Oct 082011

Kate Davis and I facilitated a session where we aimed to produce a list of skills needed by people working in the digital humanities.

We asked the group from two points of view:
1. What skills do researchers in the Digital Humanities need?
2. What should Information Studies courses in universities be teaching so that graduates can support the digital humanities ?

Kate and I teach similar topics, accredited by the same professional body, however her school is in the IT faculty while mine is in the Humanities.

The requirements that people wanted were very similar to what librarians wanted taught when I asked them this time last year. People want flexible lifelong learners who believe that they are capable and have the generic graduate attributes that are taught at universities.

Here are images of the whiteboards that we filled:

The skills listed were:

  • Plasticity of thinking
  • Systems thinking – macro and micro level and able to bridge
  • Publishing using Open Access
  • How to manage personal research data
  • Knowledge management
  • Dealing with cognitive load
  • Evaluation (of technology and projects)
  • Stakeholder analysis
  • Technology history concepts  – to see broad picture
  • Attitude – experiment and play
  • Tools – knowing what is there
  • Coding experience
  • Informed prioritising
  • Going beyond search, spider, scrape
  • Problem not tool first
  • Negotiation in complex environments
  • Requirements analysis
  • Software development methodologies
  • Be prepared to fail
  • Show working out online
  • Being able to display thinking processes online
  • Transparency and sharing with the world
  • Team players
  • Collegiality
  • Openess
  • Algorithm design
  • Programming logic and terminology
  • Principles of programming languages
  • Hands on projects – doing stuff, not theory
  • Writing for all different contexts – online, blogging and formal
  • Critical code studies
  • Pseudocode
  • Rights usage
  • Cross discipline project work – get humanities students working with computer science students so that they know each others’ ways
  • Database principles
  • Playing with coding with Scratch
  • Interoperability of systems
  • Text Encoding Inititative


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  1. […] I read an excellent blog post about what skills are needed for the digital humanities. I was grateful to come across this as I am in the process of creating a syllabi for an […]

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