Center for Digital Scholarship

Building a New Center for Digital Scholarship


The Center for Digital Scholarship is a collaboration-driven home within the UChicago Library providing services, referrals, and best practices to help people explore, create, analyze, share and preserve their research and data. We are grateful for an incredibly generous gift from Robert, AM’64, and Carolyn Nelson, AM’64, PhD’67, who have helped support the center’s growth and centralization of its work across campus.


The Center for Digital Scholarship (CDS) will be a nexus for intellectual energy and growth, providing services that facilitate the exploration of new methodologies, the analysis of complex data, the visualization of theoretical and spatial relationships, and the sharing and preservation of research results. Read more about the Library's vision for the CDS.

What is digital scholarship?

Digital scholarship is the use of technology or digital methodology to explore, acquire, create, manage, analyze, preserve, and/or share research or other scholarly outputs, like data. These tools or methodologies include ways of discovering, acquiring, analyzing and managing data across STEM and the Humanities. This can be done in many ways, but the emphasis on digital is about the ways in which it can be transformative to research and learning.

While the CDS will bring new staff resources and focused energy to supporting digital scholarship, it will build on services that the Library already provides. Below are some of the services currently in place to facilitate your research.

Feel free to contact Stacie Williams, Center for Digital Scholarship director, to discuss further ways we might partner with you on a project or help with your research as we put the building blocks for the CDS in place.

Our Services

We offer a wide range of opportunities to engage with digital scholarship, from exploring highly theoretical concepts in digital methodology through guest lectures or forums to technically-specific guidance and/or support on digital-based projects on open access platforms such as Omeka and Open Journal Systems via customized consultations with library staff. We regularly host a full suite of classes and hands-on workshops exploring various digital tools, methodologies, and platforms, and we are happy to work with you on co-curricular projects or designing workshops for a specific class project or outcome, such as creating assignments to introduce students to using ICPSR or exploring our Gale Scholar Lab data visualization tool for people interested in textual data mining.

Digital scholarship as a discipline changes quickly; tools, Terms of Service, and different STEM or Humanities approaches to the work also evolve over time as products or theories are challenged, become obsolete or unsupported. If you don’t see a particular service or support area that interests you, contact us anyway at We may be able to steer you in the right direction or at least have a discussion about your needs that leads to a partnership that will help you acquire, create, analyze, manage, and/or preserve your research and data.

Data Services

  • Data Visualization
    • recommendations on data visualization tools for STEM or Humanities projects; provide recommendations on data transformation or processing tools
  • Data Acquisition
    • acquire datasets or corpera for instructional or research use; consultation on navigating data licenses and acquisitions;
  • Data Discovery and Use
    • working with instructors to leverage data resources for classroom assignments; customize instruction around exploration of data sources and analysis tools
  • Data/Corpus Creation
    • guidance and training around geospatial analysis tools; recommendations on text or data mining tools;
  • Data Management
    • Customize federally compliant data management plans for grant proposals; deposit in Knowledge RDM; assistance in creating DMP; documentation; file formats
  • Digital Preservation
    • provide guidance on appraisal and curation of web-based digital collections;
    • reproducibility
    • IR

Research guides:

Contact our Data Services team at data-help [at] lib [dot] uchicago [dot] edu for additional assistance.

Scholarly Communications

Scholarly communication encompasses a wide range of topics related to the creation, publication and dissemination of research. We offer workshops, consultations, and best practices around the following:

  • copyright
  • citation tools
  • open access
  • authors’ rights
  • IR use and deposit
  • images and fair use
  • dissertation formatting and submission

Digital Publishing

Our digital publishing services comprise consultations, best practices, and referrals to allow people to create infrastructure to support research published on digital or web-based platforms. This includes infrastructure for open access journals and also best practices for web archiving finished projects.

  • Infrastructure
    • guidance on platform and metadata migration, or ontological development
    • provide consultation, customized workshops and/or moderate administrative support and best practices around accessibility and ADA compliance; UX; and data rescue from obsolete platforms and formats
  • Production
    • provide *moderate administrative support* for mass digitization projects and researcher-created digital collections
    • Partner with faculty on digitization or metadata-driven grant proposals
    • Identify digitized collections that can be packaged for training assignments, capstone projects or digital scholarship projects, and data analysis tools
    • Provide recommendations for digitization vendors and/or DIY digitization technology;
  • Hosted Platforms


See the Library Event Calendar for workshops we are hosting this quarter. Our workshops include courses such as: Introduction to ORCiD; Understanding Your Rights as Authors, Creating Digital Collections with Omeka; Data Privacy: Tips and Tricks; Navigating Social Explorer; and Using Images in Your Dissertation. We additionally have two co-curricular workshop series that can be customized for your students or department:

  • Data and Donuts, a three-class sequence aimed at undergraduates that provides an introduction to data cleaning, access, and analysis;
  • Research Lifecycle Series, a multi-session sequence that introduces students to several of the above topics and includes a session on Data Cleaning 101, Understanding Data Licenses, and Managing Your Scholarly Online Presence. The Research Lifecycle Series is aimed at undergraduate and graduate students in STEM and Humanities with a heavy focus on research methodology and training students to use both open and proprietary resources in an academic library, including using Archives and Special Collections.


Digital scholarship or digital humanities work is produced as the result of many conversations with a variety of stakeholders. It is not work that can always be done quickly, but it is work that can be deeply meaningful because of the different ways of knowing and disciplines that are represented on a single project.

Our library staff are happy to schedule an individual consultation with researchers or teams who want to discuss ideas for digital scholarship tools, methodologies or projects. Some of the library staff we might identify to consult on your project may include but are not limited to:

  • members of the Digital Library Development Council, the group that manages many of our library web-based initiatives and discovery interfaces
  • your Subject Specialist librarian, who brings a wealth of knowledge on how to use print, electronic, proprietary and open resources in your discipline toward your research
  • a member of our Data Services team, which includes librarians who are familiar with data management and data outputs across both STEM and Humanities disciplines
  • A librarian familiar with Scholarly Communication topics such as copyright and authors’ rights, open access, and dissertation formatting and repository deposit
  • and a member of our Technical Services team, if the project involves metadata creation or migration.

Special Events

The CDS will continue to host special events open to both our campus, citywide and international communities related to digital scholarship, data management, and open access, among other topics. Some of our previous programs have included: Love Data Week (February), Open Access Week (October), Fall Digital Scholarship Forum, Chicago Colloquium for Digital Humanities and Computer Science (in partnership with Humanities Computing) (November), Social Science Summer Research Institute Research Lifecycle workshop series, and various film showings and guest lectures as schedules permit. We also currently partner with the DH Forum to host quarterly lecture series in the Library.

Related campus resources

For more help

Contact your subject librarian, or email Stacie Williams, or the Center for Digital Scholarship at cds [at] lib [dot] uchicago [dot] edu.

*moderate administrative support refers to our ongoing support and maintenance of both proprietary and open source solutions for digital scholarship work, research, and publishing, such as: library-hosted local server storage for digital scholarship projects or digital collections, paying for technical support for any hardware or software **the library has purchased**, or maintaining and evaluating subscriptions and licenses to the library’s electronic resources. While our library staff are unable to provide additional labor on digitization, inventory, or website development tasks outside of grant-funded collaborations, we are happy to assist our users in finding alternative means of completing those tasks, and share professional best practices on labor standards for digital projects, especially those that employ students.