November 25, 2018 by Amanda Visconti

Notes: Wise resource investments for a DH initiative (Purdue version)

Part of my meta-DH series documenting DH/DS infrastructure: the hows & whys of treating a project team, lab, department, or campus as itself a DH project.

Caveat: This post consists of notes taken during my former DH Librarian role at Purdue (2015-2017), rather than my latest thinking at Scholars’ Lab. I’ll be sharing that updated thinking here soon!

Ideas about making wise resource investments:

  • Ask “Should we even build a center?” and explore other metaphors/options
  • Convene a Libraries DH initiative advisory committee: not oversight/supervision, but resource and advocates for my DH in the department (e.g. on the hiring committee)
  • Require potential faculty fellows/project members to attend one term of “introduction to DH” workshops first before committing to collaboration, using MITH’s DH Incubator model (lessons in finding, creating, cleaning, sharing, documenting data; collaboration best practices, why and how to credit everyone involved in your work: how to use GoogleDocs, Trello, Doodle polls; common mistakes using new methodologies; joining the DH online community via blogging and Twitter)
  • Sign mutual contract with collaborators indicating expected deliverables and deadlines, checkpoints and what will happen if work not done, and expectations for crediting and citing all team members in publications and presentations
  • Send Purdue DHers at all levels out to train (HILT in Indianapolis, RBS), then bring back to campus to give a presentation on what they learned
  • Invest in collaborators, not projects
  • Train the trainers (peer review, personal research & professionalism time for all)
  • Publications (questions by Geoffrey Pullum, “To co-author, or not to co-author?” with slight alterations to fit our needs): What names will appear on title page? What order? Who/what has IP rights? Can any team members recycle paper’s content for conference presentation or for inclusion/adaptation in other work including journal articles and books? What happens if the project is dropped or one member fails to uphold their contract? Would other team members be allowed to wrap up the project or publications about the project as desired (and publish under what names)? For continuing projects, how long should all team members names stay on the front page? (All names should always stay on a history or about page).
  • See also students’ (UCLA) and collaborators’ (MITH) bills of rights. Include info on assuring student mentorship for all assistance, internships, jobs, teaching, and mentoring—not e.g. data entry.
  • All panels, sets of conference keynotes, and hiring should look for unconscious bias and be structured to support inclusion.
  • CRM for consultation/campus DH tracking?
  • Consultation appointment set up includes consent to code of conduct, optional inclusion in campus DH directory
  • Public workflows a la Guelph (what we do/don’t do, what effort involved…)