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Digital Scholarship

ARL member libraries and their institutions’ faculty and students create research in all forms, including digital and data-intensive scholarship, digital humanities, and digital publishing. We offer professional development opportunities for member libraries’ staff to learn the tools of digital scholarship through the Digital Scholarship Institute; provide case studies and best practices through a series of digital scholarship profiles; and promote open digital publishing through such initiatives as TOME (Towards an Open Monograph Ecosystem).

  • Current Initiatives


    Accelerating the Social Impact of Research (ASIR)

    As educators and stewards of the scholarly and scientific record, research libraries have a significant interest in accelerating open research and scholarship on their campuses. Increasingly, funding agencies and institutions are connecting open research to accelerating its social impact. Research library leaders have a unique position on campus, supporting every discipline with services, expertise, collections, and infrastructure.

    Recent Reports



    In 2018, ARL convened a task force of expert Wikidata users, which recommended a variety of ways for librarians to use the open knowledge base in advancing global discovery of their collections, faculty, and institutions. The task force, and its resulting white paper, is meant to inform the ARL membership about GLAM (galleries, libraries, archives, and museums) activity in Wikidata and to highlight opportunities for research library involvement, particularly in community-based collections, community-owned infrastructure, and collective collections.


    Digital Humanities Discovery

    With funding from a Digital Humanities Advancement Grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), ARL researched and prototyped ways to index and discover digital humanities (DH) projects on the open web, using tools developed by SHARE. With the continued growth of digital humanities scholarship—reflected in academic job opportunities, conference programming, library services, and college and university courses—accessing and discovering the output of this scholarship remains a challenge.


    ARL-SSRC Meeting on Open Scholarship in the Social Sciences: Summary and Next Steps

    The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) and the Social Science Research Council (SSRC) gathered more than 30 leaders of scholarly communities, research libraries, and funding organizations in December 2018 to identify a shared agenda and collaborative actions for promoting a more equitable, open, scholarly publishing infrastructure. This report on the meeting describes the presentations given and the themes that emerged in discussion around shared interests, challenges to openness, and conditions for successful action.

    Related Resources


    Digital Scholarship Profiles

    Research libraries support digital scholarship with “innovative programs that approach the collection and curation of digital images, text, and sound, and the creation of tools to work with these materials as core parts of the institution’s mission.” (Mulligan, 2016).

    From 2016 through 2019, ARL published a series of profiles of digital scholarship centers and services within a subset of its academic membership.



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