Mellon Grant for Digital Scholarship
The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has awarded Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh a grant to research the development of a standardized platform for digital scholarship. The $60,000, 18-month grant will support â€śDigits,â€ť a project that will explore how new technologies that make it increasingly easy to publish, share, reproduce and archive complex digital materials can be sustained in a unified and flexible way.
University Libraries' Jessica Otis and Scott Weingart, digital humanities specialists, and Pittâ€™s Matt Burton, visiting assistant professor, and Matt Lavin, clinical assistant professor of English and director of the digital media lab, will lead the Digits project. Their goal is to deliver a solution to several limitations that advances in technology have placed on traditional research publications. Their approach will focus on â€ścontainerization,â€ť a technology used to minimize software system administration costs while increasing scale and flexibility.
Currently, researchers invest countless time and resources creating interactive pieces and self-publishing them online.
â€śBut scholars might change web hosts or let subscriptions expire,â€ť said Lavin. â€śThis leads to something called link rot. The responsibility of digital preservation needs to be shifted from individual researchers to journal publishers or university archives.â€ť
Digits will also allow digital projects and small-scale work to be preserved and updated to remain current.
â€śIt is often considered double-dipping or even cheating to publish nearly identical research as more data becomes available,â€ť Weingart said. â€śDigits would provide infrastructure for regularly-updating publications, as with an article that relays perpetually current popular opinions about romance fiction based on a large-scale analysis of online reviews.â€ť
In addition to the four principal researchers, an advisory board has been established for Digits and includes Dan Cohen, director of the Digital Public Library of America; Andrew Odewahn, chief technology officer of Oâ€™Reilly Media; Sharon Leon, director of public projects at the Center for History and New Media; and Martin Paul Eve, founding editor of the Open Library of the Humanities.
The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation recently awarded CMU a five-year, $2 million grant to train humanities Ph.D. students in digital scholarship and the pedagogic use of technology-enhanced learning (TEL) tools.News category: About us