New Services and Resources to Support Digital Projects in the Humanities and Qualitative Social Sciences

The Studio is the embodiment of a growing relationship between scholars, students, departments, and support staff to support the unique nature of digital projects in the Humanities and qualitative social sciences.
by Joe Bauer, Research Consultant

Introducing the Digital Scholarship Studio

Over the past three years LSA Technology Services has partnered with U-M Library and several scholars while trying out some successful and popular pilot services for supporting Digital Scholarship in the humanities and qualitative social sciences. Now, LSA Technology Services is excited to elevate our experience and learnings by announcing the introduction of the Digital Scholarship Studio and new services

The Studio is the embodiment of a growing relationship between scholars, students, departments, and support staff to support the unique nature of digital projects in the Humanities and qualitative social sciences. It facilitates and provides a growing number of services and resources for supporting the full lifecycle of a digital project and the practice of doing digital scholarship. A studio is where things are made, but also where artforms are studied. With a studio, craft can be developed, community nurtured, and projects created. Here together, as Caitlin Pollock (U-M Library) says, "workshop can move from noun to verb."

Our Services

If you are interested in creating a digital project but not sure where to start, email us at for an introductory consultation, or drop into one of our virtual office hours (no appointment required). 

Digital Scholarship Project Support: Direct support for the process and activities of conceptualizing, planning, and creating a digital project in the humanities and qualitative social sciences.

Learn How to Do Digital Scholarship: This service helps contribute to the coherence of a U-M Digital Scholarship “Craft.” Join us and your peers for workshops, events, documentation, etc.

Connect with Peers who are Doing Digital Scholarship: Join the community of digital scholarship scholars and support partners across U-M. See examples of what is possible.

Teaching with Digital Scholarship: Support for incorporating your digital scholarship into the classroom.

Digital Scholarship Platform and Technology Access and Support: We’ll help you identify and get access to the tools and technologies necessary to successfully complete and sustain a digital project.

Digital Scholarship Certificate: In collaboration with U-M Library, this is a new non-credit bearing graduate certificate that introduces graduate students to topics related to digital and data literacy, digital humanities research skills, digital pedagogy, and professional activity in digital environments. Applications are open to Masters and Ph.D. students until September 30.

The craft of digital scholarship

To facilitate the early planning and conceptualization stages for a digital project, the Studio has adopted a framework for digital scholarship projects (see Fig. 1), first proposed by Pollock and Bauer as a result of researching practices for doing Digital Scholarship at U-M and other peer institutions. In order to take a human-centered approach, we feel it is important to be explicit about our values and principles. Our design methods, solution architecture, and community facilitation approaches are all seen through their lens and informed by them. The principles are in alignment with the LSA Technology Services values, and compatible with those of our partners at U-M Library.

Fig. 1. Digital Scholarship Project Lifecycle Conceptual Diagram
  • Research goals drive the project’s life cycle. All actions and resources should support the research goals. If, for example, there are outcomes that don’t support research goals, then those extra outcomes should be evaluated to see if they are truly needed.
  • Outcomes are what people should be able to do when they interact with the end result of the project, often stated in terms of “person X should be able to do Y.” 
  • Deliverables are the list of “nouns,” or things the project will produce, collect, and so on. This could be anything from databases to images to a website. Outcomes and deliverables should also include things needed by the research team itself, such as technical documentation.
  • Tasks are the actions required of the research team’s project labor and resources to create the deliverables.
  • The project output is presented to the groups of people identified in the outcomes through organized and managed releases, which are segmented into versions. Versions are planned around scholastic goals. For example, version three adds a map, version four adds 100 new items to the database.
  • Preservation is planned for, coordinated in advance, and integrated into the release activities so each version of the project output can be preserved in accordance with the research goals, and in compliance with the university's mission.



Research on practices for doing Digital Research included work from:

  • Alix Keener (formerly U-M Library), who surveyed 95 faculty on digital scholarship topics
  • Tony Gillum and Júlia Martins (UMOR), who conducted interviews and produced a report on “Digital Humanities at Michigan”
  • Lisa Nakamura, et al. (Digital Studies Institute), who surveyed and interviewed people from U-M and other institutions and shared their “Digital Studies Design Team Proposal” report with us
  • Joe Bauer, Carla Stellrecht, Jan Stewart, and Sean Green (LSA Technology Services Digital Scholarship Working Group), conducted interviews of U-M faculty, reviewed syllabi, and interviewed people from external institutions
  • and was inspired by the Endings Project.
Release Date: 09/10/2021
Category: Innovate Newsletter
Tags: Technology Services
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