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Invitation to Apply for Digital Scholarship Fellowships

We are pleased to invite applications for the Digital Scholarship Fellowship position. Hosted by the DSPS unit since 2012, the fellowship program aims to provide opportunities for CUL staff to expand their skills and experiences in developing, delivering, and assessing digital scholarship services. It supports the CUL objectives of “empowering staff to explore gaps in their areas of expertise” and “promoting flexible staffing among the units.” The application deadline is February 29, 2016 for fellowship terms starting during March-October 2016 timeframe.

DSPS Fellowship Ideas

Here are some examples of fellowship projects to consider:

  • Recruit new content to eCommons, which could serve an important function in preserving and providing access to materials produced by Cornell’s many centers and institutes. Work in this area could include developing and documenting best practices and workflows for collecting and managing these materials, identifying candidate centers and institutes, and reaching out to work directly with centers and institutes (with CUL liaisons, when appropriate) to establish and build their collections in eCommons.
  • Investigate implementation strategies for ORCID (Open Researcher and Contributor ID). ORCID identifiers uniquely identify scholars so that they can be unambiguously associated with their works, and are becoming increasingly important in ensuring interoperability of digital scholarly systems. Some research into how other institutions are approaching the assignment of ORCID ids and are integrating them into their information systems and workflows would be very helpful. Work could continue on to include identifying approaches to implementing ORCID ids at Cornell (assignment, stakeholder identification, systems integration).
  • Use the Trustworthy Repositories Audit & Certification Checklist (TRAC) to evaluate the current status of eCommons policies, workflows and documentation. Help draft additional policies and documents as needed, and recommend improvements to current practices. The intent wouldn’t be full certification of the repository, rather it is to make use of relevant parts of an existing tool for a local repository audit for internal purposes.
  • Design and conduct a comprehensive survey of CUL digital assets – characterizing them in terms of origin (born-digital/digital analog) aggregate size, content type, security class (sensitive information or not/rights and/or rights clearance information), and stakeholder requirements for access, discovery, etc. The intent would be to triage these towards various preservation solutions as needed based on the significant properties of the materials involved, surface gaps in our fabric of repositories, and support any appropriate recommendations.
  • Sharpen your user experience (UX) assessment skills by contributing to the evaluation of CUL’s digital collection and repositories (e.g., eCommons, visual resources, etc.) to review their practical aspects such as utility, ease of use, and efficiency. How are such services and systems meeting the actual needs of our faculty and students? How do they fit in their daily work flows of research and teaching?
  • Contribute to the management and dissemination of Cornell theses and dissertations. First, with oversight from the Thesis/Dissertation Advisory Group (TDAG), and in collaboration with the Graduate School, develop educational material and outreach strategies to help graduate students understand and make choices with respect to access embargoes, plans for future publications based on their thesis or dissertation, open access choices, and copyright management. Second, with oversight from the TDAG, census graduate programs at Cornell that are not administered by the Graduate School, and develop strategies and recommendations for collecting theses or other projects produced as a requirement of graduation.
  • Assess the needs of CUL selectors, Library administration, and other stakeholders in CUL collection development and management for collections metrics and analytics. Collections data analysis can help to improve the quality of CUL’s collection and the alignment of collecting activity with the needs and strategic directions of the University; it can identify cost savings and inform decisions about the allocation of library resources. This project would entail determining who in the Library needs collections data to answer which questions and identifying potential sources of relevant cost, usage, and demographic data to address high-priority needs. The project would also produce recommendations for the useful analysis of collections data to support routine collection development decisions, periodic reports, internal and interinstitutional collaborations, special projects, etc.
  • Develop and manage the process of reconciling the Internet Archive deposit of assets into HathiTrust. The initial pipeline for the flow of assets from Internet Archive to HathiTrust has been set up, and about 57K items have been ingested, but as is common with large scale deposits, a proportion of items need remediation to allow for deposit.  Our desire is to analyze the ~20K stragglers for commonalities, classifying them to determine the best way to remove impediments to ingest, and facilitating that remediation to allow them to successfully join the deposit in HathiTrust.  This project is especially suited for those with analytical and technical skill in using MS Access and MS Excel, enjoy managing projects, and enjoy working in a relatively large scale.

These are just some examples to illustrate the nature of fellowship projects. Other ideas related to the DSPS programs and goals are welcome. Information about the DSPS program is available at

Digital Scholarship Fellows, 2012-2015

During the last six  years, DSPS has been very fortunate to host seven excellent fellows, all very motivated, creative, and resourceful.  We are grateful for their contributions and hope that they found the experience useful and gratifying. They are available to talk with interested parties about their fellowship experiences.

Here is a brief description of their fellowship projects and their titles and affiliations during their fellowship:

Jim DelRosso, Hospitality, Labor, and Management Library

JimDelRosso_headJim’s fellowship  focused on digital repositories. His primary goal was to work with DSPS and stakeholders around CUL to craft a digital repository policy that addresses questions of software, workflow, collection development, and sustainability, while fulfilling the need for both straightforward access to and robust preservation of the items stored in CUL’s digital repositories.  As a component of his fellowship, he contributed to the efforts in creating an agenda for the newly established Repository Executive Group and became the first chair. Jim’s DSPS fellowship was for one year at 0.25 FTE.

Dianne Dietrich, Physical Sciences Library, EMPSL 

DianneDianne joined the team of our NEH-funded project on Preservation and Access for Digital Art Objects as the lead Digital Forensic Analyst. This project represented a collection-wide investigation of preservation and emulation strategies for complex born-digital media. Dianne led the project’s technical team and helped develop preservation workflows that would be a baseline for CUL digital forensics services in the years to come.  As a part of her fellowship, she has been representing the project at national forums and conferences. Dianne’s fellowship was for two years at 0.5 FTE and continued as CUL’s digital forensics specialist at 0.20 FTE.

Erin Eldermire, Research and Assessment Unit

ErinEldermireheadErin’s goals for the DSPS fellowship were to contribute to the development of the library website; to explore assessment-related issues for CUL’s digital collections; and to learn from the members of the DSPS Unit towards her future career as a librarian.  In her DSPS Press   blog, she shared her thoughts on how the Library can enable users to employ a simple search box such as Google, while still allowing them to dive into our vast collection. Erin’s fellowship was for six months at 10 hours/week.

Steven Folsom, Library Technical Services

Screen Shot 2015-11-18 at 12.26.31 PMSteven’s primary goal was to identify and develop strategies for improving discovery and access of CUL’s content archived in HathiTrust, including outreach and community building (e.g., communication with HathiTrust and data aggregators about interoperability opportunities). He also contributed to the CUL’s efforts to migrate the DLXS-based image databases to other systems such as HathiTrust, Hydra, and SharedShelf. Included in his goals was engaging in the CUL efforts to assess Omeka/Spotlight/Drupal as platforms for creating web-based exhibits and rich-media collections. Steve’s DSPS fellowship was for one year at 0.25 FTE.

Noah Hamm, Mann Library

Noah_Hamm_jan2014Final_jpg_crop_displayDuring his fellowship, Noah was interested in exploring how GIS and visualization techniques and tools are being used in supporting humanities research and teaching, in collaboration with the library staff interested in digital humanities programs. He also was involved in a campus-wide group to survey AV preservation needs across Cornell by conducting stakeholder interviews and gathering data about the condition and value of digital content. His fellowship term was 6-month, 12 hours/week.

Hannah Marshall, Library Technical Services

hannahHannah Marshall has assumed a 0.25FTE, 5-month term to coordinate the Digital Consulting and Production Services (DCAPS) during the DSPS reorg transition stage.  Currently she is coordinating the DCAPS operation and works closely with the DCAPS team members to facilitate communication. She has been instrumental in coordinating the outreach process for the Arts and Sciences Grants Program. She also networks with stakeholders such as library subject specialists to make sure that there is sufficient user input to support the development efforts.

Gail Steinhart, Mann Library

GailAs the first DSPS fellow,  over the course of her one year fellowship with DSPS (2012-2013. 0.5FTE), she chaired a newly formed group to address issues related to the management of Cornell’s electronic theses and dissertations (ETDs), including facilitating discussions with the Graduate School, which led to a revised set of embargo options that will be implemented when upgrades are made to the online submission tool used by graduate students to submit their theses ETDs. She reviewed and reported on the results of a pilot project examining the use of Johns Hopkins’ Data Conservancy to host data sets associated with papers uploaded to arXiv, led the production of a white paper examining current approaches to digital repositories within CUL, and contributed to other DSPS efforts such as educating librarians on current issues in scholarly communication (with particular emphasis on research data management and sharing). Finally, she led the development of a collaborative grant proposal to the Institute for Museum and Library Services with the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Columbia University and CalPoly, to develop and share a set of best practices for collecting, documenting and disseminating the research data of faculty nearing retirement.

For More Information About the Program:

  • Interested CUL staff members are encouraged to discuss the fellowship position with their supervisors first.
  • If you have questions regarding the HR arrangements and funding please contact Lyndsi Prignon at <>.
  • Issues related to the program areas, potential projects, and the scope of the fellowship should be addressed to Oya Rieger <>.
  • Oya Rieger and Lyndsi Prignon will be glad to talk with interested staff and their supervisors about  logistical details such as making back-up arrangements and ways to accommodate the candidates’ existing responsibilities and goals.

Application Information:

  • We will have 2-3 positions open to CUL staff with a term of 6-12 months at a part-time capacity (0.25 FTE).
  • Although there are no prerequisite skills required, the candidates need to be familiar with the recent trends and practices in one of the digital scholarship program areas (e.g., repositories, publishing, research data, digital collections, digital preservation, preservation policies, etc.).
  • To apply, send a copy of your CV to with a cover letter describing the program areas of interest and expectations from the fellowship.
  • The applications will be reviewed by a small committee with input from the candidate’s supervisor.
  • The application deadline is February 29, 2016 for fellowship terms starting during March-October 2016 timeframe.

Oya Y. Rieger, January 2016


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