Assessing Library-Led Digital Scholarship Projects and Digital Research Operations




Davis-Van Atta, Taylor
Thompson, Santi
Willan, Claude

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Texas Digital Library


In February 2018, the University of Houston (UH) Libraries launched the Digital Research Commons (DRC), a space dedicated to facilitating library-sponsored digital research projects and providing educational programming around open scholarship. By November 2018, the DRC had interacted with 17 departments, 5 colleges, 29 faculty members, and dozens of graduate students at various levels of engagement, from project design consultations to an array of data-oriented workshops to partnerships on multi-year research projects. DRC staff had accepted and sponsored 10 such projects and were establishing collaborative workflows with departments across the Libraries in support of these activities while building lecture, workshop, and reading series that teach core competencies along the digital research lifecycle. From the start, the matter of assessing this broad range of programming has been a priority for DRC staff, especially since few, if any, standards exist for the evaluation of individual born-digital projects or of digital scholarship labs as a whole. Based on content analysis of 24 DRC sponsored project applications, this presentation details the methods used by UH librarians to establish frameworks for assessing sponsored research projects and broader DRC operations, as well as how these metrics have been structured such that they are meaningful to a range of internal and campus stakeholders. The presentation will contribute an assessment case study to a growing, yet still lean, area of focus in academic research libraries.


Presented by the University of Houston, 2B | Digital Scholarship, at TCDL 2019.