NextGen Innovation in Scholarly Communications: An Exemplary Collaboration between a Research Library and a Technology Partner | EDUCAUSE

“Often, “big idea” academic projects create high expectations for major change, generate enthusiasm and funding, and yet ultimately fail to deliver on their promised benefits. I recently stumbled on a case where that didn’t happen:  the JSTOR Labs and Columbia University Libraries collaboration on the Reimagining the Monograph (RTM) project, which led to the relatively rapid creation of the TopicGraph prototype tool. As figure 1 shows, TopicGraph’s interface has monograph topics arranged in order of importance on the left (for quick scrolling), with key phrases and words highlighted in the text on the right. The interface, even in beta form, simply looks obvious. It looks almost ridiculously obvious — like iPhone-swipe-gesture obvious or peanut-butter-and-chocolate obvious — raising the question: Why hasn’t this been done before?…

The goal was to do more and get more value from the existing monographic infrastructure. Through this focus, the team landed on a particular research question or, in the parlance of design thinking, a testable hypothesis: In the transition to digital, what print-specific benefits might have been lost for readers of scholarly monographs? The team also pondered a companion question: What digital affordances might not yet have been tapped to enhance the use of digital monographs? …”

Director, Center for Digital Research and Scholarship

“The Columbia University Libraries seeks a motivated, collaborative, and forward-thinking professional to lead its Center for Digital Research and Scholarship (CDRS). 

CDRS works to increase the utility and impact of research produced at Columbia by creating, adapting, implementing, supporting, and sustaining innovative digital tools and publishing platforms for content delivery, discovery, analysis, data curation, and preservation. The Center engages in extensive outreach, education, and advocacy to ensure that the scholarly work produced at Columbia University has a global reach and accelerates the pace of research across disciplines. CDRS is one of five entities that comprise the Digital Programs and Technology Services branch of the Columbia University Libraries….”