Digital humanities and STEM librarianship, or why I stopped rolling my eyes at word clouds

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Science and technology librarianship
STEM librarians
Digital humanities and academic librarians
Voyant Tools
Corpus analytics

One purpose of using digital humanities applications is to spark new insights to textual data. This presentation explores whether DH tools can help STEM librarians better understand the research interests of their faculty. Since department web pages often provide limited and dated information regarding faculty research output, and faculty rarely approach librarians for research assistance, additional approaches to raise awareness are required. I will detail the results of running Web of Science citation records from SFU’s Faculty of Applied Sciences departments through two commonly used DH applications, Mallet and Voyant Tools. I will examine this practice as a "Big Data" approach to research faculty output and Franco Moretti's "Distant Reading" theories of corpus analysis. What are the uses and limits of these tools in liaison work, particularly when a librarian lacks subject expertise in STEM disciplines?


Speaking notes and slides from conference presentation at the True North Science Bootcamp, held on May 24th, 2018. Sponsored by Concordia and McGill Libraries.

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Conference presentation
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