Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Data as a resource onto itself

There is an interesting interview in the Chronicle of Higher Education with Christine Borgman, professor of information studies at the University of California at Los Angeles, regarding the value of new tools in analyzing data that should be considered as important as books and articles in acquiring tenure. "The accumulation of that data should be considered a scholarly act as well as the publication that comes out of it," states Professor Borgman. She further argues that the future of research will be collaborative and interdisciplinary.

Her book, Scholarship in the Digital Age, is a worthy read. I have used it in the library science class I teach, Humanities Information, at The Catholic University of America.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

A Companion to Digital Literary Studies

Susan Schreibman and Ray Siemens have followed their 2004 work, A Companion to Digital Humanities, with A Companion to Digital Literary Studies, published in 2008 by Blackwell. Schreibman and Siemens edit this work which is divided into four chapters. The introductory essay titled 'Imagining the New Media Encounter' by Alan Liu, provides an overview of the link between the 'old' media and the new: 'The premise is that the boundary between codex-based literature and digital information has now been so breached by shared technological, communicational, and computational protocols that we might best think in terms of an encounter rather than a border.' The three sections of the book--Traditions, Texualities and Methodologies--contain a total of 30 essays written by a cadre of literary scholars. The final chapter, 'Annotated Overview of Selected Electronic Resources', is written by Tanya Clement and Gretchen Gueguen: 'This annotated overview is divided into three main sections based on content: Digital Transcriptions and Images; Born-Digital Texts and New Media Objects; and Criticism, Reviews, and Tools.'

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Technolust and Building a Digital Humanities Collection

Michael Stephens has written 'Taming Technolust: Ten Steps for Planning in a 2.0 World' in the latest issue (vol.47, issue 4) of RUSQ. He writes of technolust and technodivorce. This article provides a general overview for libraries, there is plenty of good advice for anyone who wants to build a digital collection in the humanities.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Google Scholar vs Art History databases

Hannah Noll wrote her Master's thesis comparing coverage of art history in Google Scholar with Arts and Humanities Citation Index, Bibliography of the History of Art, and Art Index/Art Retrospective Index. Noll is a graduate graduate student in the UNC School of Library and Information Science. The subscription databases generally retrieved more citations while Google Scholar was more consistent in coverage.

Here is the abstract quoted from the thesis:
"This study evaluates the content coverage of Google Scholar and three commercial databases (Arts & Humanities Citation Index, Bibliography of the History of Art and Art Full Text/Art Index Retrospective) on the subject of art history. Each database is tested using a bibliography method and evaluated based on Péter Jacsó’s scope criteria for online databases. Of the 472 articles tested, Google Scholar indexed the smallest number of citations (35%), outshone by the Arts & Humanities Citation Index which covered 73% of the test set. This content evaluation also examines specific aspects of coverage to find that in comparison to the other databases, Google Scholar provides consistent coverage over the time range tested (1975-2008) and considerable access to article abstracts (56%). Google Scholar failed, however, to fully index the most frequently cited art periodical in the test set, the Artforum International. Finally, Google Scholar’s total citation count is inflated by a significant percentage (23%) of articles which include duplicate, triplicate or multiple versions of the same record."

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Digital Research Tools (DiRT) for Humanities and Social Sciences scholars

This is a new wiki created to find online tools for doing humanities and social science research online. The site is run by Lisa Spiro, director of the Digital Media Center at Rice University. As with most wikis, you can register and contribute your own reviews of various products and tools.

A wide variety of applications are listed depending on the intention of the scholar:

* Analyze texts
* Author an interactive work
* Blog
* Brainstorm/ generate ideas
* Build and share collections
* Collaborate
* Collect data
* Compare resources
* Convert/ manipulate files
* Create a mashup
* Edit images
* Find research materials
* Make a dynamic map
* Make a screencast
* Manage bibliographic information
* Network with other researchers
* Organize my research materials
* Conduct linguistic research
* Share bookmarks
* Stay current with research
* Take notes/ annotate resources
* Transcribe handwritten or spoken texts
* Write collaboratively
* Visualize data

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Science and the Humanities overview

An interesting bibliographical essay on science and the humanities written by Gail Shivel of the University of Miami for Choice magazine. An overview:

“The literature on science and the humanities is vast and diffuse, and a treatment such as this can only touch on the high points and suggest further directions of study. This essay treats the literature on science and the humanities first chronologically and then topically. The cite list is divided into two parts: relatively recent work, primarily secondary, and then the classics. Some of the latter include specific recommended editions; others are given without bibliographic details.”

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

JISC Academic Database Assessment Tool (ADAT)

"The JISC Academic Database Assessment Tool (ADAT), a free online database comparison tool, which aims to help libraries make informed decisions about future subscriptions to online resources."

A Companion to Digital Humanities

An interesting overview of humanities and technology intersecting. Originally published in book format in 2004.

Research Libraries Embrace Publishing

“Research libraries are “rapidly developing publishing services,” according to a report released in March by the Association of Research Libraries.” [more]

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Resource: Arts & Letters Daily

Arts & Letters Daily is an informative web site for keeping abreast of ideas in the humanities.