Associate Vice Provost for Digital Scholarship, Associate Dean of Libraries, Director of Digital Scholarship Center
University of Cincinnati
Vice Provost for Digital Scholarship, Dean and University Librarian
University of Cincinnati
Traditionally viewed as a service provider to the university, the library as a source of innovative research design and productive research partnership is a concept often overlooked. Even rarer is the perception of the library as a campus-wide leader of digital initiatives on artificial intelligence and research innovation on campus. Through the development and implementation of an accessible machine learning platform that has been successfully leveraged by multiple disciplines across the university, the Digital Scholarship Center (DSC) within University of Cincinnati (UC) Libraries has begun to change that perception. Through the support of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and in collaboration with faculty from multiple colleges across the university, the DSC has served as a productive research catalyst in leading transdisciplinary research teams, working collectively to address research questions through joint creation of project design and the use of cutting-edge machine learning techniques. By exposing researchers in colleges across the university to the concepts of machine learning and data visualization, and demonstrating the benefits they offer in analyzing large unstructured data sets and digital archives, as well as increasing the accessibility of their use, the DSC is establishing machine learning as part of the fabric of research endeavors at our institution while also solidifying the library’s position as intellectual partner and research catalyst. These activities have redefined the libraries’ relationship with our university’s academic mission. For example, the library has now been charged to lead our institution’s enterprise-wide “digital integration efforts,” and the university’s senior leadership recently selected the DSC as one of the first anchor research teams in the new Digital Futures innovation center. This presentation will discuss the DSC’s inception, creation and development of our machine learning platform, past and active projects, the evolution of the DSC’s position at the university and ambitions for its future. We will conclude by outlining the vision for our second phase of support from the Mellon Foundation, which will expand our “model of models” machine learning technology by integrating datasets, cloud infrastructure, and machine learning tools in a more universal platform for use across multiple disciplines.