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UO Digital Scholars Retreat Notes

Notes from 8/24/09 Retreat, McKenzie Collaboration Center

Our retreat had two parts: a presentation on services available to UO digital scholars, and breakout sessions/group reports addressing the following 4 issues:

What would you describe as the main challenges facing digital scholars at the University of Oregon?

What might we do to overcome those challenges?

As scholars, what do you want from this group?

Discuss the draft description of group and its mission.

To learn what we talked about, read on! The four breakout issues come first, then the digital services available to UO scholars.

What would you describe as the main challenges facing digital scholars at the University of Oregon?

Decentralized resources:

  • Resources are hidden; territoriality concerns; compromises potential for collaboration; there’s no one-stop shopping for help on workshops/training/research tools, tech-help, grant proposals. Faculty must seek different kinds of help at different units.
  • Insufficient staffing at each resource-place (IS, RFD, Library, Infographics, OHC, ORSA, e.g.). This can result in delays & bottlenecks. The Library has the most concentrated staff resources, but we need to think about how to mobilize a broader team that includes the other resource-people.
  • Faculty need better support for website and database building.
  • Need for recognition of and better support for digital projects: currently, there is minimal support for getting research off the ground before you can even write a grant.
  • Faculty need resources for preservation beyond life of a given project.

What might we do to overcome those challenges?

  • Make resources and services more transparent – we need a centralized directory inclusive of services, resources, processes (not just limited to teaching resources).
  • Need to identify what our public AAU peers have in recurring resources for digital humanities.
  • Establish a Data Center.
  • Develop a “center” for digital humanities that fosters sharing, collaboration, community (includes physical space).
  • Develop inter-institutional/regional collaborative partners.
  • Establish a cyberinfrastructure/IT committee – demos, work.
  • Information disseminators
  • Develop an 8 year plan.
  • High profile committee drawing from the different parts of the university (grants, grad school, departments, schools).
  • Develop a calendar of events related to digital research for University.
  • Public discussion about tenure and promotion standards in a digital era is very important: digital projects don’t really seem to count towards tenure & promotion
  • More interaction with museums on campus — make sure their resources are available for research. Make collections accessible.
  • Better introduction to *digital research* services in new faculty orientation (also in recruitment stage — other institutions provide packets!).
  • Get on radar of department chairs.
  • Send people to key conferences and workshops to report back to the group.
  • Encourage people to use and support the Scholars Bank.
  • More support for undergraduate research and digital research partnerships with faculty members.
  • A graduate program in digital humanities, or some program that leverages digital skills as well as the discipline-specific knowledge of the graduate students (IS GTF program; growing into a “Design your Master’s” program. Could be a degree-granting program).
  • Grants: More cooperation (e.g. Contracts & Purchasing / ORSA); we need a way to make sure that indirect funds are going where they should but also that we’re able to spend as we need to.

As scholars, what do you want from this group?

Update IT Resources to include Faculty Research Resources. Also, map this (Infographics), preferably with links/previews that put a face on each resource/service.

Hands-on training: a mix of tech-staff/faculty-user presentations on digital tools. (Use MCC or other SmartBoard equipped spaces).

Digital Research Lunches: faculty presentations on their digital projects AND workshopping of proposed project ideas (concept, tools, timespan, audience, outcomes).

Workshop on wordpress (creating, styling, adding plug-ins, etc.) Copyright, plagiarism, Creative Commons — Karen Estlund – to teach a workshop for faculty on this; software licensing issues – Mike Aronson.

Forum re: ethical issues concerning collaborative nature of digital research (including international collaborations and projects that involve subjects under 18, etc.)

A regular UODS series so people know what to count on: works-in-progress lunches, hands-on sessions with new tools, explore potential collaborations, First Thursday series, etc.

Grant-writing and digital publishing workshops for grad students as well as faculty.

Bring in outside scholars/technologists who can share their  expertise.

Work with university gatekeepers to have less risk-averse policy.

Develop *current* list of innovative DH strategies and best practices.

Include graduate students! a) at cutting edge, b) so they will be profoundly affected by trends.

Grad student perspective: need to be more effective in digital publication, adopting open source tools, etc. Most helpful from a group like this would be making strong connection to IT people that can provide rapid access to simple (but sophisticated) tools. Better centralized information would be very helpful here.

Advocacy: 1/ Funding for services to expand, like programmers for CMET, IS research support, graduate program or GTF program in digital humanities. 2/ Tenure & promotion. 3/More trainings and workshops sponsored by administration. 4/Funding for release time.

Balance institution-building with need for individual researchers to stay engaged in ways that are directly applicable.

Provide public articulation of what UO digital  scholars are doing.

Draft description of group and its mission:

  • NAME is important. How to work in “Digital Publication?” How to conceptualize research problems in the digital era?

UO Digital Scholars, an interdisciplinary group of faculty and staff, are exploring digital tools, digital scholarship, and the challenges and opportunities these provide for scholars in the 21st century. The purpose of UO Digital Scholars is:

  • To explicitly encourage, recognize and reward digital scholarship and collaboration towards tenure and promotion
  • To build a sustainable infrastructure for digital scholarship at the University of Oregon by first establishing a Cyberinfrastructure Committee
    • Contracts
    • Establish and support Scholar’s Bank as an integral part of the University’s mission of research and teaching.
    • To provide venues (material and virtual) for the forms of collaboration necessary for digital scholarship.
    • To plan events that will contribute to our knowledge base and that will advance the state of digital scholarship at the University of Oregon, including venues to show and share and collaborate.
    • To support online publishing and venues for peer reviewed digital scholarship, and support tenure and promotion for faculty who follow those models.
    • To provide support and feedback for grant writing and other fundraising activities in the area of digital humanities.
    • To help coordinate ongoing efforts in the area of digital scholarship, as well as to provide leadership at the state-level for digital scholarship and related initiatives.

Draft List of Events/Activities:

  • Lectures on current trends in digital scholarship (ongoing – Tara McPherson, JQ’s speakers, Helen’s events).
  • Faculty works-in-progress presentations building to year end symposium on Research and Scholarship on Technology (6/4/10).
  • Second Thursdays at 3 pm: hour long sessions on works-in-progress or topics of general interest followed by drinks.
  • Grant writing workshops specifically on digital humanities.
  • Workshop/training ideas: WordPress, Twitter, Creative Commons, Zotero, online publishing.
  • University Calendar that would publicize these events.


NAME-FOR-THE-GROUP BRAINSTORM TASK FORCE: Robert (lead organizer), Andrew, Helen, JQ, Doug, Mike Aronson, Louise Bishop.

WORKSHOPS & TRAINING TASK FORCE: Helen (lead organizer), Karen Estlund, Ina Asim (Online publishing, Digital Tools,Twitter, WordPress, Creative Commons).

Faculty works-in-progress Committee: Carol (lead organizer), JQ, Helen, Julia H &/or Barbara A. (this group can also be working on Spring 2010 Symposium).


October 18-20 “Immersive Education Days.” Featuring Second Life & other VRs. Sunday: fun events on campus. Monday-Tuesday: programs & presentations.

Henry Jenkins coming again as part of SuperHero Art Exhibit BRING SUSAN METROS HERE AT THE SAME TIME: http://www.educause.edu/Community/MemDir/Profiles/SusanEMetros/41090)

Tara McPherson (USC) coming on April 23, 2010.

Digital Scholarship Symposium, June 4 2010, Erb Memorial Union.


Existing Resources for Digital Scholars
(presentation by Andrew Bonamici and Helen Chu)


Our vision for the libraries is active and visible partnership in the of learning and the creation of new knowledge.  Collaboration is a critical strategy in realizing this vision.


1. Subject Librarians


Start by talking to your subject specialist librarian. The subject librarians are appointed liaisons to the university’s academic departments and programs and are responsible for a) building collections and facilitating access to networked information resources, b) supporting instruction, c) providing referrals to the many services offered by the UO Libraries.


2. Library website


Note especially Faculty Services http://libweb.uoregon.edu/faculty/

Overview of Technology Services http://libweb.uoregon.edu/general/services/techres.html

Contact Andrew Bonamici : : bonamici@uoregon.edu


3. Scholarly Communication Initiatives http://libweb.uoregon.edu/scis/

Institutional repository http://scholarsbank.uoregon.edu

Open Access, including publication support fund http://libweb.uoregon.edu/scis/sc/oaps.html

consultation in areas of author’s rights, copyright .

Contact JQ Johnson : : jqj@uoregon.edu


4. Data Services http://libweb.uoregon.edu/faculty/SciDataInfo.html

Note that this service is currently focused on the sciences. but serves as an example of research-focused collaboration.

Contact Brian Westra : : bwestra@uoregon.edu


5. Digital Library Services http://libweb.uoregon.edu/diglib/


Karen Estlund described service and types of collections maintained, how new projects are identified and priorities determined

Contact Karen Estlund : : kestlund@uoregon.edu


6. Image Services http://libweb.uoregon.edu/speccoll/image_svcs/

High quality digitization, photographic and document imaging services including slide scanning, digital printing, copy stand photography, freelance photography, traditional darkroom printing and 35mm microfilm production. Many services require a fee.

Contact Lesli Larson : : lalarson@uoregon.edu


7. Visual Resources Collection (AAA Library)


Contact Julia Simic : : jsimic@uoregon.edu


8. Individual Consulting


Primary service point for faculty Bb support, hands-on access to Mac and PC workstations, editing and media transfer, etc. Drop-in or by appointment.

Contact Nargas Oskui-Tabrizi : : not@uoregon.edu


9. Interactive Media Design and Development


Describe how new projects are identified and priorities determined. Highlight portfolio and process

CMET:IM offers a full range of web and multimedia design and development services, with an emphasis on projects that support teaching and learning in the UO classroom. Services are free for UO instructors requesting interactive media for use in CRN courses. Fees or underwriting are required for most non-CRN projects, with CMET:IM typically written into the grant during the proposal development phase.


10. Video Production, Streaming Media, and Videoconferencing


The CMET video group offers a comprehensive professional video production (studio and field, now in HD), distribution, and videoconferencing service, including broadcast-quality uplinks for television and radio interviews can be originated from our studios.  UO Today is a weekly talk show is produced in collaboration with Oregon Humanities Center. Streaming media (UO Channel) is supported in collaboration with Information Service; youtube with Media Relations. Fees or underwriting are required for most non-CRN projects, with CMET:Video typically written into the grant during the proposal development phase.

Contact Michael Majdic : : majdic@uoregon.edu


11. Training and Workshops


Library subject specialists and CMET staff work closely with TEP and other campus partners to identify training needs and develop curricula. The Workshops On Demand program (coordinated by CMET: Consulting) is available to groups of six or more.

Contact Nargas Oskui-Tabrizi : : not@uoregon.edu


B. Information Services (info to be added later)


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