Tag Archives: digital humanities

Zotero and AWS, or How We Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Cloud (Part 1 of 2)

Zotero’s server infrastructure has evolved in countless ways since the project’s 2006 launch, but most of those changes are super boring and not worth remembering. Over the past two months, however, we moved the bulk of Zotero’s back end to Amazon Web Services, a step that I believe is uniquely noteworthy in the context of digital humanities projects and their long-term sustainability. In this post I describe the recent changes to Zotero’s architecture. In the next post I’ll discuss why these changes are important for the digital humanities. This story is long, but it has a moral, and also a van. Continue reading

Test Your Digital Humanities Knowledge

I met up with my French colleague Marin Dacos today while he was in the middle of giving an exam on digital publishing to his humanities master’s students. While many U.S. graduate students (and professors) would balk at such a “factual” exam, I suspect that they would have a very tough time getting through it unscathed.1

How would you or your students fare with a test like this? I’ve translated the questions into English. You have ninety minutes. Go!

Basic questions and definitions (13 points)

  1. In Wikipedia, what do “Diff” and “Edit war” mean?
  2. Name the XML formats useful for electronic publishing and specify their particularities.
  3. How does PageRank work? What are the advantages of this system? What are its drawbacks?
  4. Who is Tim Berners-Lee? What is the W3C?
  5. What is metadata? What is Dublin Core?
  6. What is DRM? What are its advantages and disadvantages?
  7. What is single source publishing?
  8. What is the difference between the PDF and EPUB formats?
  9. What is Zotero? What does it do?
  10. What is a DOI? What is name resolution?
  11. What is interoperability? What is OAI-PMH? What are the main verbs of OAI-PMH and what do they do?
  12. What is the attention economy?
  13. What is the Creative Commons License? What is its purpose?

Synthesis (7 points)

  1. Electronic publishing falls into three categories. For each type of electronic publishing, provide a definition, at least one representative example, its main technical characteristics, its principal qualities, and its major faults.
  2. The publishing industry is searching for an economic model of electronic publication. Present the different strategies currently under development (name, basic description, example, advantages, disadvantages)
  1. Except for #9. Everyone can answer that one. []