I’m happy to join with a fantastic team, led by Tom Eliot, Sebstian Heath, and John Muccigrosso on an NEH-funded “institute” called LAWDI (Linked Ancient World Data Institute). I promise it will have plenty of the enthusiasm and fervor implied by its acronym. To help spread the word, I’m reusing some of Tom Eliot’s text that he circulated on the Antiquist email list:

The Institute for the Study of the Ancient World at New York University will host the Linked Ancient World Data Institute (LAWDI) from May 31st to June 2nd, 2012 in New York City. Applications are due 17 February 2012.

LAWDI, funded by the Office of Digital Humanities of the National Endowment for Humanities, will bring together an international faculty of practitioners working in the field of Linked Data with twenty attendees who are implementing or planning the creation of digital resources.

More information, including a list of faculty and application instructions, are available at the LAWDI page on the Digital
Classicist wiki:

DDIG member Ethan Watrall (Asst. Professor of Anthropology @ MSU) sends us the following information about his upcoming Cultural Heritage Informatics (CHI) field school, which is part of the CHI Initiative at Michigan State University.

Excerpts quoted. For full details, please see this PDF LINK.

Site Link:<>

We are extremely happy to officially announce the Cultural Heritage Informatics Fieldschool (ANP491: Methods in Cultural Heritage Informatics). Taking place from May 31st to July 1st (2011) on the campus of Michigan State University, the Cultural Heritage Informatics Fieldschool will introduce students to the tools and techniques required to creatively apply information and computing technologies to cultural heritage materials and questions.

The Cultural Heritage Informatics Fieldschool is a unique experience that uses the model of an archaeological fieldschool (in which students come together for a period of 5 or 6 weeks to work on an archaeological site in order to learn how to do archaeology). Instead of working on an archaeological site, however, students in the Cultural Heritage Informatics Fieldschool will come together to collaboratively work on several cultural heritage informatics projects. In the process they will learn a great deal about what it takes to build applications and digital user experiences that serve the domain of cultural heritage – skills such as programming, user experience design, media design, project management, user centered design, digital storytelling, etc. …

The Cultural Heritage Informatics Fieldschool is open to both graduate students and undergraduates. There are no prerequisites (beyond an interest in the topic). Students from a wide variety of departments, programs, and disciplines are welcome. students are required to enroll for both sections 301 (3 credits) and 631 (3 credits) of ANP 491 (Methods in Cultural Heritage Informatics).

Admission to the Cultural Heritage Informatics Fieldschool is by application only.

To apply, please fill out the Cultural Heritage Informatics Fieldschool Application Form <>. Applications are due no later than 5pm on March 14th. Students will be notified as to whether they have been accepted by March 25th.

The Center for History and New Media (CHNM)  at George Mason University organized One Week, One Tool. A Digital Humanities Barn Raising during the last week of July.

… a unique summer institute, one that aims to teach participants how to build an open source digital tool for humanities scholarship by actually building a tool, from inception to launch, in a week. … A short course of training in principles of open source software development will be followed by an intense five days of doing and a year of continued remote engagement, development, testing, dissemination, and evaluation. Comprising designers and developers as well as scholars, project managers, outreach specialists, and other non-technical participants, the group will conceive a tool, outline a roadmap, develop and disseminate an initial prototype, lay the ground work for building an open source community, and make first steps toward securing the project’s long-term sustainability. One Week | One Tool is inspired by both longstanding and cutting-edge models of rapid community development. For centuries rural communities throughout the United States have come together for ‘barn raisings’ when one of their number required the diverse set of skills and enormous effort required to build a barn—skills and effort no one member of the community alone could possess. In recent years, Internet entrepreneurs have likewise joined forces for crash ‘startup’ or ‘blitz weekends’ that bring diverse groups of developers, designers, marketers, and financiers together to launch a new technology company in the span of just two days. One Week | One Tool will build on these old and new traditions of community development and the natural collaborative strengths of the digital humanities community to produce something useful for humanities work and to help balance learning and doing in digital humanities training.

How did it turn out? Find out more at these blogs:

O yeah, the project result was Anthologize: “a free, open-source, plugin that transforms WordPress 3.0 into a platform for publishing electronic texts. Grab posts from your WordPress blog, import feeds from external sites, or create new content directly within Anthologize. Then outline, order, and edit your work, crafting it into a single volume for export in several formats, including—in this release—PDF, ePUB, TEI.”

Archive ’10, the NSF Workshop on Archiving Experiments to Raise Scientific Standards, was just held on May 25-26 in Salt Lake City—sorry for not announcing this in advance, I just learnt about it myself via Clifford Lynch. The website states: “Archive ’10 will focus on the creation of archives of computer-based experiments: capturing and publishing entire experiments that are fully encapsulated, ready for immediate replay, and open to inspection. It will bring together a few areas of the scientific community that represent fairly advanced infrastructure for archiving experiments and data (physicists and biomedical researchers) with two areas of the computer systems community for which significant progress is still needed (networks and compilers). The workshop will also include experts in enabling technologies and publishing.”

The live video feed doesn’t seem to be working anymore. I hope it will be replaced with an archived version. A few of the position papers that stood out to me are:

This is not exactly archaeology of course but it still is a good idea to check on other disciplines for ideas and experiences.

The UC Berkeley’s Center for Studies in Higher Education (CSHE) earlier this month organized a workshop on the role and future of peer review in publishing, tenure and promotion. The working papers are now available online.

The topics of the working papers are: (1) Peer Review in Academic Promotion and Publishing: Norms, Complaints, and Costs, (2) New Models of Peer Review: Repositories, Open Peer Review, and Post Publication Metrics, (3) Open Access: Green OA, Gold OA, and University Resolutions, and (4) Creating New Publishing and Peer Review Models: Scholarly Societies, Presses, Libraries, Commercial Publishers, and Other Stakeholders.

… there is a need for a more nuanced academic reward system that is less dependent on citation metrics, slavish adherence to marquee journals and university presses, and the growing tendency of institutions to outsource assessment of scholarship to such proxies. Such a need is made more urgent given the challenges to institutional review of assessing interdisciplinary scholarship, new hybrid disciplines, the rise of heavily computational sub-branches of disciplines, the development of new online forms of edition-making and collaborative curation for community resource use, large-scale collaborations, and multiple authorship.

Ithaka has published a new report: Faculty Survey 2009: Key Strategic Insights for Libraries, Publishers, and Societies. I quote:

“This fourth in a series of surveys conducted over the past decade examined faculty attitudes and behaviors on key issues ranging from the library as information gateway and the need for preservation of scholarly material, to faculty engagement with institutional and disciplinary repositories and thoughts about open access.  For the first time, we also looked at the role that scholarly societies play and their value to faculty.


Following an initial introductory letter, survey questionnaire booklets were physically mailed to 35,000 faculty members in September 2009. A total of 3,025 complete responses were received and tabulated, for a response rate of approximately 8.6%. Demographic characteristics, including discipline, are self-reported. In 2006, we deposited the dataset with ICPSR for long-term digital preservation and access, and we intend to do so again with the 2009 dataset.


Full Report (PDF)

Key findings of the Faculty Survey 2009 include:

Basic scholarly information use practices have shifted rapidly in recent years and, as a result, the academic library is increasingly being disintermediated from the discovery process, risking irrelevance in one of its core areas.

Faculty members’ growing comfort in relying exclusively on digital versions of scholarly materials opens new opportunities for libraries, new business models for publishers, and new challenges for preservation.

Despite several years of sustained efforts by publishers, scholarly societies, libraries, faculty members, and others to reform various aspects of the scholarly communications system, a fundamentally conservative set of faculty attitudes continues to impede systematic change.”

There are two webinars left that you can sign up for:

“Chapter 2: The Format Transition for Scholarly Works - April 29

Chapter 3: Scholarly Communications - May 5

An interesting white paper appeared late last year that investigates “The Value of New Scientific Communication Models for Chemistry.” It is available for free download; an overview article can also be found in the journal Nature Chemistry. Here’s the executive summary:

This paper is intended as a starting point for discussion on the possible future of scientific communication in chemistry, the value of new models of scientific communication enabled by web based technologies, and the necessary future steps to achieve the benefits of those new models. It is informed by a NSF sponsored workshop that was held on October 23-24, 2008 in Washington D.C. It provides an overview on the scientific communication system in chemistry and describes efforts to enhance scientific communication by introducing new web- based models of scientific communication. It observes that such innovations are still embryonic and have not yet found broad adoption and acceptance by the chemical community. The paper proceeds to analyze the reasons for this by identifying specific characteristics of the chemistry domain that relate to its research practices and socio-economic organization. It hypothesizes how these may influence communication practices, and produce resistance to changes of the current system similar to those that have been successfully deployed in other sciences and which have been proposed by pioneers within chemistry.

The fact that the perspective presented in this paper is not unanimously shared across the board of stakeholders within chemistry was evident from the comments of some participants of the October 2008 workshop to the draft of this paper. Change in established systems is difficult and inevitably disrupts practices that are considered essential by established stakeholders. The revised version of the paper that you are now reading acknowledges this and highlights issues of disagreement among the stakeholders represented at the workshop. Further, the analysis in this paper is incomplete with regard to the many different research fields within chemistry. Additional work, deepening, and validating the analysis presented in this paper is needed. Hence, we see this document as only a first step and propose it as the basis of a second, broader workshop.  This workshop would include a broad range of chemists, both from academia and industry, and other stakeholders in the scientific communication system in chemistry, as well as researchers who study transformation processes in the sciences. The aim of such a workshop would be to critically discuss and further develop the analysis presented here, and to design concrete recommendations on

• How to assess the value of new scientific communication models in chemistry?

• How to catalyze desirable changes?

• What aspects require further exploration and research?

We suggest this document and the proposed second workshop have broader value.  We believe that the domain of chemistry with its cautious approach to new communication models constitutes a valuable case study for transformation processes in scientific communication in the Digital Age. Efforts to innovate scientific communication will benefit from an increased understanding of discipline and research field specific factors, which can be acquired through the discussions and analyses that this paper aims to initiate.

The Library of Congress recently organized the Designing Storage Architectures for Preservation Collections Meeting (September 22-23, 2009, Washington, DC). The presentations and more are now available online. “The purpose of the meeting was to bring together technical industry experts, IT professionals, digital collections and strategic planning staff, government specialists with an interest in preservation and recognized authorities and practitioners of Digital Preservation to identify common areas of interest to inform decision-making in the future.” This is part of the ongoing Digital Preservation program of the Library of Congress.

A series of lectures at Georgia Tech are now viewable online. They are interesting for all scholars of the digital inclination. For instance, Cliff Lynch, Executive Director of the Coalition for Networked Information, spoke on A Changing Society, Changing Scholarly Practices, and the New Landscape of Scholarly Communication. Other topics are The Current State of Journal Publishing & Open Access Journals 2.0, Repository Programs: What Can They Do for Faculty, Cyber Infrastructure: Removing Barriers in Research and Scholarly Communications.

Also, a new report is now available as a pdf download: Working Together or Apart: Promoting the Next Generation of Digital Scholarship. Report of a Workshop Cosponsored by the Council on Library and Information Resources and The National Endowment for the Humanities, March, 2009. 78 pp. “As part of its ongoing programs in digital scholarship and the cyberinfrastructure to support teaching, learning and research, … CLIR in cooperation with the … NEH held a symposium on September 15, 2008 in which a group of some 30 leading scholars was invited to
• articulate the research challenges that will use the new media to advance the analysis and interpretations of text, images and other sources of interest to the humanities and social sciences
• and in so doing, pose interesting problems for ongoing computational research.”

My colleague Erik Wilde is organizing a workshop on Location and the Web. I’m helping to organize and have already hit some of the email lists with a call for papers. The types of questions explored by this workshop will be directly relevant to researchers interested in using GoogleEarth or Second Life for visualization and analysis (for instance). Here’s his call for papers:

the paper submission deadline for the First Workshop on Location and the Web (LocWeb 2008) is only 18 days away. we now have a pretty stong program committee, and i am looking forward to the submitted paper and of course the workshop itself.

so if you are interested in location information and the web, please consider submitting a paper. the workshop is held in beijing and co-located with WWW2008, the 2008 edition of the world’s premier conference in the area of web technologies.

my personal hope for the workshop is that we will be able to get strong submissions in the area of how to make location information available as part of the web, not so much over the web. there are countless examples of applications with location as part of their data model, which are accessible through some web interface, but there are far less examples of applications which try to turn the web into a location-aware information system. the latter would be the perfect candidate for the workshop.