Digital Scholarship


The VKS Digital Scholarship initiative endeavors to increase access to VKS scholarship, increase direct participation in the communication of and discussion about its research, and to increase visibility of research practice as it happens in the field. The new website operates on an Open Source platform and the VKS will distribute as Open Source any related VKS-developed software.

In concert with the arrival of 2010, the Virtual Knowledge Studio launched their new website as part of a Digital Scholarship initiative. As the most public venue for VKS scholarship, the new website is designed to facilitate access to and visibility of the diversity of knowledge produced at the Studio. Having outgrown the previous site, the new site utilizes a database-driven content management system. In recognition of our diverse network of collaborators and colleagues, the website employs techniques to create a variety pathways to the content and contextual navigation once in the site. Visitors can browse VKS publications by year or by author, scroll through VKS research activities as they happen (in the ‘Field Notes‘ section), or navigate VKS scholarship contextualized in a linked tag cloud (in the ‘Extended Network‘ section). In addition, visitors can subscribe to RSS feeds of VKS News items and Field Notes or choose to receive these content updates by email.


Virtual Knowledge Studio

Team members:

Clifford Tatum and Sally Wyatt

About the Website

Platform: WordPress 3.1
Theme: Thesis 1.8 (custom)

VKS Bibliography Plugin

The VKS developed a WordPress plugin application to manage presentation of our research output and related scholarship. Currently in beta release, the VKS Bibliplug, is in operation on this website. Once it is fully tested and sufficiently refined, we will provide it here as free download. Email us if you would like to play with the, current, beta version of the VKS Bibliplug.

Functionality in the current, release

  • compatible with WordPress 2.8 – 3.1
  • import of RIS formatted reference lists and individual entry in web form
  • central administration and individual author access to personal citations
  • WordPress Short Code used for presentation by author, year, and type
  • link to full text in pdf, html and link to reference webpage
  • output style Chicago 10b

Functionality planned for next release

  • keyword sorting/query
  • tag cloud visualization and navigation
  • Sorted/queried results presented as formatted bibliographic list in webpage,
  • queries exportable to RIS or plain text format.
  • Full list and updates syndicated via RSS and email

Other Digital Scholarship Projects
A resource for and about the use of digital media in scholarly practice. Of particular interest are the ways in which academic journal publications and books have frequently changed very little while informal scholarly communication exhibits rapid and continuous change in conjunction with digital media. The launch occasion for this site is a Roundtable discussion at the Association of Internet Researchers (AoIR) annual conference, this year in Gothenburg, Sweden.
More discussion and more visibility for ongoing discussions of ethics are urgently needed. This has become clear to us through our involvement in various activities around ethics of e-research and of e-social science. With this site, we set into motion a series of new activities and interactions that will involve the preparation of a position paper on ethics of e-research.

e-Research book website
This site is a companion to e-Research: Transformation in Scholarly Practice (Routledge, 2009) and includes material both supplementing and expanding what is contained in the book. The site contains background information, new research and resources, visualizations, and opportunity to post comments and contact contributors.

UW Honors/VKS Summer School 2010
The Honors In Amsterdam program was developed as a research-based study abroad experience, whereby students develop research proposals in Seattle, which are then carried out in Amsterdam. This program is an international collaboration involving faculty, undergraduate, and graduate students in a collaborative Summer School of the Virtual Knowledge Studio (Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences), the Honors Program of the University of Washington (Seattle), and the International School for the Humanities and Social Sciences (University of Amsterdam).

Everyday life is becoming more and more mixed with technologies used for knowledge production. People are adept at a variety of technologies that help them meet, interact and share information. We explore how these new dynamics in personal and professional activities affect knowledge. How is knowledge created, with whom is it shared? Where is knowledge shaped, and for what purposes? When is knowledge shared, and with what consequences? In these cognitive/technical practices, can I see what you know? How do we know what we know? Which knowledge is not shared when using technology? What is the position of technology in the exclusion or attrition of particular knowledge configurations?

What Is Digital Scholarship? [Source:]

In recent practice, “digital scholarship” has meant several related things:

(a) Building a digital collection of information for further study and analysis
(b) Creating appropriate tools for collection-building
(c) Creating appropriate tools for the analysis and study of collections
(d) Using digital collections and analytical tools to generate new intellectual products
(e) Creating authoring tools for these new intellectual products, either in traditional forms or in digital form

It may seem odd to some that creating collections and the tools to use them should be counted as scholarship, but humanities and social science research has always required collections of appropriate information, and throughout history, scholars have often been the ones to assemble those collections, as part of their scholarship. Moreover, scholars have been building tools since the first index, the first concordance, the first scholarly edition. So, while it is reasonable to regard (d) as the core meaning and ultimate objective of “digital scholarship,” it is also important to recognize that in the early digital era, leadership may well consist of collection-building or tool-building. In addition, tool-building is dependent on the existence of collections, and both collections and tools get better and more general as there is more use of digital information. If we hope to see new intellectual products, we should give high priority to building tools and collections. Finally, it is worth noting that although (a), (b), (c), and (e) require a great deal of cooperation, it is still imaginable that (d) can be the work of a single individual.

ACLS (2006) Our Cultural Commonwealth: The report of the American Council of Learned Societies Commission on Cyberinfrastructure for the Humanities and Social Sciences.