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  • W2 Plenary Sharing 3

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

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Plenary Sharing 3

  • What are the rewards, risks, scope, and priorities of each direction?

Student education and development

Combined undergrad and faculty training groups


  • economy of scale would be greatly increased by reaching out to faculty who are otherwise untrained/uninterested in digital humanities
  • Scholarly and pedagogical tools not so separate from each other; reaching out to students would increase number of people this project could benefit


  • Remain aware of differences in levels of support (resources, will to pursue Digital Humanities initiatives) that are extant at different institutions/kinds of institutions


  • Traveling training, telling people to use different ideas Bamboo developed - out of scale
    Project in this area could be creating an active clearinghouse for identifying, collecting, disseminating best practices in DH; respect idea that there are profound differences between what different humanities disciplines do


  • How to raise awareness (undergrad/faculty education/training) of value of DH for faculty members, ways in which they could expand/enhance their scholarship/teaching; ways they use
  • How maintain connections between contributing institutions
  • Address how to develop templates for matters like best training practices, how universities could report on their digital projects, what worked, didn't, etc; report template for clearinghouse

Scholarly networks

Direction name

  • Reflects interest in social network be inclusive of partners who work with scholars
  • "Networking" as part of it being active, creating connections between networks of scholars to enhance scholarship


  • When we looked at themes tied to those, rewards of discovery (other scholars, solutions, opportunities, resources, tools)
  • Talked about connecting networks - not trying to create another competing segregarted group, but something that'd enable the connecting ("hub")


  • Safety and reputation for scholars who join
  • Word "community" came up
  • Would have to be easy to establish the content; intuitive
  • Risk that there is no value in it - has to appeal to senior scholars too
  • Not re-inventing the wheel or duplicating such that there's no value in joining
  • Ensuring relevance


  • Starting light, creating a network of networks and a safe space
  • Would this be a working space? Not at first, but whatever we use as a place for this would have to accommodate growth/functionality; might eventually support work
  • Accommodate visual communication as well as text-based
  • Be able to opt in at different levels; not everyone would want open and inclusive
  • Mentoring - giving access to young scholars

Out of scope

  • Reinventing a whole new platform
  • This afternoon: surveying groups that already exist
  • Diagram of characteristics of successful communities - worth paying attention to Community first, technology last

Tools & repository I

Convergence - similar to social networking

Priorities and scope

  • Thinking for furthering collaboration/conversation in DH
  • Building a discovery/use layer that's comprised of a tool registry and content/resource registry
    • Expose things for discovery, talk about what they're built on,
  • Integration strategies - identify what standards we need and advocate for them
  • Developing strategies that cut across various communities
  • Making it really easy for registries to be used, building up use cases and case studies and stories contributed to by all the people involved (humanities scholars, librarians, IT) - get use case from all their perspectives
  • Finding out about things that didn't work too


  • Build something that doesn't meet the needs of the end users (too complex, not what anyone's looking for, people say they don't need this) - have to do ethnographic research, how do people actually work? How much time can they invest in learning something w/o clear-cut path to success?
  • Scholarly adoption of known/emerging resources and tools?
  • How do we know people will find these productive? Don't want to see Bamboo as a waste of scholars' time
  • Incentivization - how do you do it for content providers/users, while avoiding duplicative efforts
  • Evolution as virtual community - lacking face-to-face
  • Possibility of Bamboo being like Bamboo in gardens - just doesn't go away
  • On a regional basis, every few years, a face-to-face interaction


  • Broad access
  • Could be great efficiencies, great economies of scale
  • New research opportunities that are truly interdisciplinary
  • MySQL - community of users from broad array of disciplines; all working towards common goal
  • Great boon to actually be able to talk to people developing those kinds of tools
  • Tool developers want to work with humanities data
  • Marketplace of ideas that rewards risk-taking (as long as it's not too high)
  • People are not willing to take these risks early in their career; if there's obvious rewards, we can leapfrog research in the humanities

Services framework

  • Sense of disconnect between presentation yesterday of technical architecture and need to get input from A&H scholars
  • Feedback was that A&H scholars didn't see themselves in the list of tasks or boxes in the diagram
  • Belief that Bamboo can deliver some sort of tools/architecture that will support scholarship
  • Somewhere we've lost the principle of mapping scholars to strategic direction of technology
  • Focus on scoping: how do we determine it
  • We can't produce everything, we can only specify a small portion and write a grant to produce something that enables cool tools and changes to scholarship
  • Everything from sharing services to redefining scholarship
  • How do we sort through these different agendas to deliver something concrete?
  • As people talk about service framework, have to understand how A&H scholars' needs map to services
  • How to regain some of that connection, empower A&H scholars that their needs are being addressed Or allow us to talk about that back at our institutions
  • Discussion of different methods to support this
  • To continue moving forward, we need to maintain the vision of what the particular things are that are important to support
  • What are the use cases, visions, etc that we agree on as a community that Bamboo should help enable? How do they map to the tasks, green boxes?
  • Productive questions, though no specific answers
  • Request for more humanities scholars in the services framework group
  • Approach to these services as collecting everything the scholars do, then chunk up from there - is that the best approach for services?
  • Notion of "case study" - thinking about possible projects these services could produce tools for
  • Started bringing up specific types of development environments, what the problems were

Standards and specifications

  • Connection with tools - interoperability discussion
  • This raises the stakes for our discussion
  • A number of places where case studies were noted - we noticed this too
  • Developing our discussion in a direction that connects with advocacy, outreach, demonstration

3 types of standards
*easiest to pin down are "technical/plumbing standards"

    • have to exist for any practical activity to take place, wouldn't want to intervene in those (Bamboo could make an identification which standards make sense)
    • Doesn't affect methodological consideration; Humanities scholars might not want to comment on TCP/IP
  • Middle domain of technical standards with methodological impact: TEI, EAD
    • consequences and benefits for some kind of agreement, but Bamboo might not have a role in developing or requiring those
  • Domain of practices, standards (workflow, project management) which are very domain specific
    • standards for peer review, etc.
    • In those areas, PB has even less role to play in terms of requirements, but a strong role for awareness helping people get a grip on those standards, how to make use of them


  • Possibility that the more PB identifies itself with certain standards, more risk of alienation/pushback from the community where there's likes/dislikes
  • Risk of "tyranny" - too much normalization
  • Risk of obstructing standards development - meddling, getting out of our depth
  • Question of how to support graceful evolution of standards


  • Credibility for work Bamboo does
  • Interoperability
  • Facilitating the work of newcomers - prevents people from having to start from scratch
  • Critical mass
  • Longevity - standards might tend to lead to greater longevity of data involved
  • What was in/out of scope? Bamboo has a strong role to play in raising awareness ,value of using certain specifications
  • Value in adopting specific standards only in "plumbing standards"
  • Liasoning with standards bodies, jointly developed "Bamboo-specific" reflections of their standards

For working group

  • Develop organizational structure, who should be at the table
  • Develop inventory of standards/best practices
  • Concrete examples, sense of where in our taxonomy standards fit in
  • Relationships within Project Bamboo - how this information will interact with other PB workgroups depending on what mission they have
  • We shouldn't AUTHOR standards

Advocacy (leadership)


  • Quickly got into question of title - "advocacy" doesn't work, has many meanings, moved to idea of "leadership"
  • PB should be a catalyst for change, thought this leadership role ahd cross-cutting dimension; this could be taken on by oversight body but for now we didn't want to put ourselves out of business, so Advocacy group needed "advocates"
    There's a role for it, had specific ideas for it:
  • Role for PB as a clearinghouse for resources - more effective, less tyrannical
  • Provide information- those who want to advocate more forcefully can then use that info as they see fit
    Scholarly networks might come into play; clearinghouse could consist of information, also statements of principle - these could have PB achieve a more transformative impact; shouldn't just be neutral
  • Were concerned that advocacy as defined before had problems


  • For advocacy (now "leadership") working group, scope should be "porous"; facilitator should be in touch with all the other groups
  • As a leader in this field, want to be a provider of information
  • Not pushing specific recommendations, but providing certain models that various groups have adopted, available for others to see

Tools & repository II


  • Had a discussion about the title; people liked "repositories", but others thought it constrained and for non-IT people, it might be exclusive
  • Renamed "Tools & Content"


  • Licensing and IPR discussion, then told it was beyond scope
  • Everything else we talked about was provisional on Licensing being made possible
  • Maybe Bamboo could establish different levels of access that might be given to certain people for certain kinds of content
  • Might design/promote tools to provide different levels of access


  • Bringing together content from different sources, PB could have a liability if someone reverse-engineered resrictions and did bad things to the content

High reward

  • scholars want to do this


  • Priority thing to do was make it possible to bring together content from different sources and operate on it, assuming the IPR issues had been solved
  • Important to see it support scholar/researcher at small universitiesPossibility of public access
  • Identify rewards/incentives so content providers would trust tool developers
  • Tool interoperability (but standards group is doing this) 0 this is important
  • Don't want to reinvent wheels
  • PB might come up with "core services" that could be helpful to software engineers as they build API's
  • What was incentives for institutions - building tools PB wants, not just what you want
  • Making something Bamboo-compliant could mean sacrificing exactly what you want to do
  • Assured that needs of arts scholars were considered in workshop 1, but felt unaware of what came out of that
  • Felt like there's a lot of tools out there - make it possible for people to find out what tools are there, and give them access
  • Blend together use of different tools

Institutional support


  • Depends on what PB is going to be


  • relatively low - risks in alienating arts faculty

Big rewards

  • economies of scale, can appeal to institution w/ financial motivation; recruitment and retention of faculty
  • How to make a case for PB on campus; very different case in different places
  • Defining the business model and level of commitment in a way that everyone can participate, not too exclusive
  • Institutions taking the lead vs. being truly consortial
  • CIC digital repository is a good example


  • Defining what's in it for various institutions, what are membership options?
  • Develop examples of successful models to share
  • Defining forms of support and strategies for doing it


Cross-cutting education

Talking about professional development/capability of students, links with social networking (keeping people aware of what's happening elsewhere), also tools & repository
Being aware of tools and repositories - big link for clearinghouse of tools, projects, success stories, also standards and specifications
Education and training could cut across
Integration w/ service framework area
What would you train people in?
Useful to map this to theme areas coming out of service framework?
What training is available in the area of X tool?

Payoff of digital humanities

Importance of clearly identifying examples where digital research in humanities had a big payoff
Idea of having very clearly beneficial case studies has come up across all groups; who wants to take leadership in making these?

Rethinking groups

Significant overlaps between groups; how do you refactor that work so it's done across groups instead of in just one
CJK: As program staff, we need to look at what comes out of today and see if there's a refactoring that needs to go on
Maybe write up and send out to community for comment about rethinking these groups
If every direction has a certain case study element, this is connected to standards and practices in this community
Need to assess at the end of today's work

Faculty voices

Express concern about faculty voices, make sure they're as audible as they need to be, more audible than they've been so far here
Realization that we don't have all the kinds of disciplines in A&H represented in the room
Underrepesentation in the arts - also, of those who study non-text materials (e.g. archeological, art historians, etc.)
May be entire sets of needs that aren't represented here
How to find faculty members who are both leaders in their field and experienced and articulate already about these kinds of questions
Even though they haven't been acculturated to this, they'll be ready to go in helping to lead and shape the process

Non-text projects

Mental inventory of projects I've supported, most aren't text
We have a specialized group of people doing text
Most involves combining text and art, etc.