Friday, February 26, 2016

'A Trusted Network' for Scholarship

'A Trusted Network' for Scholarship DePauw is connecting with the Digital Liberal Arts Exchange--learn more about it and join the effort. A group of liberal arts colleges and research universities are exploring how they could share expertise and services through a Digital Liberal Arts Exchange, easing the burden on colleges to be jacks-of-all-trades and allowing them to specialize in what they do best. The initiative is being led by Michael D. Roy, dean of the library at Middlebury College. In an interview, he said he adapted the idea for the exchange from a “babysitter consortium” his and several other families used to participate in. Instead of trusting the safety of their children to high school students, parents would enlist other families in the consortium, he said. 

The DLAx aims to give researchers the confidence that their other children -- their projects -- are in good hands. Middlebury received a $46,000 planning grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to support the project. “You need to have a trusted network,” Roy said. “Building on that idea, the notion of this planning grant is to explore what a trusted network would look like that would allow members of this consortium to collaborate in deep and meaningful ways in order to share expertise and services." 

The exchange is primarily meant to give digital humanities scholars support for projects that might not exist on their campuses, but the plan is for colleges to share more than the services provided by their libraries and centers of excellence. In the future, faculty members at one college could use the exchange to find a different college that offers application development support, for example, but also to host their digital projects and find a database of vetted speakers. 

The DLAx is in some ways a response to the pressure on colleges, universities and their libraries to offer a stream of new expertise and services -- and do it without significantly larger budgets. Roy said that development can be seen in job listings libraries post asking applicants who are comfortable with multiple coding languages, publishing platforms and digital research and teaching tools. “You need a small army,” Roy said.

Read more here...

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