The Digital Humanities and Global Diversity Initiative at San Diego State University created a web-based, visual, topometric network mapping and archive of humanities and qualitative social science research by students, faculty, and alumni. The grant helped develop a system-wide, scalable solution that enabled CSU students, faculty, administrators, and community partners to:
- appreciate, explore, and access the scope, variety, and impact of CSU-based humanistic research system-wide
- identify campus and system-wide areas of expertise and centers of excellence
- locate new opportunities, research partners, and prospects for collaboration
- track the careers of student researchers who continue to conduct humanistic inquiry after graduation
The project aligned with CSU IT priorities 2.2 – ”Enable a Common Identity” – by supporting student access to research expertise and opportunity system-wide and tracking students’ research careers after graduation as well as priority 2.3 – ”Create Shared Services” – by fostering the relational infrastructure and intellectual networking that is critical to faculty and student research efforts in the humanities and social sciences. The goal of the project was to create a relational database with user-friendly front-end data entry forms that allowed users to enter their research fields, current and past projects, and contact information. The system also allows people to explore multiple topometric visualizations, run basic queries to find students and colleagues with similar interests, and (for non-campus community members) locate expertise for public-private projects.
Visualization tools promise to support open accessibility, transparency, and equity by making research effort visible at the enterprise level.
Jessica Pressman, San Diego State University