[Humanist] 28.824 DiRT on centerNet

Humanist Discussion Group willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk
Tue Mar 17 07:39:09 CET 2015

                 Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 28, No. 824.
            Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London
                Submit to: humanist at lists.digitalhumanities.org

        Date: Mon, 16 Mar 2015 09:38:07 -0700
        From: Quinn Dombrowski <quinnd at berkeley.edu>
        Subject: DiRT becomes centerNet initiative

The DiRT (Digital Research Tools) directory (http://dirtdirectory.org) and
centerNet (http://dhcenternet.org) are pleased to announce that the DiRT
directory has been adopted as the newest centerNet initiative. As a
directory of tools for digital research, maintained by an international
community of volunteers, DiRT will benefit from closer ties to centerNet’s
member centers around the world, as well as to centerNet’s DHCommons
project directory (http://dhcomons.org).

As a first step towards integrating DiRT and DHCommons, each site is
deploying a new feature that pulls in information from the other. “People
visit DHCommons to explore the digital projects that have been developed in
their field,” explained Ryan Cordell, co-founder of DHCommons and co-editor
of the DHCommons overlay journal. “By displaying information from DiRT
about the tools that make up these projects, along with a link to where
scholars can learn more about those tools, DHCommons will facilitate the
development of new initiatives that build upon prior work.” According to
DiRT Director Quinn Dombrowski, the integration with DHCommons fills an
information gap on DiRT. “We used to have an ‘I use this’ button on DiRT in
order to capture how many people use a particular tool, but we found that
individual tool users weren’t engaging with DiRT that way. By pulling in
information about tool use directly from project profiles, DiRT can show
which tools are in use in the digital humanities community without
requiring people to do extra data entry. The DHCommons integration is even
better than a simple user count. DiRT now displays links directly to the
projects where the tool is being used, which provides important context for
how, and in which disciplines, the tool is used.”

centerNet board Co-Chair Neil Fraistat sees the integration of DHCommons
and DiRT as an important step towards strengthening the network of projects
and organizations within ADHO. “DiRT and DHCommons are both widely-used
resources, but not all users of one are familiar with the other,” he said.
“Providing contextually relevant information drawn from other ADHO projects
is an effective way to introduce people to projects they might not explore
as part of a list of initiatives.”

A new requirement that centerNet members maintain current listings of their
projects and locally-developed tools will contribute to the ongoing
maintenance of DiRT and DHCommons alike. centerNet will be represented on
DiRT’s steering committee, and the DiRT Director will serve as an ex
officio member of the centerNet board. DiRT, DHCommons and other centerNet
initiatives will participate in semiannual strategic planning meetings to
explore additional opportunities for integration and exchange across

(Note: This is the first in a series of announcements about new features
and developments for the DiRT directory, coming daily over the next two
weeks. Check the DiRT directory website (http://dirtdirectoy.org) for more
"dirt" on DiRT between 3/16 and 3/27!)

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