the HathiTrust has meant heightened scrutiny of security measures at all levels. As with other uses of copyrighted material, the focus seems to be on figuring out what is the smallest amount of access necessary to accomplish the research at hand, and on facilitating that access in a responsible way. It’s not an easy task, but I was impressed with how well they were handling it.

If you are interested in working with the data in the HathiTrust, I would encourage you to contact Miao Chen, the Assistant Director for Education and Outreach, at

Digital Humanities Lecture, October 20th, 12pm

Please join us on Monday, October 20th, from noon-1pm in Thompson Library room 165, for a presentation by our colleagues Brian Joseph (OSU Linguistics and Slavic) and Christopher Brown (OSU Classics):

Computational Humanities – Bridging the Gap between Computer Science and Digital Humanities (A report on the Dagstuhl seminar)

This summer’s Dagstuhl Seminar on Computational Humanities sought to boost the rapidly emerging interdisciplinary field of Computational Humanities by bringing together leading researchers in the (digital) humanities and computational analysis. We will report on our participation in the seminar, its projects and participants, and our own work both in the Dagstuhl working group on Lexicon and Literature and on the OSU Herodotos Project for Ancient Ethnohistory.

This presentation is sponsored by the OSU Libraries Research Commons.