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“As the preference for accessing research online eclipses the demand for print access, the electronic scholarly monograph, readable on an e-reader and/or searchable on a computer, is coming to play a much more significant role in research and scholarship.”
Libraries, Scholars, and Publishers in Digital Journal and Monograph Publishing.

While many will agree that monographs in digital format can offer far more options for readers and authors, there are also legitimate reasons for sticking to the traditional print format.  But instead of choosing one instead of the other, some presses and authors are actually publishing in a hybrid format … and that’s where companion websites can become the medium for providing others (readers, scholars, students, etc.) with additional and freely accessible content beyond the copyrighted text.  A good example of “why and how” a companion website for print books is probably the Digital Companion for the book How We Think: Digital Media and Contemporary Technogenesis by N. Katherine Hayles.

For us at Miami University Libraries, our call for something like this came about a year ago when Dr. Katie Johnson, Associate Professor of English, asked us if we can work with her in creating a companion website for her recent book Sex for Sale: Six Progressive-Era Brothel Dramas (University of Iowa Press, 2015).   Of course, our response was “yes” … mainly because this type of digital and faculty-driven project is a good example of the type of digital scholarship projects we support in the Center for Digital Scholarship.  This project was also unique as it exemplified the potential and benefits of digital publishing and collaborative work among scholars, students, and librarians.

We believe creating companion sites like this one for print publications can truly benefit readers as they get richer/updated/dynamic content, and authors also benefit as they have more options for extending the reach of their research.  We were in charge of the technical side of the project, major activities included: setting up a WordPress site on a library server, installing custom plugins and themes, modifying the WordPress software to produce a clean and user-friendly interface and putting in place an organization structure for the site’s content.


We are extremely proud to be part of this innovative project and were happy to blend our experience in setting up and designing the system with the content expertise and scholarship of Dr. Johnson and her team.  This kind of rich collaboration is an essential part of the services that are offered by the Center for Digital Scholarship and we are very pleased with the creative outcome.


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Miami Student Newspaper

We are really pleased to announce a significant upgrade to the Miami Student Newspaper archive. CDS staff have been working over the past several months to modernize the collection and the content to make it both more comprehensive and easier to use and access. The collection now has the mostly complete run of the materials from 1867 until March 3, 2015. All issues have also been converted into a much easier to use PDF format. We’ll be continuously adding to the archive as issues are published.  We hope you enjoy the new iteration of the collection which can be found at … special thanks for their hard work to Jessica Galvin and our student assistant Tyler Davis, and also Kevin Messner for “loaning” Tyler to us this year.

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Writing a successful grant proposal can be difficult. Many funding bodies are requiring grant proposals to have a DATA MANAGEMENT PLAN. The Center for Digital Scholarship is here to help.

A data management plan describes how data will be collected, stored and shared. The Miami Libraries have joined a consortium that offers an online tool to help you write your own data management plan. Called, it is customized with specific guidance for each of the major funder such as NSF and NIH. It will give you step-by-step guidance for completing your plan as well as providing sample plans for you to copy and build upon. You may then submit your plan for professional review before turning in your grant proposal. And best of all, it won’t cost you a cent! Just another service from Miami University Libraries.


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During the past two years, a small group of students have assisted in scanning the historical documents of the Miami-Oxford Chapter of the National Organization for Women, as well as, cataloguing items for easy retrieval for interested researchers.

On Saturday, June 21, the Center for Digital Scholarship was proud to host an informal reception and exhibit of the project during Miami University’s Alumni Weekend. Visitors were able to peruse the T-Shirt collection and buttons as insight into the rhetoric of the women’s movement. Albums with pictures and local chapter newsletters were available for viewing as well. Student presentations from the work conducted this past spring were also playing on the digital displays in the Center.

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As we transition to a summer mode and adapt our service model to meet the library and university goals, below is a first list of example projects that our team is currently working on or getting ready to complete. NEW Digital Collections Portal, we recently launched a redesigned and upgraded website for the Library’s Digital Collections; the new system is running on CONTENTdm 6.6 and three of the many new features include: a) a better image viewer for jpg, jp2 and tiff files; b) a page-by-page viewer/download for PDF files; and c) a more friendly web interface for customizing the site’s look-and-feel. CONTENTdm is also now being used for more scholarly digital collections, its flexibility to work well with other systems like Kaltura for video streaming as well as the batch import/export functionalities are always important. Miami University Libraries - Digital Collections Scholarly Commons, the university institutional repository is also undergoing a major content restructure, the new layout which will include a top-level collection for each author will enable better browsing and searching mechanisms which will subsequently make the repository more discoverable and easy to use. Additionally, we’re evaluating the new Mirage 2 and responsive theme, as much as we liked our own Mobile Theme, there are many reasons to switch to a fully responsive solution … of course, there is still some changes we need to implement, but overall, this is a great improvement for the DSpace community –thanks a lot atmire! DWAE e-book, the revised ePUB version for the Digital Writing & Assessment Evaluation ebook is currently in its final review and very soon we hope that everyone will be able to download the ePUB or MOBI versions on the book’s website. Some of the lessons learned include: a) always validate HTML & ePUB files as ebook readers are very strict; b) keep TOC and navigation links simple and useful; c) use external links for multimedia and PDF files; d) tables, especially complex tables can be very problematic; and e) CSS is a good friend for layout … we’ll always appreciate the magic of this line: -webkit-hyphens:none; DWAE ePUB NEH DH Start-Up Grant, a team member of the Center for Digital Scholarship is working with two faculty members on an NEH grant Orientation to the Mississippi Summer Project: An Interactive Quest for Social Justice. The work officially began in May and last week the team hosted an “ideation day” session where over 15 high school and Miami students helped brainstorm/discuss and produce a design document, which is currently in review with the DH consultants. For this phase of the project, the team has selected ARIS and they expect to have a digital/functional prototype in early September … stayed tuned! .

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The Center for Digital Scholarship is pleased to announce the launch of the Digital Literacy Partnership website which promotes the contributions of literacy, health, and technology on learning. This collaborative project between Valerie Ubbes, Associate Professor in the Department of Kinesiology and Health, and the University Libraries started in the late 1990s as the Children’s Picture Book Database at Miami University. Digital Literacy Partnership at Miami University The new site runs on three Omeka and interdisciplinary databases and the content includes print and electronic materials for children, youth, and adults. For the CDS team, this project has been an excellent opportunity to install/test/customize several Omeka plugins (e.g. CSV Import, Simple Pages, Contribution) as well as to integrate some jQuery lines to meet the project requirements.

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Tuesday, January 14th, Team Member Training was held in the Center for Digital Scholarship. Team member training is a workshop in which all recent library hires take part. The purpose of this workshop is for new hires to meet each other and put faces with names that they might not encounter during their normal duties and also to educate them on the principles of team membership and other practical workplace skills. This year’s group was made up of employees from different departments and libraries and resulted in an enjoyable and informative experience.

If your department is considering putting on a workshop or conference, consider using the Center for Digital Scholarship as a highly suitable location. The versatility of the space and in-house technology makes it a flexible and convenient venue. This versatility proved valuable to Team Member Training, as we moved around the center for discussion and exercises. I tweeted the event throughout the day and those captured comments are displayed below. We would like to thank the participants of this year’s Team Member training and we look forward to hosting an event for your department or class in the future. Please contact us at 529-2871 with any questions.

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This weekend the third floor of the library was filled with students from Capstone Pictures, a COM 414 capstone class that completed its filming in the Center for Digital Scholarship. Over the course of three days, students filmed a large scale production complete with hired actors, extensive light and camera rigging, and a production crew. Though the finished product is still in development, check back to the CDS website for updates.

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The number and variety of tools available to the Digital Humanities community has been growing exponentially in recent years. Many have been developed by DH scholars and are freely available to anyone with an internet connection. There are currently 700 entries in DiRT – a database of tools for the Digital Humanities community. If you are new to DH it can be hard to know where to begin. Even with experience it’s not always easy to find the right tool for the job. Which is one reason for the proliferation of tools – sometimes you have to create your own.

Many students nonetheless, wonder why they need to write essays especially if they feel like they are not good writers However, essay writing helps improve the students understanding on a particular topic.

For those new to the field, I’ve selected a few tools that might be a good place to start, found related resources that provide more information and put them together in the virtual tour presented above. In addition to a screenshot and link to the DiRT database, the tour includes screencasts that provide overviews of: OMEKA – an easy to use platform for creating collections of digital objects and mounting digital exhibits, LORE – a Zotero based tool for annotating digital objects, VOYANT – a suite of tools for exploring texts, TAPoR – an online environment for text analysis, and Scalar – a non-linear multimedia platform for scholarly publishing. For inspiration I’ve added videocasts with information on two well known projects: “Transcribe Bentham” and “Digital Thoreau”. But that’s just the beginning … a wealth of tools, methods and inspirational projects are just waiting to be discovered.

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Welcome back faculty and students! As everyone settles into new routines, we are also getting well settled into our new space and services. The Center was very fortunate to have a large turnout for our Open House in May and we have enjoyed significant traffic over the summer. In the coming weeks we hope you will have a chance to come in and meet with our staff and see what assistance we can be of with your upcoming projects. Drop in any time between 9:00a and 5:00p or call us at 513.529.2871 and make an appointment. Welcome back and good luck in the new school year!