Show me your data: Institutional Repositories

There has been some move in research to not just publish papers with the final results but to also release the raw data sets and even software for other researchers to verify the results and further discovery. There are even some futuristic claims that the data sets will be viewed as the ultimate results of research and the actual paper will be a secondary product.

Like to discuss what peoples experiences have been with Institutional Repositories. Has it been to showcase work, preserve for the future or to play an active role in furthering discovery?

If you have created or maintained an IR, what issues did you face, how well accept was the IR by the researchers. Does data set sharing play a role.

Teaching With Tablets

I propose a session to talk about teaching with iPads, or any other flavor of tablet. (Android, Kindle, etc. All are welcome!)

If you’re using tablets as a teaching tool, come talk about what has worked (and what hasn’t). What are your favorite apps to use in class, and why are they worth my money? How do you use tablets to enable students to collaborate on projects and assignments? We can talk methods and strategies and, of course, do some show and tell.

My not-so-secret motivation: my school recently purchased several classrooms sets of iPads, so I’ll be working with teachers to integrate them into lessons and I’d love to explore ways to get beyond using them as a mobile Google search device.

More Disruptive Pedagogy: Thoughts on Teaching an Un-course

The idea for this session stems from my experiences and challenges teaching a graduate public history course on the theory and practice of digital history.  The first challenge I face has to do with coverage: what are the most important things that students should know to get a reasonable introduction to the field?  The second challenge regards levels of experience: some students have little or no experience with anything beyond word processing and using an online catalog; others are far more advanced in their skill level (the last time I taught the course I had a student with an undergraduate degree in computer science. Talk about a humbling experience). The third challenge is keeping up with the field and making sure that the course stays fresh and up to date.

So, what I’d like to discuss is — would the un-conference model, in which students decide on at least some of the themes and topics of the course, work for a graduate level course?

Community, Collaboration, and Authority: Museums and Technology

Technology is democracy. It can give everyone a voice or a vote. Sometimes this democracy works out well (kickstarter, etc). Sometimes not so much (@sweden, made some news recently). The Walter Art Musem in Baltimore tried crowdsourcing an exhibition that was pretty well received, but the Pittsburgh Symphony’s attempt to find a member on YouTube was nixed.

I am interested in a few questions relating to the democratizing force of technology in museums. First, should curators give up their authority, or have it take a lesser role in concert with visitor knowledge (I believe one of Mills Kelly’s students found an error in the Star Spangled Banner exhibit)? Is curatorial authority still needed? Secondly, is there a limit to the voice of the public? Should comments be moderated in historically sensitive areas (slavery, World War II, etc.). Do comments need to turn into conversation to be truly useful?And finally, what do you do if no one really cares? In a 2004 visitor survey conducted by the Smithsonian, the average age of the visitors was 37 years, only 30% of visitors were younger than 27. The museums subreddit has 25 subscribers with seven posts in two years. Are museums still culturally relevant, and will they be in 20 years?

Twitter Archiving

I would like to have a session to discuss building a better workflow for Twitter archiving. What tools do we need, and what do we need to create in order to make this easier? Can we build something this weekend?

The MLA has released a github repository analyzing tweets from MLA12 — are there ways that we can fork this repository for more general use? Is there potential to use github as a shared platform for creating a larger corpus of twitter archives? Related to these tools, what kind of loose coordination do we need? A lot of Twitter archiving already takes place and is decentralized, so what is a lightweight way to integrate some of these efforts?

Bridging the Gap between the CS DL community and the LIS DL community.

I’ve notice a disparaging trend at both the ACM/IEEE-CS JCDL conference and at THATCamps. Digital Libraries researchers from Computer Science have never heard of THATCamp and don’t really interact with the people who attend. Conversely people at THATCamp don’t tend to think of the ACM/IEEE-CS community when they think about what is going on in digital libraries, digital archives, and digital humanities.

In fact the 2012 JCDL conference just ended at GWU the day before THATCamp V started at GMU. Here were two groups of people with similar concerns, interests, and goals across town and unaware of each other.

This session is to discuss why there is fragmentation between the more LIS DL people at THATCamp/ALA/etc and the more CS DL at JCDL/TPDL/etc and try and discuss ways to bridge the gap and bring both groups closer together.

Of courses, curriculum, networks, and unconferences

Had a couple of thoughts for session ideas that will hopefully line up well with people’s interests:

First, I would like to talk to folks about how they are building digital work into pedagogy at a course level (I guess this kind of goes along with Mark’s post on blogging but encompasses more than just blogging) and also at a curricular level. I think we can all benefit from learning how to create assignments that fit the concepts, tools, and strategies of digital humanities into courses in a way that does not overwhelm students and professors but are also challenging and provoking.  I would also like to expand those ideas out of the classroom and talk about the development of digital methodologies within broader curriucula, which involves consensus and where real change occurs only after advocacy, collaboration, and sometimes compromise. I’d love to share our experiences at the BGC in both courses and curricula, where we have made big steps relatively quickly due to a number of factors including size, administrative, support, and resources, but am eager to hear from others at other institutions who are influencing curricular shifts and establishing stability for digital programs (seems like what Ethan is talking about as well). I think it is particularly important to talk about strategies at both the course and curricular level because accessible and enticing projects along with collected and pointed advocacy together can convince digital stragglers or technologically resistant people at institutions to consider  digital practice in their work,

A second thing I would like to talk about is establishing regional coalitions to organize and focus digital work in geographic areas. At DH 2011 I got together with people from Columbia, Fordham, and the NYPL and we decided that it would be beneficial for our institutions to share information and knowledge and work collaboratively on projects rather than all recreate the wheel over and over again on different digital projects. Our group has expanded out to over forty members from more than a dozen institutions and met a number of times, but we are looking to organize more concretely and takes some steps forward to really get organized. These kind of regional organization have the potential to provide valuable hubs for knowledge, practice, and even funds, but there are obstacles and questions about organizing in this manner. I’d like to have a conversation with people who have either created such explicit connections (have things like this happend in DC? NC? Cal? etc.) and discuss ways in which we can make those initiatives more fruitful and collaboration more easily achievable. Also, if you are from the NY area let me know as we are always looking for willing collaborators.

Lastly, I’d like to propose a session for people interested in running their own THATCamps attended by both past and future organizers. We had a successful THATCamp Museums NYC last month and I am eager to share our experiences with interested parties. Amanda, would of course love to have you at this.

The One About THATCamp

Frankly I could propose many separate sessions on THATCamp, to wit:

  • A session where we sit around and work on editing the Proceedings of THATCamp (due out August 1; most of the editing currently booked for July)
  • A session where we write a guide for those new to THATCamp
  • A session where we write a guide for people coming to THATCamp who consider themselves tech beginners (though this Profhacker post is a good start, as is this one)
  • A session for those who’ve organized or who might want to organize a THATCamp (see Kimon’s suggestion that we get together and share experiences
  • A session where we talk about our upcoming revamping of the THATCamp website, to be spearheaded by Boone — we’ve thought of lots of stuff already, but we take requests. Under advisement. 🙂

But let’s do only one or at most two of the above. Stick your stickers next to the one you most want …

O rocks! Celebrating Bloomsday DH-Style

Saturday is Bloomsday! It strikes me that we might put our DH nerdiness to more direct Joycean use than simply deciding which Ulysses t-shirts to wear. I propose using this post space to discuss possible small-scale, collaborative Joyce-celebratory projects we might undertake during free time throughout the weekend (not a session necessarily, but a backchannel collaboration). These could be performative (e.g. recording readings of favorite passages? maybe a choral reading? making a small game?) or investigative…

One possibility: I’ve been playing around with the free visualization tool Gephi recently; we might create a simple dataset representing one-to-one character interactions in Ulysses or part of Ulysses–who interacts with whom? How many degrees of separation does the most removed character have from Bloom?–and drop it into Gephi to create a pretty and useful visualization. This would require

1) People signing up to list all the character interactions for a given section in Ulysses (if we only have a few people, we could just divvy up pages in a single rich episode like Circe or Wandering Rocks). For ease of collaboration, it probably makes sense to use the Project Gutenberg e-text (unless the rumored new digital edition drops in time for us to use!).

2) Defining what an “interaction” in Ulysses entails (dialogue? glimpsing someone? thinking about someone?). Or are there other factors we might want to model with a visualization?

3) Creating a basic spreadsheet with two columns: whenever an interaction happens, create a row with Person A on column 1 and Person B in column 2. Unless we decide on doing a one-way directed sort of interaction–e.g. Bloom thinks about Molly doesn’t mean Molly thinks about Bloom at the same time–it doesn’t matter which person in a pair of interacting characters goes in which column. We might also consider adding a “weight” column that keys different weight numbers to “degree of interaction” (e.g. degree of 1 indicates thinking about someone, 2 indicates glimpsing but not being seen, 3 indicates dialogue). I can post a link to a Google Spreadsheet with example rows if people are interested; you might also check out the Gephi sample datasets looking at character interactions in Les Miserables and the Marvel comic universe.

Interested? Or have any other Joycean ideas?