Bamboo and scholarly narratives

"From what I've been hearing, I'm more convinced that a great deal is going to hinge on the breadth and richness and truth value of what we can find out about humanities practice. Thoughtful, textured stories of those analysis of stories of people's daily activities with respect to real research. The full measure of this hasn't been taken. How would you do this? - Stunned by its magnitude, lots of attempts have been made, but we haven't reached it yet. Succeeding would be important precursor for getting kind of community credibility needed to get resources from everyone else." (W2, Q&A, Saturday morning)

"Long list of grouped activities. Activities are too atomized; what would this mean to scholars? How do we allow scholars to re-contextualize those activities, given they all came out of * workshop 1 where they described what they did. Original storyline was lost in translating information over from workshop 1. Workgroups should try to expand in addition to the activities, to go recontextualize everything. Build stories - scholar/technologist or scholar/librarian pairs; local Bamboo groups might do this work. Try to create storylines; a constraint is that the storyline/scholarly process should be described in terms of those activities - a base vocabulary through which stories are told. Urge that these be grounded in reality - something that someone actually does/has done. So, working groups both flesh out activities and build and encourage others to build storylines that recontextualize these. Reconstruct those from the notes from workshop 1" (W2, Service Framework, plenary notes, plan)

"Focus on identifying/discovery of tools, content, models.Has to be tied back into stories and scholarly narratives of real scholarly practice. Identify tools/content that might apply. Revised charge would say we're an interface between concrete stories of scholarly practice and the shared services PB will enable. Translate stories into recipes involving specific tools and content, utensils and ingredients. May call for identifying/describing tools, outlines of APIs that have to be supported. Advocating and encouraging development of new tools, gap analysis, and content. Referring and review of tools and content." (W3, Tools & Content Partners, Report: Proposal and Moving Forward)

"Driving towards the value-add, but also articulate and pinpoint services and tools. These pull against each other. Neither of those aims are particularly desirous of stories that don't end well. We want failure stories as well as success. Are gaps a form of failure? Where could technology have saved the day or improved the situation?" (W3, Institutional Support, Report: Proposal and Moving Forward)

""boundary object" concept – something scholars & technologists can understand and trace relevance to their interests/concerns. ongoing evolution - bridge messiness of scholarly discovery with the concrete details an IT person wants when designing a system." (W3, Scholarly Narratives, Progress and Demonstrators)

"Charter - collect narratives that talk about work of scholars, how it could be facilitated by technology, build a methodology that makes that collection useful to the community and sustainable through implementation." (W3, Scholarly Narratives, Report: Proposal and Moving Forward)

"Intentionality: open-ended narratives, focused "need" statements. Focus on stories that communicate value proposition, uncover tech needs. Describing a tool or uncovering a gap or obstacle that exists in someone's work life. Process needs to reflect collecting narratives to meet these goals" (W3, Scholarly Narratives, Report: Proposal and Moving Forward)

"Ensure that it's representative- who do we represent?" (W3, Scholarly Narratives, Report: Proposal and Moving Forward)

""We need a nudist?" - a tool for annotating narratives with controlled vocabularies. Suggestions on a tool that we can use for collecting and annotating stories, that would be better than Confluence, let's generate that list and look at those tools soon." (W3, Scholarly Narratives, Report: Proposal and Moving Forward)

"What recipes are; How they work to join stories to tools, content, and research processes; How they helped identify gaps, and actions (and shared services). Recipes as ongoing service for the community. We recommend that Bamboo take on the ongoing development of recipes for the community and in a fashion that others can contribute. In other words a Humanities Research Cookbook is one things proposed. Discussion of value of a cookbook. Discussion of how a cookbook would work. Working with associations to generate new stories and recipes." (Tools & Content Partners working group, Tools and Content Contributions to Proposal, 1/20/09)

"Goal: Project Bamboo will define shared technology services to support the arts, humanities and interpretive social sciences. To pursue this goal collaboratively our community must share an understanding of two very different worlds: the world of scholarship, and the world of technology services. Further our Project must communicate the value of the technology it invents to the institutions which support our collaboration be they participating universities or funding agencies. These two needs are addressed by a community-wide process to relate scholarly work to technology designs which support that scholarly work. The result of this process is documentation which can unite the concerns of both scholars and technologists, and which can serve to demonstrate the impact shared technology services will have on scholarly work." (Scholarly Narratives working group, Contribution to Program Document, 3/18/09)

"Context: From its inception Project Bamboo sought an understanding of scholarly practice. It is only this understanding which will permit the design of shared services beneficial to scholarship. Initial efforts succeeded enumerating scholarly activities by analyzing input from scholars at Workshop One. Yet the process created an unexpected gap in communication between our scholars and our technology architects. A scholar could not identify the linkage of her own work to a list of activities nor the service framework it suggested. At Workshop Two the Scholarly Narratives working group (then called the Stories working group) was created to address this division by making clear the connection between the words of scholars and the designs of analysts. Project Bamboo began with an exploration of scholarly practice. Animated discussion between scholars were fruitful for analysts modeling academic work. From notes taken during those discussions a Services working group derived abstract activities and services to support the Project's constituents. This work was both necessary and beneficial. However the process did not preserve the source material critical to maintaining a shared understanding of the Project's process and deliverables. Instead the community had a set of notes, an abstract list of activities derived from those notes, and a proposal for a shared services framework. A historian, an artist, or a philosopher, for example, could not easily ascertain how his work related. From the findings of the Services working group, scholars had no means to assess the fit of "activities" or "service frameworks" to the generalized descriptions of their work they had provided in Workshop 1. The line from what was spoken to the interpretation of analysts was cut. It would be difficult for scholars to verify whether the analysis was accurate or to use that understanding to productively contribute to future work. The initial disclosure of this analysis and the clear response from scholars provided a very helpful realization: as Bamboo's design process moves deeper and deeper into the abstract it must always have a direct line back to the semantics, methodologies and practices of the scholar. Without that grounding it will be difficult to validate any analysis, and trust and adoption of what we propose will be forestalled. In response to faculty feedback, the Scholarly Narratives working group was formed and charged with gathering and organizing scholarly narratives. These narrative are intended to capture the actual descriptions of scholarly practice in a scholar's own words. A cross-cutting process has been developed with the Shared Services and Tools and Content Providers working groups that maintains the links between future analysis and these narratives. This will allow scholars to see themselves properly represented in the narrative description, track the analysis and generalization of their professional activities, and provide a forum and mechanism for input if discrepancies were to arise." (Scholarly Narratives working group, Contribution to Program Document, 3/18/09)

"A scholarly narrative is an articulation of a scholar's personal research or teaching practices, methodologies, or work efforts. It need not be comprehensive of everything a scholar does, but should be very concrete about the portion it is describing. It should be written in the scholar's own words and be understandable by other colleagues in her field. Finally, it should be bounded by some kind of beginning task and ending task. How to demarcate this boundary is more of an art than a science, but it is meant to place a logical boundary around a set of work to best enable further analysis. To fully document a scholarly narrative and allow for full-circle discussion with the scholarly contributor, various pieces of metadata must also be collected. Contributor metadata includes name, title institution, contact information, and field of study and /or creative endeavor; collector metadata includes name, title, institution, and contact information." (Scholarly Narratives working group, Contribution to Program Document, 3/18/09)

"Narrative scope and boundaries: Much discussion within the Scholarly Narratives workgroup focused on defining the level of detail of narratives sought. Narratives that encompassed too much of a scholar's work were found too broad to impact designs of shared services. An initial effort to collect narratives sought any and all contributions. This was refined to a collection process seeking narratives whose scope was an individual process within a scholar's work. Development of this focus allows the work of the Scholarly Narratives group to dovetail with that of the Tool and Content Providers and the Shared Services workgroups which analyze the narratives for common tools, content and activities Bamboo can support." (Scholarly Narratives working group, Contribution to Program Document, 3/18/09)

"Scholarly Narratives Role: Scholarly narratives are not an end in themselves; they are understandable entry point for scholars to enter into the world of Project Bamboo. The text of a narrative should reflect scholarly language and methodologies that other scholars would understand. This direct link between generalized practices and self-described practices provides a discussion forum within which scholars can facilitate the accurate description of their efforts and clarify their needs. It allows for significant feedback as to whether their practice was interpreted correctly, opportunity to better shape this interpretation, and when the interpretation fully capture the self-described narrative, it can lead to deeper levels of analysis upon which services can be derived." (Scholarly Narratives working group, Contribution to Program Document, 3/18/09)

"Processing of narratives: The initial analysis of a narrative seeks identifiable recipes within the text. A recipe is a concept borrowed from the TAPoR Project ( TAPoR documents recipes for textual analysis ( A recipe is a familiar metaphor to most participants. It provides a list of ingredients which must be present, and a series of steps for transforming those ingredients into the end product. For Bamboo, the ingredients in a recipe are the tools, resources and content a scholar uses in her work. The series of steps are the process she follows for completing her work. For Bamboo the recipe fills a critical role in linking narratives to technology. Within a narrative will be processes for research, composition, review, communication, creation and publication within the scholar's field. Bamboo seeks to abstract these elements as recipes such that the commonalities and differences between scholars, fields and processes can be understood. Understanding these common processes and the sensitivity to individual differences between scholars, organizations and fields provides analysts leverage in identifying services which can best support scholarship. Recipes are stored in a separate repository as derivative artifacts linked back to the narratives in which they were identified. With a catalog of recipes in hand, the analytical activity diverges into two domains. The Tools and Content Providers workgroup uses these recipes to understand what systems and what sources of material are needed by artists, humanists and social scientists. At the same time the Shared Services workgroup derives an abstract inventory of activities from across the recipes gathered. These activities are given a definition and are linked back to related recipes. Activities then become an artifact which can be used to model shared technology services." (Scholarly Narratives working group, Contribution to Program Document, 3/18/09)

"I do, however, want to start with some reflection about my difficulties in connecting these scholarly narratives to the planning process. For the most part, I understand the scholarly narratives and their relations to each other. Most would benefit from more resources, some would benefit from more attention to existing standards. Some projects would benefit from looking closely at each other and perhaps merging. What is not clear to me is how the Bamboo superstructure or infrastructure will help." (Tools & Content Partners working group, Analyzing Scholarly Narratives, Martin Mueller, 3/27/09)

"If it is a matter of institutional cooperation, much of it happens, but not nearly enough of it and often not in the right manner either. How to stimulate or guide it in the right direction is a big question. I am not, however, persuaded that a regulatory regime, however communitarian in its rhetoric -- and there is a lot of that in Bamboo -- will help. To put it bluntly, I have not been able to look at any particular project from the perspective of Bamboo planning and recognize how Bamboo would help. I see a lot of overhead, and I worry whether it will distract rather than support. So I have put down as honestly and politely as I can my sense that the more Bamboo stuff I read the less I know what it is about and the more skeptical I am about its power to do much good." (Tools & Content Partners working group, Analyzing Scholarly Narratives, Martin Mueller, 3/27/09)

"What people want to do and envision doing - how can we turn that into technology that someone else builds?" (W4, Overview of Program Document)

"Also emerged out of schol narratives; if we rework those stories, some of fundamental content -> cookbook metaphor, "recipes" that others can use. Another forum for those thinking about how to develop service (technical sense). Double benefit of things that can help 95% of faculty in the beginning, plus niche services. Some way to capture/document/ etc rich set of tools/content, interaction w/ content and recipes." (W4, Overview of Program Document, Section 3: The Forum)

"Discussion about narratives - selected for usefulness? Danger they could not express the potential of tools for research; this is what they're doing now. Also see they're useful; not useful necessarily for user requirement gathering. Useful for sharing things with faculty, what this is all about, explaining how it's all tied to research, use of resources" (W4, Program Document Section 3, Discussion of Poll #1, Faculty table discussion)

"Danger of the recipes/practices - deal with a workflow for a certain project. At some stages, people need to stop and discuss. There may be a role for a humanities center / technologist that doesn't get represented. PB playing role of moderator? Not feasible for every university to set up their own humanities center / technical expertise." (W4, Program Document Section 3, Discussion of Poll #1, Faculty table discussion)

"Recipes: strongly in favor of this. We can instruct people at different steps of their research process. Recipes valuable for people starting out on new projects - how to approach digital research and reduce myriad possible research paths to refine what's a good first step. Also important for advanced research (mapping, cross-disciplinary work, etc). Might be important for PB to consider how systems could test recipes, make them more efficient, make relationship w/ cloud more efficient" (W4, Program Document Section 3, Discussion of Poll #1, Faculty table discussion)

"Narratives: humanities center - how important they are to the process. Opportunity for self-reflection w/in narratives - shouldn't exist in only one form. Iterative process, rewriting narratives - part and parcel of work in the humanities." (W4, Program Document Section 3, Discussion of Poll #1, Faculty table discussion)

"Had a discussion about the narratives/recipes/etc - suggested these are more complicated than they look. In one sense, they're scholarship in their own right. Could make a journal out of them if you did it the right way. Have problem in terms of incentives for producing those in the context of PB as currently defined. Set of issues about how those tie to scholarly practice, how transparent people want to be about methods/data, when are/aren't prepared to share material in the lifecycle of conduct/publication of scholarly work. No uniform answers. Whole collection of issues." (W4, Program Document Section 3, Discussion of Poll #1, Faculty table discussion)

"Section 3- developing ongoing understanding of how scholarship evolves, etc. What are user needs, really? Librarians have discovered on their own, but doing collaboratively would be useful. Help break down silos. Helpful to understand how materials are used, what materials are used. How we can do new preservation strategies. If scholars have OCR texts, need markup - which versions to bring back in." (W4, Program Document Section 3, Discussion of Poll #1, Librarian table discussion)

"Important thinking about tools/content guides that are published. Hard for Bamboo to do. Need to be careful to not make a top-down guide approach, but more of a bottom-up thing. Can describe my tool, and how I used it - more important to scholars. Short-lived tools, as compared to interoperability standards, exchange standards. Having bottom-up approach: things scholars can recognize. If a scholar talks about how he uses a tool, that's more interesting than a 3rd party referring to it. 2.5 - a little artificial." (W4, Program Document Section 3, Discussion of Poll #1, Librarian table discussion)

"Area of domestic recipes (I like the comment) - recipe discussion for small liberal arts, a recipe that works at a research university might not work at a smaller institution. If the recipe means "get some fresh halibut at the store", and we're a small liberal arts university in the mountains, we're not going to find fresh halibut. What value recipes would be across diverse institutions?" (W4, Program Document Section 3, Discussion of Poll #1, IT table discussion)

"Community design of tools/applications. Forum: along with narratives/recipes/etc are benefit. Software development - coming up w/ user base, and how to plan/design/build. Come back the other direction - getting the info of what exist, what's possible, back out to the communities." (W4, Program Document Section 3, Discussion of Poll #1, IT table discussion)

"Scholars contributed a great deal of detail in W1 - felt disconnected at W2. Artifacts that should've been there to bring people together were missing. Provide a connection between scholarship & IT. As you read the program document, scholarly narratives have taken on "how do we talk about ourselves/define the needs?" - keeping worlds aligned. Scholarship we're trying to support, and the consortium trying to support cyberinfrastructure." (W4, Narratives & Recipes, Duffy Gillman and Tim Cole)

"Narratives not always written using technology terms. Going from narratives to requirements - recipes as model for doing that, probably needs some refinement. Teasing out relevant elements to identify activities/needs/shared services/etc. Enables scholar to do what they're doing, better. Bridge technologists and scholarship." (W4, Narratives & Recipes, Duffy Gillman and Tim Cole)

"Scholars do work in their head while organizing information, but it's helpful to gather information all in one place. Most scholars use some kind of technology, even if working in their head - even if only note cards, marginalia, etc." (W4, Narratives & Recipes, Duffy Gillman and Tim Cole)

"Scholarly narrative can become a motivation and assessment measure of a certain service. Implications for Bamboo: "forum" facet will advance narrative/recipe/activity service to make it more streamlined/efficient." (W4, Narratives & Recipes, Duffy Gillman and Tim Cole)

John Coleman: "Bamboo has not yet exploited extant surveys, including applications for funding (mentioned at W1 as a source).
David Greenbaum: Yes. But we don't have funding yet. This is the right thing to do, but we haven't had a lot of traction to-date given volunteer-only work. (W4, Narratives & Recipes)

"There has been some work done on how humanities scholars use technology. We need to review that literature. Examine current corpus with an eye to structuring stories to be more readily adaptable as recipes/etc. Collect a more representative sample of scholarly narratives in a structured format as determined above.
We need to discover the levers inherent in extant scholarly practices that will get people engaged in doing digital things interested in the Bamboo process." (W4 Action Plan - 3.2 Scholarly Narratives, Year 1)

"Expand/focus narratives to include other genres: success stories ("impact") might be especially useful early on as one way to make an argument for the utility of the tools and services already available and dream stories might identify gaps in the current offerings that the plan/build dimensions of Bamboo could seek to address (i.e., things people want to do but they can't do, where technology might fit in, ask scholars to speculate on technologies of use). Explore alternative forms of documentation: video, audio, etc." (W4 Action Plan - 3.2 Scholarly Narratives, Year 2 and beyond)

"Questions: Should we focus intensely on several communities and focus story/scholarly narratives collection there? Why do some communities gravitate towards resources and others not? Sample scholars that have different work practices e.g., classicists with more of a network culture vs. scholars with more of an individual research tradition (English)" (W4 Action Plan - 3.2 Scholarly Narratives, Year 2 and beyond)

"Most important: finding success stories, make available as recipes. Also make them available in terms of materials for things like communicating w/ deans. Tip of the iceberg kind of moment; potential for various kinds of infrastructure." (W4 Action Plan - 3.2 Scholarly Narratives, discussion)

"A narrative could have multiple recipes. We see two different types of narratives: those that just describe a problem and those that may describe a problem and a process to a solution (see Recipes need to be able to relate to the different audiences (scholars and technical). So recipes would education both sides; scholars would learn new tools; IT people would learn how tools are applied. We need to define what a successful recipe would be: One, success would be to take a narrative, create a recipe for it, then find other narratives that could use some of these recipes. Two, would be showing the reusability of recipes/tools outside of their original context. We need to select some low hanging fruit to demonstrate in year 1." (W4 Action Plan - 3.3 Recipes (Workflows))

"We need a selection process for choosing the narratives. For instance, we could select narratives that were using a specific set of tools that we have identified that we want to use (such as zotero, seasr, monk, tapor, etc). We need to identify narratives and their recipes. These recipes need to be generalized and services need to be data driven, so that they can be applicable in other situations. We may need to solicit narrative that use desired tools. We need to use a visualization tool (like IBM's Many Eyes) to display patterns in the narratives and recipes. For example: We need to develop the recipes for the selected narratives. We need feedback loops for the scholars about the recipes and we need comments to discuss problems and features, etc." (W4 Action Plan - 3.3 Recipes (Workflows), 1-2 years)

"We need to identify gaps in the recipes. We will need to document the scholarly success of using the recipes. Scholarly publications may mean this is after 2 years." (W4 Action Plan - 3.3 Recipes (Workflows), 2 years)

"Need to be using visualization tools for what's in the narratives, what'd be in the recipes. How recipes would be used in different narratives. A number of visualizations exist - one that there already existed shows patterns, how different descriptions can use same terminology. Example that we're looking at showing - "I need to do this", "I need this" - we'd see a tree of the various different things. Narratives and recipes on one level, but dependent on each other so there's very specific kinds of narratives that work if we have specific core building. Those narratives/recipes are focused on that core in the first year. Longer timeline for recipes: more general and generic things that can be visualized, collected at large. For this: thinking in year 1, a proof of concept of Bamboo, there needs to be a lot of dependencies." (W4 Action Plan - 3.3 Recipes (Workflows), discussion)

"Talking about recipes in general - need to be focused on audience, who will be following this. May have to be multi-dimensional; may have to be version of recipe for tech person. Building certain kinds of things for a scholar in general. Audience hasn't really entered into consideration." (W4 Action Plan - 3.3 Recipes (Workflows), discussion)

"Scholarly narratives - selected in first year; should be able to be looked at through educational lens. How/what kind of tool, way of looking at things; ways to focus/highlight how education works, what role education plays. Pedagogical problems need to be identified to get a start on things." (W4 Action Plan - 3.5 Education Materials, discussion)

"Scholarly Narratives
a. More, better data
b. Doing analysis with that data
c. Branching out into different kinds of stories
i. “dream” stories
ii. success stories
d. collecting in other kinds of media such as video and audio
e. to support uptake and build a social structure around existing investments in the digital humanities
i. do targeted interviewing in certain fields
1. how the culture of digital humanities evolved
f. biographies of scholars" (W4 Action Plan - 4.1 Services Atlas)

a. Wanted more target narratives
b. Wanted a process where focused narratives that led through narratives through to sanctioned tools (that already exist—driven by the qick turn around time)
c. Proof of concept—take a narrative that did involve a Mellon tool, find the recipe then generalize it, then find another narrative that could have used this tool.
d. Recipes are only useful if they guide people to services and tools" (W4 Action Plan - 4.1 Services Atlas)

"Tools and Application Alignment
a. Collecting narratives willy nilly only broadens the scope and doesn’t narrow it. We need to identify what those first key applications are and guide the narratives towards those tools.
b. Bamboo has to be self-feeding and gather the information it needs.
c. Bamboo has to operate on 3 tracks
i. Put a couple of things wrap in the cloud environment and put it up there
ii. Analyze scholarly narratives to show how they are using tools successfully
iii. We want to find out what the dreams are so we can do a gap analysis
d. Need to demonstrate the scholarly value then it is not bamboo work it is just software development. We need to point to scholars who feel like they were part of the collaboration.
e. There have to be scholars collecting and analyzing the narratives. Then you have scholars who are users of bamboo and you have to someone steer them towards these scholarly resources
f. Look at tools that
g. Imagine tying MONK and ZOTERO together in a new way
h. Scholars need to select the tools that are important and tell what tools are important contributions to their field
i. Demonstrate how some of these pieces might work.
i. Need to show how you go from dream narrative to _____ to an alignment with content and tools to _________. A multiyear process.
ii. You can show various components working
j. Recipe analysis
i. If you normalize the language of your recipes, you can create trees of processes and you can do different kinds of visualization" (W4 Action Plan - 4.1 Services Atlas)

"Sustainability plan. Who will house and for how long? Libraries are in a unique position to sustain. Recipes: might there need to be some back and forth between recipes and scholars. Is this a librarian?" (W4, Discussion of Section 3 Poll #1 Neil Fraistat)

"Struck that SNar got lower percentage of highs. Anxiety is that this is the place where we have the most direct interaction with humanities scholars. Striking that this group seems less deeply committed about hearing from scholars directly than other activities." (W4, Discussion of Section 3 Poll #1, Robert Gibbs)

"Must round-trip the narrative: not just tell the story, but bring back to the teller some news of digital tools that might help; seems to be a gap between recipes and individual trying to find their way, need back-and-forth between scholar and someone else who mediates the recipes or something; could librarians fill that role?" (W4, Discussion of Section 3 Poll #1, Tim Cole)

"Resource issue is a concern. There's a lot of time involved getting and analyzing the narratives. Interprets recipes as the bridge between scholars and technologists. Might be that certain narratives will have greater influence in illuminating the links between scholarship and technology services. How to identify these and apply the resources there." (W4, Discussion of Section 3 Poll #1, Duffy Gillman)

"Something like narratives need to be linked into recipes to make narratives something that can communicate between humanities scholars and IT areas of institutions. At the moment, these are accepting "equipment" of narratives from scientists, and providing resources accordingly. Important for us to keep in mind those relationships, rather than "we might do this in one year, but not this" (W4 Discussion of Section 3 and Section 4 Poll #2)

"Couldn't see what was in it for the scholar." (W4, Discussion of Section 3 Poll #1, John Norman)

"only other thing was talking about scholarly narratives - how that data would be collected, curation issues, amount of human intervention needed (now/future), how would that be sustained. David (UVA): Re: formulation of ingredients, food preparation steps, utensils - putting in people (cooks, eaters, etc) : connection to social network." (W5, Report out: Major Areas of Work, Atlas)

Bamboo tags: 

Add new comment