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

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Theme Groups have been identified in order to facilitate further definition and analysis during Workshop Two and between Workshops Two and Three. This is an area of work that fits within Project Bamboo's "Services Framework" direction.

Theme Groups are not in any way an attempt to define an authoritative organization, grouping, or taxonomy for scholarly activity. Instead, this narrowly-focused view is simply a preliminary sketch of the first stage of Project Bamboo's broad "roadmap" of IT services that can support scholarly activity.

Theme Groups include all Themes contributed to the Community Design process during the period from Aug 1 through Sep 30, 2008 (we'll do our best to include theme-related material posted after the Sep 30 'deadline' for community design contributions, and to update Theme references as contributed Themes are modified and merged in the period between Sep 30 and Workshop Two).

Some Themes contributed to the Community Design process are explicitly referenced in multiple Theme Groups on the children of this page; and a couple of Themes are acknowledged to be applicable across the range of scholarly activity but - in order to maintain some sense of distinction between closely related Themes of activity that scholars engage in through iterative and non-linear cycles - are not explicitly included in all the Theme Groups they touch.Scholarly activities listed as part of each Theme Group are harvested from contributions to Themes pages during the community design period between Workshop One and Workshop Two. Lists of scholarly activities are not intended or expected to be comprehensive. Making the included activities more comprehensive and defining each at an appropriate level of detail is expected to be an activity of working groups in the period between Workshops Two and Three.

Theme Groups

The following Theme Groups each have an individual page, to which you can navigate from the hyperlinked list below.

Theme Group Definitions

For an overview of the Theme Groups on a single page, a listing with definitions is included here.

"Discover" encompasses both structured and serendipitous activities that identify objects of scholarly interest.

"Aggregate" encompasses the set of activities scholars perform to acquire and organize artifacts that an inquiry (study, exploration) will address. "Aggregate" has a more temporary or provisional character than "Preserve," and perhaps a more local or individual character as well; but many of the same automation services are likely to apply.

"Annotate" as broadly defined encompasses not only the association of notes describing a scholar's observations and thoughts about objects (crudely put, a "post-it" or "index card" mode of annotation), but also associating provenance, credit, and citation metadata; associating tags; associating categories; and otherwise organizing into taxonomies and ontologies a group of objects of scholarly interest. It is closely related to "Consider," as annotation is a means of recording the iterative and evolutionary products of consideration.

"Consider" encompasses the core sense-making activities of scholarship: the activities to which other work is supportive infrastructure. One Bamboo workshop participant summarized this activity as an effort to "condense meaning from the vapor of nuance." While this activity motivates and underlies all other scholarly activities, it is most closely related to "Annotate," which describes the iterative and evolutionary process of recording the products of consideration (i.e., ideas).

"Share/Publish" encompasses a full range of informal to formal modalities of communicating scholarly objects - from digital data sets to formally constructed and fully vetted (e.g., peer-reviewed) scholarly analyses. It may be reasonable and appropriate to consider this theme-group a close relative - or even a superset of - the Engage theme group, which focuses on sharing and publication outside the formal (institution-centric) universe of scholarship.

"Engage" encompasses activities related to engagement with communities outside the institutionally-defined bounds of "formal" scholarship. It may be reasonable and appropriate to consider this theme-group a close relative - or even a subset of - the "Share/Publish" theme group; as such, many of the activities listed in "Share/Publish" may also belong in this theme group if they are directed outside the institution(s) of formal scholarship.

"Preserve" encompasses a broad range of storage activities, both long- and short-term; both "local" (e.g., an individual scholar's desktop or individual networked-repository space) and "archival" (e.g., an institutional or disciplinary digital repository, with appropriate access governance). It includes activities that prepare a scholarly object for storage, such as digitizing it or transforming a digitized object from a form(at) in which it is obtained to a form(at) suitable to a next stage of scholarly activity (e.g., analysis, annotation, long-term archiving, etc.). "Preserve" in its shorter-term and more-local aspects bears strong resemblance to "Aggregate," and activities in the two theme groups are likely to share many of the same automation services.

"Interact" encompasses a broad and somewhat hazily bounded sphere of activities that includes the "scholarly networking" concept that recurred throughout the early months of the Project Bamboo planning phase . It may include location of and enabling interaction between scholars with overlapping interests; it may include location of digital tools and resources along with information about how they can be successfully used and/or help in actually using them; it may include a platform on which scholars may perform a variety of scholarly activities collaboratively.


  1. Unknown User (achapin)

    Would like to make the case for including the "Collaborate" theme somewhere in these groups.  Collaboration came up frequently in workshop 1 notes as well as in the Minnesota study (A Multi-Dimensional Framework for Academic Support:  A Final Report, June 2006).  The UVA "Summit on Digital Tools for the Humanities" reports:

    At one level, collaboration diverges from a basic principle of individual scholarship. For better or worse, when a scholar decides to create or make use of shared digital resources, he loses the option of working solo. This change is not merely the formation of a team of experts, but a basic shift in academic culture. By comparison, research in the sciences has long recognized team efforts. Research reports and papers are often the product of coordinated efforts by many researchers over a long period and multiple members of the team will be credited as authors. A similar emphasis on collaborative research and writing has not yet made its way into the thinking of humanists, so it is not surprising that the movement toward complex digital tools-which the individual scholar often does not master and use on her own-has been slow.
    ("Summit on Digital Tools for the Humanities," UVA, 2005, Final Report: Collaboration, p. 15)

    Currently none of the proposed theme group names nor any of the themes they group include the word "collaborate" or any of its derivatives.  In some sense you could argue that this is all about collaboration.  However as the quote from UVA summit notes, scholars in the arts and humanities have been slow to pick up on the power of collaboration since it is a challenge to the "basic principle of individual scholarship."

     Notes from workshop 1 indicated that while there was interest in being able to collaborate more, there was also concern about being able to control access to research and creative output:

    control with whom I share -prior to publication or otherwise making it public (Ex 2+3 flip charts 1d - H)
    control stages of selective releases > collaborative spaces (Ex 2+3 flip charts 1d - H)
    Collaboration platform -> granular authentication (Ex 7 flip charts 1a - C)

    The "Collaborate" theme seems to be the only theme thus far that addresses the challenge of "access control" and definition of collaborator "roles."

    1. Unknown User (


      I have added "Collaborate" to the "Interact" theme group, and apologize for failing to get to this sooner.  We were careful to include all themes contributed by Sep 30, the date by which participants were asked to contribute to the wiki ... but the late rush of contributions and theme mergers - in which your participation has been very helpful - has collided with other aspects of preparation for Workshop Two, so some of our best intentions (e.g., to keep up with those changes) weren't fully realized.

      Aspects of what has been contributed to the "Collaborate" theme will probably show up in other Theme Group activities as well.  The points you raise re: access control, for example, may occur in the "Share/Publish" theme group, where an already-proposed activity is:  "Share work-in-progress with another scholar or group of scholars, for review and response (often a "controlled release" to a set of individuals determined by the originator of the work, using a formal or informal sharing platform such as a wiki or an e-mailed draft; but may involve publication 'to the world')."

      Theme Groups and what we're going to do with them will be a major point of discussion at Workshop Two, so I won't say any more now than has already been published.  I will point out from the contextualizing box at the top of this page that "Theme Groups are not in any way an attempt to define an authoritative organization, grouping, or taxonomy for scholarly activity. Instead, this narrowly-focused view is simply a preliminary sketch of the first stage of Project Bamboo's broad "roadmap" of IT services that can support scholarly activity."

      More later this week...  Looking forward to seeing you at Workshop Two.


  2. Unknown User (aburton)


    An important aspect of humanities and arts scholarly practice is the activity of "making relationships".  In advanced scholarly communications, a scholar will collect resources from diverse sources and assert relationships.  Complex highly interlinked resources are the product.

    Bamboo has a place to enable the making of these connections, and to assist the sustainability of these relationships.

    "Relate" is similar to "aggregate", but the assumption is different.  Relate explicitly acknowledges the distributed nature of the "related" materials.  "Relate" also focuses on the scholarly value-add of defining and the understanding of the relationship (rather than simply lumping things together or 'aggregating').

     There are lots of Bamboo directions that would help scholars to better "relate" research materials, eg training education, standards, technology, tools.

    More later...