Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Digital Scholarship Projects: Home

Digital Scholarship Goals and Projects

Learn about our departmental goals and notable recent projects

Our 2016-18 Goals

Formed in Spring 2016, the mission of the Digital Scholarship group is to expand the capacity of researchers at Penn to create and share new kinds of scholarship. Our goals for the next two years (2016-2018) represent significant benchmarks in our collective efforts to achieve this mission. To keep track of our progress towards these goals, view our notable projects below or connect with us directly.

Collaborate with colleagues in the library to build a research data management and curation program

  • Develop data management outreach programs specific to Humanities, Social Sciences, and Sciences. Develop data management recommendations and guides.
  • Identify and support options and/or recommendations for the long term preservation, access and reuse of scholarly digital assets.

Collaborate with other library divisions to make library collections more consistently usable as data

  • Collaborate with colleagues to create guides for finding and using structured and unstructured datasets for computational uses.
  • Create bulk download workflows and toolkits.
  • Provide access to licensed content at scale.

Develop and nurture a network of collaborators in support of digital scholarly creation

  • Bring the work of Digital Scholarship to physical spaces to provide opportunities for in-person engagements.
  • Build and maintain collaborative relationships with library liaisons, Kislak colleagues, and Metadata Services.
  • Build collaborative relationships outside of the library.
  • Create a web presence for Digital Scholarship that makes clear the relationships between DS, the rest of the library, and outside partners.
  • Employ students at all education levels in ways that are rewarding for them and increase our capacity.

Establish sustainable workflows, training, and documentation for digital research projects

  • Together with colleagues in the library, the Price Lab, and across campus, develop a tiered model for supporting collaborative research projects.

Expand and promote programs for digital open access publishing

  • Educate and Advocate about Open Access publishing and open data publishing.
  • Expand programs for hosting open access publications.
  • Expand support for Copyright questions, Creative Commons Licenses and Traditional Knowledge Labels across the University.
  • Increase the capacity of the library to support open access publishing.
  • Increase use of ScholarlyCommons as an open access repository for previously published faculty works and explore its intersections with other systems.
  • Promote a set of Researcher Identity Management Services.

Expand the library’s capacity to engage in new methodological practices

  • Collaborate with colleagues, faculty, and students in experimental development.
  • Create and market a menu of workshops to offer faculty, students, librarians on demand.
  • Enable engagement with mapping and data visualization across campus.
  • Increase capacity of faculty and students to analyze sound, images, and video as data.
  • Increase capacity of librarians, faculty and students to explore digital curation and exhibition as a scholarly method.
  • Increase capacity of librarians, faculty and students to use text and data mining methods.

Featured Digital Scholarship Projects

Datarefuge Logo


DataRefuge is a public, collaborative project designed to address concerns about federal climate and environmental data. DataRefuge is also an initiative committed to identifying, assessing, prioritizing, securing, and distributing reliable copies of federal climate and environmental data so that it remains available to researchers. Data collected as part of the #DataRefuge initiative will be stored in multiple, trusted locations to help ensure continued accessibility. DataRefuge is a collaborative initiative between the Penn Libraries, University of Michigan Libraries, Internet Archive, Environmental Data Governance Initiative, and many others.

Always Already Computational: Library Collections as Data

With support from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), Always Already Computational will foster a strategic approach to developing, describing, providing access to, and encouraging reuse of library collections that support computationally-driven research and teaching in areas including but not limited to digital humanities, public history, digital history, data driven journalism, digital social science, and digital art history. To learn more about this project, visit the project website.

Penn Museum Archives Foreign Language Toolkit

Developed to support the foreign language programs at Penn, the toolkit provides instructors with a selection of material available at the Penn Museum Archives written in foreign languages. Instructors are encouraged to use the tool to identify collections of interest for their courses. To browse the toolkit, visit our Omeka site.

Cat's Cradle: A World Connected by String

During Summer 2016, the Digital Scholarship group supervised two Philadelphia high school interns who shadowed a number of museum employees to learn about careers in this field. During their visit, they selected some objects from the Museum's collections, the Cat's Cradles from Alaska, learned about techniques for curating digital museum content, and developed a digital exhibit of this rarely seen collection. The project was developed in StoryMap by Esri.

LexisNexis Logo

LexisNexis Bulk Download Tool

As part of our efforts to create new bulk download workflows and toolkits, we are actively developing a LexisNexis bulk download tool that will enable querying and downloading larger quantities of text files for analysis. To learn more about this project, contact Scott Enderle, Digital Humanities Specialist.

Screenshot of Digital Fellowship homepage

Digital Scholarship Fellowship

The Digital Scholarship Fellowship is a year-long collaborative program that integrates digital tools, theory, and methods with undergraduate academia. The aim of the program is to provide a stimulating and challenging experience for students interested in exploring digital scholarship, regardless of whether they have extensive experience using digital tools or are learning about digital scholarship for the first time. To learn more about the fellowship, including information about our current cohort and future application cycles, visit the fellowship website.

Screenshot of Penn Publisher Policy Database

Publisher Policy Database

Beginning in Fall 2016, we are actively expanding the quantity and quality of data in the Penn Publisher Policy Database, an openly accessible database of journal publishers and their publishing policies and permissions. For more information about this project, contact the ScholarlyCommons team.

Screenshot of Digging Deeper at Penn: A Digital Curatorial Seminar homepage

Digging Deeper at Penn: A Digital Curatorial Seminar

In Fall 2016, Digital Humanities Specialist Sasha Renninger acted as the library liaison to ARTH 501 Presenting the Past, taught by Holly Pittman and Renata Holod. She guided the class in creating a digital extension of the Penn Museum Middle East Galleries. The project was developed using Weebly.

Contact Us

Scott Enderle​
Digital Humanities Specialist

Scott specializes in statistical text analysis, machine learning, and data visualization. Contact him with questions about using new technologies and large collections of data for humanities research and teaching.

Margaret Janz
Scholarly Communications and Data Curation Librarian

Margaret specializes in organizing, documenting, and saving data; contact her for questions about data management planning.

Kenny Whitebloom
Digital Scholarly Publishing Librarian 

Kenny manages the operations of ScholarlyCommons, a repository for the scholarly output of researchers at Penn. He specializes in digital publishing and open access. Contact Kenny if you’re interested in contributing to ScholarlyCommons, or if you would like to find out more.