Isn’t it wonderful how things slow down in the summer? Often, the summer season allows us to dig into projects and explore interests that have been set aside for more pressing tasks during the academic year. I tend to make a list of digital publishing tools to research and gain facility with over the summer. Here are four tools you might enjoy exploring as well:
Prism, an effort of UVA’s Scholars Lab, is a tool for collecting and visualizing crowd-sourced interpretations of texts. “Users are invited to provide an interpretation of a text by highlighting words according to different categories, or “facets.” Each individual interpretation then contributes to the generation of a visualization which demonstrates the combined interpretation of all the users.” Prism’s creators envision it as a tool for both pedagogical use and scholarly exploration.
Funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities, “Metadata Games is an online game system for gathering useful data on photo, audio, and moving image artifacts, enticing those who might not visit archives to explore humanities content while contributing to vital records. Furthermore, the suite enables archivists to gather and analyze information for image archives in novel and possibly unexpected ways.” For more information, see this interview with Mary Flanagan, one of Metadata Games’ creators.
According to the creators of Scoop It, everyone is a publisher. This tool allows users to curate content from the web around a specific theme or topic. The pages you can create in Scoop It have an eye-catching layout bring images and multimedia to the foreground. Scoop It is rapidly being adopted as a tool for creating content in academic libraries and educational institutions.
You may have heard of Pinterest? Learnist is is a similar tool with an intellectual bent. It acts as a visual repository of all your favorite articles, videos, ebooks, maps, surveys, blogs, podcasts, and images. You can create boards based on your interests and curate content around a chosen theme.