Data Communities: A New Model for Supporting STEM Data Sharing

Authors: Danielle Cooper, Rebecca Springer

Abstract: There is a growing perception that science can progress more quickly, more innovatively, and more rigorously when researchers share data with each other. Policies and supports for data sharing within the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) academic community are being put in place by stakeholders such as research funders, publishers, and universities, with overlapping effects. Additionally, many data sharing advocates have embraced the FAIR data principles – holding that data must be findable, accessible, interoperable, and reusable, by both humans and machines – as the standard benchmark for data sharing success. There is also an emerging scholarly literature evaluating the efficacies of some of these policies, although this literature tends to either focus on discrete disciplines or particular journal or funder initiatives.


Citation: Cooper, D., & Springer, R. (2019, May 13). Data Communities: A New Model for Supporting STEM Data Sharing.


Loners, Pathfinders, or Explorers? How are the Humanities Progressing in Open Science?

Authors: Erzsebet Toth-Czifra & Ulrike Wuttke

Abstract: Since we believe that Open Science works best when it is well anchored in different disciplinary settings and community practices, we proposed a session in Open Science Barcamp dedicated to Open Humanities in order to start a conversation about:

  • How the values of Open Science manifest themselves in present-day humanities research practices, and how these values help to reassess and reshape our fundamental knowledge creation mechanisms?
  • What good practices are coming from individual disciplines?
  • Does Digital Humanities equal Open Science?
  • What are the barriers for establishing a culture of open sharing in the humanities? Where are the main gaps between positive attitudes towards openness versus actual scholarly practices?
  • What we want the future scholarly ecosystem of the humanities to be?

These questions allowed us to discuss the various pathways to the open research culture as they specifically pertain to research communities in the Arts and Humanities. What follows is a recap of the most interesting discussion points.

Citation:Tóth-Czifra, Erzsébet & Wuttke, Ulrike. ‘Loners, Pathfinders, or Explorers? How are the Humanities Progressing in Open Science?’, 2019.


Source: GenR

Doing Digital Scholarship

Authors: Sheila A Brennan, Megan Brett, Sharon M. Leon

Abstract: Doing Digital Scholarship offers a self-guided introduction to digital scholarship, designed for digital novices. It allows you to dip a toe into a very large field of practice. It starts with the basics, such as securing web server space, preserving data, and improving your search techniques. It then moves forward to explore different methods used for analyzing data, designing digitally inflected teaching assignments, and creating the building blocks required for publishing digital work.

Citation: Sheila A Brennan, Megan Brett, Sharon M. Leon. “Doing Digital Scholarship.” Digital Culture Program. Social Science Research Council Labs

SourceSSRC Labs

From transaction to collaboration: scholarly communications design at UConn Library

Authors: Holly Jeffcoat, Gregory Colati

Abstract: The University of Connecticut (UConn) Library, in collaboration with the School of Fine Arts and the UConn Humanities Institute and with support from the Andrew W Mellon Foundation, is developing Greenhouse Studios (GS). GS is a scholarly communications research laboratory dedicated to using collaborative models and design principles in the creation of scholarly works. Scholarship laboratories that function as a combination of a scientific research lab and an art studio are a useful means of advancing the methods and outcomes of scholarly communications.

We intend to examine whether flattening hierarchies through the GS model is a significant challenge for librarians who work within transactional models of interaction and are closely tied to faculty-driven service models of research support. Other participants typically thought of as supporting faculty are embedded as equal participants in the design process. We will apply qualitative methods to examine whether the GS design process facilitates development of new models of interaction among faculty, librarians, design technologists and other experts. Preliminary experience finds most participants embrace the collaborative model and are energized by the experience. Our assessment will focus on GS techniques as drivers for role and scholarly output changes, how these experiences might translate into changes in library culture or services, and on practical findings related to space, technology usage and administrative hurdles.

This paper is the result of a presentation delivered at CNI (the Coalition for Networked Information) in early 2017 and encapsulates our thinking then and now (in early 2018) as we refine our assessment tools.

Citation: Jeffcoat, H., & Colati, G. (2018). From transaction to collaboration: scholarly communications design at UConn Library. Insights, 31, 17. DOI:

Source: Insights

De-Centering and Recentering Digital Scholarship: A Manifesto

Authors: Carolyn Moritz, Rachel Smart, Aaron Retteen, Matthew Hunter, Sarah Stanley, Devin Soper, Micah Vandegrift

Abstract: Digital scholarship is an evolving area of librarianship. In this piece we propose 10 theses, statements about what this kind of work DOES, rather than trying to define with it IS. We believe that digitally-inflected research and learning, and the characteristics they employ, are essential to the recentering of our profession’s position in/across the academy. We also believe that the “digital scholarship center” has served its time, and that the activities and models for digital scholarship work are core to librarianship. This manifesto is meant to serve as a starting point for a necessary discussion, not an end-all, be-all. We hope others will write and share counter-manifestos, passionate responses, or affirming statements.

Citation: Moritz, Carolyn, Rachel J Smart, Aaron Retteen, Matthew Hunter, Sarah Stanley, Devin Soper, and Micah Vandegrift 2017. “De-centering and Recentering Digital Scholarship: A Manifesto”. LIS Scholarship Archive. August 7. DOI: 10.17605/OSF.IO/T7HFU.


Source: LIS Scholarship Archive

Reimagining the Digital Monograph: Design Thinking to Build New Tools for Researchers

Authors: Alex Humphreys, Christina Spencer, Laura Brown, Matthew Loy, Ronald Snyder

Abstract: Scholarly books are increasingly available in digital form, but the online interfaces for using these books often allow only for the browsing of PDF files. JSTOR Labs, an experimental product-development group within the not-for-profit digital library JSTOR, undertook an ideation and design process to develop new and different ways of showing scholarly books online, with the goal that this new viewing interface should be relatively simple and inexpensive to implement for any scholarly book that is already available in PDF form. This paper documents that design process, including the recommendations of a working group of scholars, publishers, and librarians convened by JSTOR Labs and the Columbia University Libraries in October 2016. The prototype monograph viewer developed through this process — called “Topicgraph” — is described herein and is freely available online at

Citation: Alex Humphreys, Christina Spencer, Laura Brown, Matthew Loy, Ronald Snyder (2017) Reimagining the Digital Monograph: Design Thinking to Build New Tools for Researchers. JSTOR Labs White Paper. Available online:



Source: Reimagining the Digital Monograph: Design Thinking to Build New Tools for Researchers

Bakhtin, digital scholarship and new publishing practices as carnival

Anna Mary Cooper, Jenna Condie

Abstract: Digital scholarship is causing disruptions to established academic practices that have long framed how we share knowledge and do research. The web is increasingly vital to all forms of academic scholarship. Using key theoretical concepts from the work of Mikhail Bakhtin, we question what it means in relation to social science when digital scholarship is considered by some to be ‘carnivalesque’ in relation to established academic practice. We draw upon our experiences of editing and curating a collection of works, commonly known as a Book of Blogs published online as Dialogues of sustainable urbanisation: Social Science Research and Transitions to Urban Contexts. The idea of the book was that it would encourage multivoicedness around the topic of sustainable urbanisation. We reflect upon how the Book of Blogs aims to foster a dialogical, unfinalised approach to social sciences research. Seventy chapters or ‘blogs’ from 83 researchers were included in the collection. Such engagement with the Book of Blogs format emphasised that this approach to scholarship spoke to many as a way to be heard. Therefore, we include our reflections on the implications of networked participatory scholarship in the digital sphere for our professional identities and academic careers, alongside example lessons and practicalities of curating and editing a Book of Blogs. We conclude with considering how social theory, particularly a dialogical epistemology, influences our digital scholarship and the ways in which we perform academia.

Cooper, A.M. & Candie, J. (2016). Bakhtin, Digital Scholarship And New Publishing Practices As Carnival. Journal of Applied Social Theory 1 (1).


Source: Bakhtin, digital scholarship and new publishing practices as carnival

Reimagining the Digital Monograph: Design Thinking to Build New Tools for Researchers

Authors: Laura Brown, Alex Humphreys, Matthew Loy, Ron Snyder, Christina Spencer


Abstract: Scholarly books are increasingly being made available in digital form, joining in the print-to-digital transition that scholarly journals began well over a decade ago. Ten years of innovation have produced tremendous benefits for authors and readers of journal literature, and certainly some of this innovation is applicable to the digital migration of monographs. But the long-form scholarly argument presents some very different challenges, and its online migration is still in many ways in its infancy. The platforms that make monographs available to users often offer little in the way of specialized functionality for the different ways that scholars and students use these books. The JSTOR Labs group, an experimental product development team at JSTOR, undertook a user research and design process in order to better understand the wide variety of needs, behaviors, frustrations, and ambitions users bring to the task of reading scholarly books online, and to explore possible new paths to unlocking the value of the long-form argument in a digital environment. This paper is intended to do three things. First, we discuss the kinds of uses that readers have for scholarly books, and the opportunities for improving the usefulness of books for those purposes in a digital environment. These emerged from ethnographic research we carried out with a variety of readers of digital monographs and with a small working group of scholars, publishers, librarians, engineers, data scientists and user experience designers that we convened in partnership with the Columbia University Libraries in late 2016. Second, we discuss the design thinking process that we used to explore the landscape, how the group identified problems to solve, and how together we selected one opportunity ripe for new feature development that the JSTOR Labs team could prototype. Third, we describe the process we used to develop that prototype, and introduce the tool that we built, which we are calling “Topicgraph.”


Citation: Brown, L, Humphreys, A, Loy, M, Snyder, R, Spencer, C. (2017) Reimagining the Digital Monograph: Design Thinking to Build New Tools for Researchers, A JSTOR Labs Report – DRAFT FOR COMMENT