Research Division Rotation

During my time with the research division, I became familiar with Press Forward plugin development and functionality and Digital Humanities Now’s funding model, editorial workflow, publication process and traffic statistics.  Though, I had been reading and nominating posts for DHNow earlier in the semester, my time in research gave me a fuller understanding of the trends in digital humanities and popular blog posts on the subject as well.  This came primarily from compiling the most popular or relevant posts over the past year.  Of particular interest to me seemed to be the move to global perspectives on resource building and scholarship, how digital humanities teaching employs critical investigation, libraries grappling with linked data models, and the transform DH movement to build more robust analyses of race, gender, sexuality and disability.

I also did some research on open access for a Press Forward white paper and learned a lot about the history of open access and how scientists approached the topic.  I was surprised to find out how much authors are required to pay to be published in open access science journals and it seems that there is a shift from library subscription models to departmental funding for scholarly publication.

I set up my own Press Forward installation and was able to follow along a bit in a meeting about reworking database assets to speed up plugin functionality.  I also tested a new Press Forward theme.  Both of these processes exposed me to some changes in the WordPress api since I last built a site, which was over five years ago, which will be of great use if I intend to build another site with this growing platform.

When I was last at CHNM, while doing my master’s, Dan Cohen first proposed and built DH Now during a ThatCamp.  It was originally built to automatically re-post popular DH blog work, with little labor required.  Reading the PressForward and DH Now proposals and white papers published in the last few years, helped me understand how the original automation was transformed into a fairly time-consuming editorial process, and finally to a more streamlined approach that benefits greatly from the inclusion on volunteer editors-at-large which contribute nominations from the perspective of a variety of academics, museum and library professionals.

Second Stop: Research

The second rotation at RRCHNM was research for Andrea and I. We worked with and were supervised by Stephanie Westcott. Although the first assignments had us working with Stephanie, the majority of our time in Research had us working along-side the graduate research assistants Mandy ReganAmanda Morton, and Josh Catalano.

My time in the research division started a little differently than my time in Education. The first thing we did was familiarize ourselves with documentation for PressForward. We read over all posts from its conception to PF3 in order to prepare us help Stephanie do some research for a white paper. The experience research for a white paper was interesting. When I have done research in the past it had never been on something related to the digitl realm where all sources will be online. However, for the whitepaper we were researching information about Creative Commons Licensing, what people say about it, and the best ways to use it. Additionally, Stephanie wanted us to keep our eyes out for anything that may work better. I discovered that Creative Commons has a Science Commons they created for online science publications. It is not as well publicized, but there was a lot written about it when it started up so it was interesting to be able to compare the two.

The rest of my time was spent mostly doing different sorts of testing for Mandy and working in DHNow. With DHNow I worked as editor-in-chief for two weeks before the start of the spring semester. Sitting by Josh every week, who I have seen be editor-in-chief many times, I had an idea of what to do. Also, my work nominating content each week prepared me for knowing what kind of content I was looking for. However, it was still the beginning of the year and not much was being posted on the digital humanities. I also experienced how helpful editors-at-large were because each week there was only one nomination waiting for me. With a lot of searching through the content and Twitter along with some reassurance from Stephanie that the posts would work, I was able to get two editors’ choice pieces up each week along with four news pieces (which I was surprised ended up being even harder to find).

Also for DHNow I drafted some blog posts to explain the upcoming user management system, answer some questions in a FAQs format, and explain the two methods for nominating content through (Pressforward and bookmarklet).

Lastly, I tested the Turnkey theme for Mandy and the new user management system. The testing of the new theme allowed me to start getting used to Github, a website I had watched tutorials on in September before starting in Education but had no experience in. Mandy showed me some basics on getting around and where to report any issues. By the end of the testing I was fairly comfortable with Github which I imagine will keep coming up the more work I do at the Center.

That’s all for now, next up on the rotation is Public Projects!