Anyone at McMaster working within the capacious tent one could call digital scholarship is welcome to approach us for consultation. Since our start in 2012, we have met with literally dozens of faculty and graduate students to discuss their projects, offer advice and solutions, and seek potential collaborations. While these consultations have various outcomes–we are not, ultimately, able to work with everyone with whom we have consulted–the sessions invariably open new doors and possibilities. Frequently, we help researchers articulate their needs and requests in sharper, more specific language, which enables them to approach various campus and academic partners with less ambiguity and uncertainty.
We consult on any stage or aspect of a digital scholarship or pedagogical project to help determine the digital tools, techniques and methods that best suit the project whether big or small.
We can help you think through your goals or refine research question(s). If you’re planning a digital project as part of your degree, we can help you determine realistic deliverables for your time frame. We can also help you figure out what tools and skills might best suit your needs, develop a work plan, or think about how and where your project will be stored. If you’re thinking about pursuing grant funding for your research, we can help you figure out what to ask for in your application. In some instances, we can provide letters of support and in-kind contributions.
To schedule a consultation, contact a team member and we’ll get back to you. But you don’t have to have a project to consult with us — we can work with you to develop a strategy for learning more about digital scholarship that’s tailored to your particular interests.
Curriculum Consultation and Planning
Various departments and programs at McMaster are seeking ways to integrate the tools and methods of the digital humanities into their courses and departmental curriculum. While we do not have sufficient resources to teach extensively, we are often able to help faculty develop modules and sessions with which they can experiment, with our assistance.
The Sherman Centre is home to MacSphere, McMaster’s institutional repository (IR). Put in simple terms, MacSphere is the place where McMaster researchers can archive their intellectual property and make it available to a global community. Often this takes the form of published journal articles–conveniently meeting the new Tri-Council mandate regarding open access–but there are myriad other forms of scholarship in our repository: slide decks, video, white papers, etc. It takes only a few minutes to deposit and item, after which we will store it permanently and provide a permanent URL. MacSphere is harvested by Google Scholar and other academic search engines, ensuring global reach.
Based on the Open Journal Systems software developed by the Public Knowledge Project, the Sherman Centre supports journal publishing via the McMaster University Library Press imprint. Beyond offering a feature-rich software platform, we offer critical journal support services such as DOI minting and registration.
The Sherman Centre maintains multiple physical servers in the McMaster University Library data centre. As such, we can provision virtual machines and storage for research projects. Please note that we do not host Websites or offer routine IT services, but if you need server resources for learning or research purposes, we may well be able to assist.
Many researchers and research groups have fundamental questions about best practice for storage, backup, and archiving critical research files and data. As with project consultation, we are able to offer consulting services around these issues, helping people sort out the various threads and practice better file management without investing significant funds. A closely related service of the McMaster University Library is the Research Data Management service hosted around the corner from the Sherman Centre in the Library’s Maps, Data, GIS department. Often, both groups meet with researchers to help address both in-project and dissemination/sharing issues.