academic workflow, data repository analytics

Agenda for June 26-28, 2013

  • productivity, tools, and the academic workflow
  • data repository analytics project
  • mid-year review and reprioritizing

Productivity, tools, and the academic workflow

Reading various blog posts on academic workflows in digital humanities has sparked my interest in offering workshops for our graduate students. I’ve had several conversations with librarians across campus about diversifying the workshops we offer on digital tools. Currently, that consists entirely of citation management software and social media sites. Fine-tuning my digital workflow is something I pay a fair bit of attention too, mostly because only a few of the tools I use play nicely together. I imagine others are not completely satisfied either, but have no evidence supporting this assumption. Sadly, given the hurdles associated with distributing an electronic questionnaire on our campus, I probably won’t bother assessing the need before moving forward. Targeting particular departments might be an option, though. This is definitely on my B-list of projects for 2013, but I hope to get to it in the spring semester of 2014.

Data repository analytics

A former colleague and I are implementing some Google Analytics code in the data repository to supplement the basic stats provided by dSpace. In particular, we’re interested in how users discover items and interact with the system. I have a few data sets ready to deposit once we’ve finalized our goals, but I anticipate the traffic will be light for some time. In the meantime, we’ll get some baseline information that will help us tweak the dSpace interface to make it more user-friendly. I’ll hold my judgments until the data is in, but I’m guessing we will need to provide landing pages for larger datasets that will enable better browsing and context.

Mid-year review

Suffice it to say that I’m one of those people who always plan way too much for any given time period. I’ve learned over the past decade to take some time out mid-year to evaluate progress and motivation for major projects and revisit the annual list. I’ve got about 10 fairly significant projects on the list for 2013 and I suspect that only 3-4 will be feasible. Topping that list is the data management lit review and workshops for health and social sciences, which is more engaging and time-consuming than expected. Not a bad thing…

By Heather L. Coates

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