Author Archives: Maura A. Smale

About Maura A. Smale

Maura Smale is Chief Librarian at the CUNY Graduate Center.

Miriam Posner Talk on “How Did They Make That?”

Hi everyone, you may have already seen this but just in case not: Miriam Posner will be speaking this Thursday 3/27 at 6:30pm at the Grad Center on reverse engineering digital projects, sponsored by the Digital Humanities Initiative. If you enjoyed the blog post of hers that we read earlier this semester, I’m sure the talk will be great. Note that you’ll need to register for the talk — more info and the registration link is here:

Author Rights Workshop 3/28

Hi everyone, I wanted to let you know about an event at the Grad Center next Friday, March 28th. Jill Cirasella, Associate Librarian for Public Services and Scholarly Communication at the GC, will be offering a workshop on author rights in publishing. From the workshop description:

When you publish a journal article, you sign a copyright agreement. Do you know what you’re agreeing to when you sign it?
How can you find out a journal’s policy? How can you negotiate your contract to make the most of your rights as a scholar, researcher, and author? Come learn how to preserve your rights to reproduce, distribute, and display the work you create.

Find more details on the Open Access @ CUNY blog.

Navigation Tweaks

To Kelly’s point in her last post, we’re witnessing taxonomy vs. folksonomy in action on our course site as we all strive to pick the most appropriate categories and tags for our posts. I think we should keep on as we have been, though I do have one change to propose. In order to keep the details (that is, instructions) for your assignments easily findable, I created a new category named Assignment Details that Michael and I will use for your assignment instructions only. How does that sound?

(And in order to keep the top navigation bar to one line in a desktop browser, I moved the Course Group link to the right sidebar, just in case you’re looking for it.)

Wikipedia Article – Group Assignment

The early mid-term assignment will be to collaboratively write articles for Wikipedia for texts you read last semester, being careful to cite each sentence of summary to the page in the original text. You should make use of the blog posts and discussions from last semester. You can see a list of the potential articles on the Wikipedia course page:,_CUNY_Graduate_Center/ITP_Core_2_(Spring_2014)#Week_4:_2014_Feb._26_-_Wikipedia_Workshop_3_.26_Wikipedia_assignment_1_DUE

You will work collaboratively in three teams. We will sort out these groups in class. You will be encouraged to keep their conversation on Wikipedia talk pages and not in meatspace. The fact that you will be working off of a blog post that you did not author yourself, adds an additional dimension to the collaborative authorship.

The blog posts are summaries of the readings along with interpretations and discussion questions. You will have to separate out the opinion from the summary. (e.g. maintain NPOV and No Original Research).

These are the pages that we’re created two years ago:

Use book articles like these as models for your work:

Check in points:

  • March 5th: Write work plan on the article talk page; if no page currently exists, write it on the sandbox of one team member.
  • March 12th: Begin initial contributions on sandbox. Contributions should be cited.
  • March 19th: Article finished as a draft, and moved into article space. Peer review takes place. Final citations put in place.
  • March 26th: Article Due
  • April 2: Article Due

Additional Mapping, Augmented Reality, and Open Educational Resources

Hi everyone, a number of links to resources that might be useful for you have recently come my way:


Other Resources

Finally, here’s the link to more info on the open educational resources program being held at the GC on Friday 3/7 at 10am that I mentioned in our last class. RSVP by 2/27.

Midterm Assignment: Short Proposals

As we have discussed, your midterm assignment is to create at least two different project proposals that each have at least two scope variations: one full and a reduced version.

Each of the (at least) two proposals should follow this structure:

  1. An introductory descriptive paragraph, which should include a problem statement, and say *what* your tool/thing will do. This is your abstract, or elevator pitch. This should not have the full theoretical framing of the project. That will come in the final.
  2. A set of personas
  3. A use case scenario (where would someone find your tool/thing and how would they use it). Keep it short.
  4. How you will make the full fledged version. This is your “ideal world” version that fulfills all of your visions and fantasies (what tools you will use, how you will get them, how confident you are that all the moving parts will work together, etc)
  5. Your assessment of how much time this will take, and how much of the skills you currently know and what you would have to learn.
  6. How you will make the stripped down version. The stripped down version is the minimally viable product. It is the most *bare bones* version to prove that what you are trying to get at is viable. (what tools you will use, how you will get them, how confident you are that all the moving parts will work together, etc)
  7. Your assessment of how much time this will take, and how much of the skills you currently know and what you would have to learn.

You are welcome (but not required) to repeat the last two steps with scope variations in-between the full fledged and bare bones version.

We would expect two proposals with two scope variations would be effectively in 4 to 7 page range (though you will be turning in online). We’re less concerned with page count, and more concerned with your process (as with all assignments in this class).

You will hopefully notice that you have done a lot of this work already. We’ve structured it this way. Your job here is to combine and revise the work you have already done, fill the holes, and assess each project’s feasibility

The proposals will be submitted as blog posts prior to class on March 19th.

Class that week will be dedicated to workshopping the proposals. The format we will follow will be that each participant will choose one of their two proposals to present orally. You will have 5 minutes to present, and we will have 5 minutes for feedback. Think of this as a pitch. You will want to lay out the project abstract, present very short versions of your personas, give one use case scenario, and then talk about how you would build it, and how long you think it would take.

Tool/technology Possibilities

It’s been great to read everyone’s project ideas. Many of your ideas made me think of a couple of resources that could be useful for you:

Miriam Posner, coordinator of the Digital Humanities program at UCLA, wrote a great blog post last year called How Did They Make That? which features several different kinds of digital humanities projects and breaks down the technologies and steps required for each. It’s a good post for getting your head around what’s required for some of the DH projects out there online.

Bamboo DiRT is an enormous resource that’s essentially a database of digital tools for research and teaching. It’s organized by category (e.g. data collection, image editing, etc.) and each category features an annotated list of tools, both free and paid programs/apps. It’s also a great place to browse while you’re germinating project ideas.