CIRCA:Planning Digital Humanities Research Projects


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See the | Slides on Planning Projects. These notes go with the slides.


Digitization is Interpretation

See Michael Sperberg-McQueen, “The Text Encoding Initiative: Electronic text markup for research” <>

Project Tools

Google Docs You can create and share the editing of web pages using Google Docs. Google Docs can be used for collaborative writing, but also to create web pages. Some project uses of Docs:

• Draft proposals • Log what has been achieved and what has to be done • Write and publish documentation • Use spreadsheets to keep track of what is done

There is also Google Sites that can be used for entire web sites <>

Blogging For more on setting up a blog on a campus server talk to ARC. Alternatively you can set one up at: • WordPress: <> • Blogger: <>

CIRCA also has a web site built on WordPress with a shared blog. Become a CIRCA collaboratory and share our blog.

Wikis CIRCA and ARC have Wikis that you could use. You can also get one set up on a server. There are free wiki services like<> and Google Sites can be used like a wiki.

For a review of online wiki services (wiki farms) see: <>

Two examples of research wikis include <> and <>

Other Useful Tools

Here are links to get more information about the tools discussed:

• Mailman at U of Alberta: <> • Zotero: • Zotero Groups for sharing references: • RefWorks: Many university libraries will have a refworks free service like • EndNote: A commercial bibliographic reference manager that runs on Macs and PCs. • Doodle is an online scheduling tool for finding times for meeting. • Mail Chimp is an email list tool that you can use to send out newsletters and other communications. It is free and has lots of features, but this means it can take a while to figure out. • and provide free phone conference calls • Skype: is good for audio conferences. • Google+: is a social network like Facebook, but with good conferencing tools.

Other Types of Help

SDH-SEMI <> is the Canadian Society for Digital Humanities. We meet at Congress and welcome papers on projects. This is a good place to hear about different projects.

DH <> is the annual big international conference. It alternates between North America and Europe. It is harder to get a paper accepted, but the quality is high and the breadth of papers/projects is fantastic.

DHSI <> is a great summer institute run out of the University of Victoria. This is a great way to get trained.

THATCamp <j> is an alternative “unconference” type of conference that travels. Think of organizing one here.

At the U of Alberta we have an MA in Humanities Computing program with graduate level courses. Think of taking one or sending a grad student to one - <>

Many of us run research labs that meet weekly. You might want to sit in on one to see how we manage projects and research assistants. You can also bring your project into one.

Getting Academic Credit

For the MLA site on evaluating digital work see <>. This has stories that are case studies.

The MLA Guidelines for Evaluating Work with Digital Media in the Modern Languages are at <>. Their recommendations are to:

1.Delineate and Communicate Responsibilities 2.Engage Qualified Reviewers 3.Review Work in the Medium in Which It Was Produced 4.Seek Interdisciplinary Advice 5.Stay Informed about Accessibility Issues.

If you want to get credit you also need to give credit. That means acknowledging graduate students, programmers, designers and others. Make sure they are treated as collaborators.

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