Digital Scholarship Services Graduate Student Assistant (GSA)

University Library System Digital Scholarship GSA 2021-2022

Overview

Digital Scholarship Graduate Student Assistants are placed within the University Library System’s Digital Scholarship Services (DSS) during the fall and spring terms of an academic year. In this position, GSAs gain experience in the skills of contemporary digital scholarship, support the work of the unit, contribute to digital projects hosted by or affiliated with the library, and provide support to faculty and students as a part of the library’s Digital Scholarship Services. As time permits, GSAs will also have opportunities to work on their own digital scholarship projects with support from DSS librarians and staff.

Emphasizing professional development, the ULS Digital Scholarship GSA is intended to prepare students for success in digitally-inflected scholarly careers, both in the academy and beyond. This two-term academic GSA position builds on our ULS Summer Digital Scholarship Graduate Internship program by providing an opportunity for more sustained and in-depth contributions to digital scholarship practice.

Details

The appointment requires a commitment of effort up to but not exceeding 20 hours a week. This appointment will be conducted on-site, in the Digital Scholarship offices within Hillman Library, to the extent permitted by general university guidance; if in-person operations are restricted, this appointment may be conducted partially or fully remote, as appropriate.

The GSA stipend is at the current level of a Teaching Fellow.

In light of the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic, this GSA position will be hybrid in nature. If the University is in a Guarded, Elevated, or High Risk posture, the GSA will work remotely. Social distancing guidelines will also necessitate a hybrid on-campus/remote work arrangement. The specific schedule of remote and (when possible) on-campus work will be determined between GSA and supervisor.

Tasks include assisting DSS staff and librarians with consults, project work, unit tasks and projects, and training sessions. Additionally, the GSA will work on a cooperatively-designed digital scholarship project. This project will emphasize one or more of the following:

  • Use of library collections in digital scholarship
  • Contribution to a digital project hosted by or affiliated with the library
  • Extension of a ULS-supported digital scholarship or scholarly publishing method or program (e.g. by investigating new applications or increasing capacity)

The nature of this work will vary, but it is intended to allow the GSA to make a robust connection to the team and work on an ongoing project.

The ULS is committed to proper credit and attribution for all who work on its projects. At a minimum, GSAs will receive public credit and recognition as contributors to digital scholarship projects. Where GSA contributions are more specialized and/or independent, the GSA will receive public credit and recognition as team-member and/or (co-)author.

For new GSAs, and as needed, DSS staff will provide individual or small-group training on foundational digital scholarship skills:

  • Digital project management and collaboration tools
  • Basics of copyright and licensing, principles of open scholarship
  • Basics of data formats and modeling (e.g. structured/unstructured; tabular/hierarchical)
  • Obtaining and organizing data/digital material for study
  • Digitization and Optical Character Recognition (OCR)
  • Website creation and personal portfolio development
  • Critical and ethical perspectives on Digital Scholarship
  • Digital pedagogy approaches, including critical application of digital tools and methods

When GSAs have demonstrated their skills and knowledge with foundational skills, they may continue training, both directed and self-guided, on areas of specialization:

  • Text analysis
  • Network modeling and analysis
  • Data visualization
  • Advanced data modeling, database design and querying
  • Spatial analysis and GIS
  • 3D modeling and virtual reality environments
  • Digital exhibits and storytelling
  • Coding, scripting, and computational workflows
  • Data stewardship and forensics

Supporting Resources and Projects

On-campus resources (institutional risk posture permitting)

  • The Digital Stewardship Lab contains 3D scanners, a specialized graphics flatbed scanner, a high-quality large format overhead scanner, and an ABBYY FineReader OCR Workstation.
  • Distinctive Collections including Archives and Special Collections, Frick Fine Arts Library, Finney Music Library, Center for American Music, and other collections of archival, unique, and/or specialized materials.
  • The Open Lab at Hillman contains virtual reality workstations and applications, 3D printers, 360-degree video cameras, and other fabrication technologies.

Online resources

  • ULS Digital Collections and Repositories include Historic Pittsburgh, D-Scholarship@Pitt (the university’s institutional repository), the Archive of European Integration, and the PhilSci Archive.

Eligibility

  • PhD students in the humanities or humanistic social sciences in the University of Pittsburgh’s Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences
  • Completed at least two full semesters of graduate coursework
  • Must be able to commit up to but not exceeding 20 hours of effort a week during the fall and spring terms
  • No prior digital scholarship experience required
  • Complete GSA application, which consists of a letter of interest, a CV, and any other relevant materials (e.g. prior digital scholarship work; current digital projects, etc.), if applicable.

Email your questions and application to:

Aaron Brenner (abrenner@pitt.edu) and Gesina Phillips (gap64@pitt.edu)

For fullest consideration, please submit your application by Friday, June 11, 2021

Applications open: late spring/early summer

Please see descriptions of our regular student opportunities and check back accordingly. You can also sign up for our newsletter for notifications of upcoming application periods.