Resources for Digital Scholarship

What follows is a lightly-annotated list of different kinds of resources that folks interested in exploring digital scholarship might find helpful. The first sections, “About Digital Scholarship” and “Finding Resources,” are broad in their approaches insofar as they provide a number of good starting points for learning more about what we talk about when we talk about “digital scholarship.” Many of these resources are gateways to other lists of resources and, as a result, there’s some overlap between resources they’ll mention; this is one easy way to find resources that hold sway within the community of digital scholars.

Many of the resources here refer to “digital humanities” specifically rather than “digital scholarship” in the more general sense that we are thinking about it for this grant initiative. For readers of this page, these resources are no less relevant in that they are focused on ways of bringing digital scholarship into courses and research projects. For many disciplines, “digital” has been a part of the “scholarship” for a good while now; for practitioners in these disciplines we hope that you can use these resources to help us find interesting intersections that will allow for creative, innovative collaborations.

One final note to point our the lack of comprehensiveness in our list. For example, our list pales in comparison to the guides and tools listed in Digital Humanities Resources for Student Project-Building, curated by the digital scholarship thought-leader, Alan Liu. Fortunately, no one list needs to be comprehensive (though Jeffrey McClurken’s list might be the closest) . With a proper starting point the interconnected networks will take the read as far as she or he wants to go.

About Digital Scholarship

Getting Started in Digital Humanities
Lisa Spiro’s article in the first number of the Journal of Digital Humanities is one of the best–if not the best–on the topic. It is full of resources, each under a heading that offers practical advice like “Determine what goals or questions motivate you.” The article arises out of a presentation that she gave for the Great Lakes College Association (GLAC), and the slides for that talk can be found here. It’s worth reiterating the value of the CUNY Digital Humanities Resource Guide overall, and worth making a special gesture toward the collection of DH Syllabi found there. Of course it’s hard to have a comprehensive list of even one kind of resource given the pace of good scholarship in the field, but we might to the ist of journals in her article/presentation DH+Lib and Hybrid Pedagogy. Additionally, this seems like a fine place to mention Digital Humanities Now, which offers a constant stream of the digital scholarship happening now.

Digital Humanities: Where to Start
This article by Jennifer L. Adams and Kevin B. Gunn for the College and Research Libraries News is another great starting point with a great many categories. It has some overlap with Spiro’s resource above, so you might start with Spiro and then come to this to skim for the material that was not covered in “Getting Started in DH.”

Hacking the Academy
“Hacking,” in digital scholarship, is about making something your own: adapting, revising, rebuilding, and resubmitting, say, a lesson plan, for use by and wit others. Here we see how digital scholarship is reshaping what we’ve recognized traditionally as “the academy.” Hacking is a great collection of articles that were assembled in an unconventional way: they were crowdsourced and put together in a week (edited, of course). The “Introductions” section–Editors’ Dan Cohen and Tom Scheinfeldt’s “Preface” and Tad Suiter’s piece “Why Hacking?”–is a fine place to start before you begin sampling the other 32 (!) articles.

Demystifying DH
This is a space for resources created and collected as a part of a program at the University of Washington, and although some of it is UW-specific, much of it has universal utility for folks interested in digital scholarship. The goal of the project, as stated on the site, “is to develop curriculum materials that provide a non-threatening starting point for DH self-development.” You can browse the updates to the site (subscribe to the RSS feed!), or you can go straight to some really helpful resources, among them a post on “What Digital Humanists Do”, a set of slides> from a presentation entitled “What is DH and Why Does it Matter?”, and a brief-ish glossary of terms used in and in reference to digital scholarship.

Tooling Up for Digital Humanities
“Tooling Up” has some specific tools with which it’s concerned, but it’s much more about digital scholarship. Arranged by topics, this resource from Stanford has short articles on the major topics in digital scholarship: Virtual You (about online identities and plugging into the larger conversations), Digitization, Text Analysis, Spatial Analysis, Databases, Pedagogy, and Data Visualizations. The “Further Reading” sections found under each of these topics are phenomenal resources.

Finding Resources

Digital Humanities Questions and Answers
A great place to search for an answer to your question, pose your question (if you don’t find that answer), or to just browse. Many of the folks here know a thing or twelve about digital scholarship, and will be very helpful.

Bamboo DiRT
Bamboo DiRT (Digital Research Tools) starts with a list of 29 categories that people interested in digital scholarship can use to refine their searches for resources. The categories range from “stay[ing] current with research” to “visualiz[ing] data,” with many user friendly topics in between. Within the categories one can refine searches further using a handful of dropdown menus.



Voyant is a text analysis tool that is really easy to use: one just copies or uploads plain text to the interface and is then presented with a configurable “skin” with an handful of word-frequency-based analyses all rolled up together. This is a way to think about how visualizing things like word frequency can allow students to see texts differently.

Juxta Commons
Juxta Commons is a web-based platform for this text analysis tool that is also available as a stand-alone tool, Juxta. This is collation software that visualizes the differences between versions of texts. You can see their example of the draft Declaration of Independence and the final version, or you can click through a number of examples featured on the Juxta software main page.

TAPoR Tools
TAPoR (Text Analysis Portal for Research) offers a suite of different tools for text analysis. When a user visits a page for any one of the tools they get a bit of data about the tool, including “ease of use” and “type of analysis.”

Gephi is more advanced than the “paste and play” tools above (Juxta Commons and Voyant), but it is less-advanced than MALLET (below). This is a visualization tool designed to reveal networks based on connections (“edges”) between points of reference (“nodes”). This is used in a number of, say, social network visualizations that use data as big as Twitter or as little as Hamlet’s “to be or not to be” soliloquy.

MALLET (Machine Learning for Language Toolkit) is an advanced tool that allows one to apply various machine learning applications to text(s). Although this is an advanced tool designed for ingesting and crunching large amounts of data, it is open-source and amply documented if you, gentle reader, want to dive in and start exploring.