Digital Brown Bag | "Why Don't You Just Make a Map?" When Digital Projects are Part of the Writing Process
Just make a map. Seems simple enough, right? That’s what Ashton Merck thought when, while writing her third dissertation chapter, she decided to create a series of maps and charts in an attempt to answer two of her research questions. And then the resulting visualizations changed the argument of her chapter.
In this Digital Brown Bag talk Ashton (History doctoral candidate) describes the work involved in this deceptively simple data visualization project as a jumping-off point for a bigger conversation about the possibilities and pitfalls associated with constructing original datasets as part of a larger project, or even as part of the research and writing process. What happens when seemingly simple research questions get out of hand? How will you know whether the labor of gathering the information will even be worth it in the end? When and how should you make peace with your “messy,” incomplete data? What are the limits of OCR and automation in constructing datasets? And will anyone accept your findings as valid?
Digital Brown Bags (hosted by Duke LIbraries' Digital Scholarship & Publishing Services) are informal presentations and talks with Duke faculty or grad students about their digital project work, with the goal of making digital project work more familiar and possible. All are welcome!
Co-Director, ScholarWorks: A Center for Scholarly Publishing at Duke University Libraries; and Head, Digital Scholarship & Publishing Services at Duke University Libraries
Contact me for questions related to planning and managing projects (firstname.lastname@example.org) or drop-by Open Studio (Tuesdays 1:30-3:00 PM, Murthy Digital Studio in Bostock Library).