Josh Honn, a Digital Scholarship Library Fellow at Northwestern University’s Center for Scholarly Communication & Digital Curation, has been one of the most active contributors to Bamboo DiRT, recently adding many new entries to the database. We reached out to Josh about why he uses Bamboo DiRT.
In my role as Digital Scholarship Library Fellow at Northwestern University’s Center for Scholarly Communication & Digital Curation, a substantive portion of my work is dedicated to researching, learning, and testing digital research tools. My ultimate goal is to both identify specific tools the library should be implementing and supporting (often times collaboratively with other departments on campus), and to connect faculty with the best available tools for pedagogical use and scholarly research projects. Up until now, that is before I became affiliated with Bamboo DiRT, I had been collocating these resources on Delicious, a social bookmarking website. Most recently, I created a Delicious “stack” titled “Digital Scholarly Research Tools,” that I continue to use as an efficient way of saving resources I discover on a daily basis from all over the web into one central location for later use.
While our Delicious account has several followers and is open and searchable, it does not, for starters, engender the sense of community that a central database like Bamboo DiRT does; one built by academics, librarians, and others interested in the digital humanities, escience, and other forms digital scholarship. In addition, Bamboo DiRT allows for a variety of access points, making the searching experience much more intuitive and fluid, something that will benefit those new to these digital tools and practices. Finally, Bamboo DiRT gives me the ability to not only add tools to the database, but to add a robust set of metadata around those tools, allowing for better kinds of discoverability, but, and maybe more importantly, this data presents some of the initial research to users, saving them time and effort as they sort through the myriad applications, platforms, software, etc. available to us online.
For more on what kinds of projects we’re using digital research tools with, I encourage you to visit the Center’s blog or to follow us on Twitter. Like everyone else in this digital age, our services and projects are always evolving with the technology we use, so keeping up is crucial, and I hope Bamboo DiRT will be a useful, productive, and innovative central hub for all of us well into the future.
— Josh Honn