How We Do DH
Interesting piece over at the Duke Library blog on defining digital humanities (hat tip to Mike Widner).
The research model is going to be harder to quantify. We do have some measurable components: we provide some services, and we do (or will do) some grant-funded projects. We also produce output, including code, web services, papers, articles, and blog posts. But for the most part we focus on building pieces of ever-evolving, ever-growing, resources that are never ‘finished’—resources that are harder to quantify than finished books or articles, websites or databases are. So, in some ways we look more like faculty than staff, in other ways we look more entrepreneurial. Startups take risks on building big things, hoping, of course, that they’ll be profitable. Very often the things they try don’t work, but sometimes they do, or sometimes they suggest a completely different (but better) direction. The thing is: you’ll never catch anything if you don’t put your fishing line in the water. We try to control for risk, to fish where the fishing’s good, but our basic posture is still research-driven and so to some extent risk bearing.