Current Cites

January 2017

Edited by Roy Tennant

Contributors: Peter Hirtle, Leo Robert Klein, Nancy Nyland, Roy Tennant

Centivany, Alissa. "The Dark History of HathiTrustProceedings of the 50th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences (HICSS '17)  (12 January 2017)( - Why did the University of Michigan join with Google to create the Google Library project, and why did it then create HathiTrust? Centivany's conference paper is one of the first studies that elucidates the previously unknown (hence "dark") history of both events. If one can get past the information science-appropriate structure and language, there is an interesting story in her conference paper. (I particularly laughed at the pointless anonymity afforded some interviewees. For example, it isn't hard to name the Librarian of the University of Michigan who identified himself as a former Provost.) Recommended for anyone interested in a behind-the-scenes look at the operations of a library consortium. - PH

Finnie, Scot. "50 And Proud of ItComputerWorld  (25 January 2017)( - 'Seems like only yesterday' is a phrase we rarely apply to things having to do with computers but apparently time is marching on at least in the context of 'ComputerWorld' which is celebrating its, prepare yourself, 50th anniversary this year. Each month will include 'anniversary-related content' with the actual anniversary happening in June. So Happy Birthday, ComputerWorld. - LRK

Riley, Jenn. Understanding Metadata: What is Metadata and What is it For?  Washington, DC: NISO, 2017.( - Metadata permeates our online world whether we know it or not. This "primer" on metadata is a good introduction to what metadata is and particularly how it is used in the cultural heritage world (libraries, museums, and archives). Jenn Riley was an excellent choice for this third revision of NISO's efforts to explain metadata in an understandable way, as she has long labored in this orchard and is well-known for her visualization of the metadata universe. This work should be required reading in library and information science curricula everywhere. - RT

Robinson, Peter M. W.. "Project-based digital humanities and social, digital, and scholarly editionsDigital Scholarship in the Humanities  31(4)(18 September 2017): 875-889. ( - (Paywalled, but available on Using the example of the Shakespeare Quartos Archive, Robinson explores whether collaborative digital projects meet the desirable goal of being social, digital, and scholarly. He concludes that we would be better served by resources that are freely available for exploration and reuse via the use of standards, APIs, and CC BY licensing. The template for what we do should do, in Clay Shirky's term,is "design for generosity." While Robinson's argument speaks specifically to digital textual editions, one wonders if it could not be extended to all digital collaborative projects. - PH

Trace, Ciaran B., and Unmil P.  Karadkar. "Information Management in the Humanities: Scholarly Processes, Tools, and the Construction of Personal CollectionsJournal of the Association for Information Science and Technology  68(2)(February 2017): 491 - 507. ( - A goal of the Scholars Tracking Archival Resources (STAR) project is to create one or more mobile applications that will support scholarly research in the humanities. To that end, the authors interviewed 26 scholars to see how researchers in the humanities use technology to support their work. They analyzed the scholars' process, including use of hardware and software, and how humanities scholars gather and organize their data. Other features of the research process are how scholars take notes, whether on paper or using computer technology, and how they track the sources they have consulted. Finally, the scholars were asked to describe a "dream app" that would meet their needs for assistance by technology. The features that were compiled will give the STAR project "a model of the scholarly work process" that will enable them to move toward designing "integrated software for supporting reliable digital information management practices in the humanities." - NN