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  • SN-0045 Starting a Research Project

This wiki space contains archival documentation of Project Bamboo, April 2008 - March 2013.

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Starting a research project

Collection Date: Dec. 18, 2008
Scholar #1 Info: (if more than one scholar's process is described, copy this set for each scholar)

  • Name: Massimo Riva
  • Email:
  • Title: Professor of Italian Studies
  • Institution/Organization: Brown University
  • Field of Study/Creative Endeavor: Italian Studies

Collector Info (can be the same as "Scholar" above):

  • Name: Elli Mylonas
  • Email:
  • Title: Associate Director, CIS (Scholarly Technology Group)
  • Institution/Organization: Brown University

Notes on Methodology:

Please briefly describe the collection methods used (eg. "self report", "questionnaire", "ethnographic interview")

The Brown University Local Bamboo Group met and discussed various actual scenarios for research and scenarios. The participants in this discussion were two faculty members and 4 CIS staff members from the Academic Services Group.


The scope section is provided by the collector, with input from the scholar(s), and attempts to estimate the scope of the group that performs the processes described: How broadly do the practices described in this story apply to others in same field, in related fields, etc?

  1. In the opinion of the scholar, who participates in the process the story describes? Individual Scholars
    (e.g. "just this scholar", "many people in the scholar's field of inquiry", "all academics", etc.)
  2. What is this process intended to accomplish for the scholar? Fundamental research process
  3. Who is the intended audience of the processes described?
  4. Is this the only process the scholar uses to accomplish his/her goals? Most likely not
  5. What "shared services" would help transform the story into something of more benefit for the scholar or his/her audience?  What process or processes in the story could be automated?


Please provide some keywords that will allow us to group or cluster related stories--or aspects of stories.

1. Was this story collected for a particular Bamboo working group?  If so, please include, as keywords, the appropriate group(s).

  • Shared Services
  • Stories

2. Suggested keywords: Does this story contain elements that could be mapped to these keywords?  If so, please indicate which ones and briefly describe the mapping.  Add any additional keywords in #3. (These are global keywords from this page keywords)

3. Please list additional keywords here:

4. Related Stories: Are there parts of the story that relate to other collected stories? Please provide title(s) and link to the story page. 


Please include the text, documents, media, or other material which comprise this story

Scenario: A scholar is searching for information about an Italian 19th c. archaeologist who was an orientalist and Egyptologist, who is the subject of a  chapter of his book. The researcher is interested in this figure because of other work that he is doing, for example, studying orientalism in a Victorian context. The scholar wants to discover recent scholarship on this archaeologist, and as a first step, to do so without moving from his desk.

Research starts by searching for books and references on the internet using Google books, Worldcat, other types of searches. This research is preliminary to actually going to the university library, or to London, to search in libraries and archives there. The researcher is also identifying other scholars who have published on the same or relevant topics, and building a network of possible contacts. This first step is dependent on serendipity; the researcher finds useful sources that he wasn't looking for, and that may not have been obviously relevant at first glance.

The next step is to buy books, go to the library and look up references, images, articles, and finally, to travel to more distant archives.

When filtering and organizing the information, the scholar tends to do most of the work in his head. He doesn't use technology very much in this phase. However, it is useful to gather information in one place, and to have available bibliographic tools to manipulate it. In this case, the scholar uses Zotero.

Desiderata: ways to locate and collect images.

Other Comments:

Activity links



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