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Tuesday, October 28 • 9:00am - 10:30am
Getting an Earful: The Unexpected Services of a Digital Scholarship Unit + The Best-Laid Schemes: Reflections on Three Years of the NEH ODH Data Management Plan Requirement

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Getting an Earful: The Unexpected Services of a Digital Scholarship Unit
Community Notes
Interest in digital scholarship has steadily increased at NYU over the past four years, with scholars looking to the Libraries for information, support, and partnership. During this time, the Libraries have taken an iterative, learn-as-we-go approach while simultaneously conducting in-depth research into user needs and service gaps. This resulted in a four-tiered service model which, in Fall 2013, was officially put into practice with the formation of the Libraries' Digital Scholarship Services unit.

When we introduced the four-tiered service model at DLF, November 2011, we predicted that a key function of our unit would be to prioritize which projects get what type of service (standard, customized, etc.). What we didn't anticipate was the extent to which we would become the nosey switchboard operators of our own organization, listening in on library departmental conversations about their service frustrations, and plugging them into complementary departments or initiatives to address these challenges systemically. These insights are helping us strategically rethink relationships, workflows, and protocols that undergird the organization's work. To date, the departments most frequently connecting via this developing "party line" are special collections, subject specialists, Data Services, Digital Studio, and Digital Library Technology Services.

We will present case studies to illustrate how scholars' project needs are revealing ways we can integrate diverse services across Libraries and IT, and how this vantage point provides a unique opportunity to address longstanding organizational issues.

We will engage the audience through discussion to learn how other institutions approach similar issues providing digital scholarship services. For example:

  • Implementing strategies for bringing together different parts of your organization that don't usually work together
  • Performing outreach for complex services that involve more than one department, and forming partnerships to do this effectively
  • Collection development in relation to digital projects with scholars
  • Transitioning projects into services

Session Leaders
Zach Coble, New York University
Monica McCormick, New York University
Jennifer Vinopal, New York University


The Best-Laid Schemes: Reflections on Three Years of the NEH ODH Data Management Plan Requirement
Community Notes
In 2011, the National Endowment for the Humanities' Office of Digital Humanities began requiring grant applicants to submit a data management plan as one component of a proposal. Modeled on guidelines released by the National Science Foundation, this mandate asks applicants to explicitly describe what data will be produced during the grant period, how it will be preserved and disseminated, and who will be responsible for its maintenance over time. Data management planning helps ensure that, even in the earliest stages of a project, participants consider the technical requirements and institutional resources necessary to ensure that a wide audience may access and build upon the products of grant-funded research.

Drawing on the perspectives of NEH ODH staff, recent grantees, and stakeholders such as the California Digital Library, this moderated panel discussion will examine how, three years later, this requirement has impacted the proposal writing process, what challenges and opportunities have arisen, and how funding agencies can better communicate expectations and respond to the needs of applicants in the future. Questions to be addressed include:

  • With over 700 plans submitted to ODH so far, what common trends—both strengths and pitfalls—have emerged?
  • To what extent has this mandate encouraged further dialogue or collaboration between information professionals and humanities scholars?
  • How successfully have data management plan guidelines addressed the interests of researchers across the humanities as well as scientific disciplines?
  • Considering heightened expectations for grantees' approaches to data curation, where can smaller or less-resourced institutions turn for support?

While it is our hope that the presentation will inform audience members' approaches to developing data management plans and the wider ecosystem around them, NEH staff will also draw on this conversation and on audience feedback to further develop data management guidelines and online resources for potential applicants.

Session Leaders
Perry Collins, National Endowment for the Humanities
Trevor Muñoz, University of Maryland, College Park
Lauren Klein, Georgia Institute of Technology
Stephen Abrams, California Digital Library


avatar for Stephen Abrams

Stephen Abrams

Associate Director, UC Curation Center, California Digital Library

Zach Coble

Digital Scholarship Specialist, New York University

Perry Collins

National Endowment for the Humanities

Lauren Klein

Assistant Professor, Georgia Tech
avatar for Monica McCormick

Monica McCormick

Digital Scholarly Publishing Officer, Libraries and Press, New York University
avatar for Trevor Muñoz

Trevor Muñoz

Interim Director, MITH/ Assistant Dean for Digital Humanities Research, University Libraries, University of Maryland
avatar for Jennifer Vinopal

Jennifer Vinopal

Librarian, New York University
digital libraries, digital scholarship, digital humanities, project management, portfolio management, library service development, organizational culture, leadership

Tuesday October 28, 2014 9:00am - 10:30am EDT
Conference A Georgia Tech Hotel and Conference Center

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