RECOMMENDED: The Arrival Fallacy: Collaborative Research Relationships in the Digital Humanities

The newest issue of Digital Humanities Quarterly will feature an article by Alix Keener (University of Michigan) addressing questions around collaboration between digital humanities researchers and academic librarians. “The Arrival Fallacy: Collaborative Research Relationships in the Digital Humanities” is based on research conducted with participants from the Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC) libraries, which includes institutions with large DH centers, such as Michigan State University, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and the University of Maryland. Keener’s findings point to challenges in “working ‘across the boundary of discipline and perspective.'”

The full abstract is reproduced below:

As discussion and debates on the digital humanities continue among scholars, so too does discussion about how academic libraries can and should support this scholarship. Through interviews with digital humanities scholars and academic librarians within the Center for Institutional Cooperation, this study aims to explore some points of common perspective and underlying tensions in research relationships. Qualitative interviews revealed that, while both groups are enthusiastic about the future of faculty-librarian collaboration on digital scholarship, there remain certain tensions about the role of the library and the librarian. Scholars appreciate the specialized expertise of librarians, especially in metadata and special collections, but they can take a more active stance in utilizing current library resources or vocalizing their needs for other resources. This expertise and these services can be leveraged to make the library an active and equal partner in research. Additionally, libraries should address internal issues, such as training and re-skilling librarians as necessary; better-coordinated outreach to academic departments is also needed.

dh+lib Review

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