Welcome Back to the Scholarly Commons!

The Scholarly Commons is excited to announce we have merged with the Media Commons! Our units have united to provide equitable access to innovative spaces, digital tools, and assistance for media creation, data visualization, and digital storytelling. We launched a new website this summer, and we’re thrilled to announce a new showcase initiative that highlights digital projects created by faculty and students. Please consider submitting your work to be featured on our website or digital displays. 

Looking to change up your office hours? Room 220 in the Main Library is a mixed-used space with comfortable seating and access to computers and screen-sharing technology that can be a great spot for holding office hours with students. 

Media Spaces

We are excited to announce new media spaces! These spaces are designed for video and audio recordings and equipped to meet different needs depending on the type of production. For quick and simple video projects, Room 220 has a green-screen wall on the southeast side of the room (adjacent to the Reading Room). The space allows anyone to have fun with video editing. You can use your phone to shoot a video of yourself in front of the green wall and use software to replace the green with a background of your choosing to be transported anywhere. No reservations required.

Green Screen Wall in Room 220. Next to it is some insignificant text for design purposes.

For a sound-isolated media experience, we are also introducing Self-Use Media Studios in Rooms 220 and 306 of the Main Library. These booths will be reservable and are equipped with an M1 Mac Studio computer, two professional microphones, 4K video capture, dual color-corrected monitors, an additional large TV display, and studio-quality speakers. Record a podcast or voiceover, collect interviews or oral histories, capture a video or give a remote stream presentation, and more at the Self-Use Media Studios.

Finally, we are introducing the Video Production Studio in Room 308. This is a high-end media creation studio complete with two 6K cameras, an 4K overhead camera, video inputs for computer-based presentation, professional microphones, studio-lighting, multiple backdrops, and a live-switching video controller for real-time presentation capture or streaming. Additionally, an M1 Mac Studio computer provides plenty of power to enable high-resolution video project editing. The Video Production Studio can be scheduled by arranged appointment and will be operated by Scholarly Commons staff once the space is ready to open. 

Stay tuned to our spaces page for more information about reserving these resources.

Loanable Tech

The Scholarly and Media Commons are pleased to announce the re-opening of loanable technology in Room 306 of the Main Library. Members of the UIUC community can borrow items such as cameras, phone chargers, laptops, and more from our loanable technology desk. The loanable technology desk is open 10:30 a.m. – 7:30 p.m. Mondays-Thursdays, 10:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. Fridays, and 2-6:30 p.m. on Sundays. Check out the complete list of loanable items for more on the range of technology we provide.

Drop-in Consultation Hours

Drop-in consultations have returned to Room 220. Consultations this semester include:

  • GIS with Wenjie Wang – Tuesdays 1 – 3 p.m. in Consultation Room A.
  • Copyright with Sara Benson – Tuesdays 11 a.m. – 12 p.m. in Consultation Room A.
  • Media and design with JP Goguen – Thursdays 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. in Consultation Room A.
  • Data analysis with the Cline Center for Advanced Social Research – Thursdays 1 – 3 p.m. in Consultation Room A.
  • Statistical consulting with the Center for Innovation, Technology, and Learning (CITL) – 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays, as well as 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Wednesdays in Consultation Room B.

Finally, a Technology Services help desk has moved into Room 220. They are available 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Mondays-Fridays to assist patrons with questions about password security, email access, and other technology needs.

Spatial Computing and Immersive Media Studio

Later this fall, we will launch the Spatial Computing and Immersive Media Studio (SCIM Studio) in Grainger Library. SCIM Studio is a black-box space focused on emerging technologies in multimedia and human-centered computing. Equipped with 8K 360 cameras, VR and AR hardware, a 22-channel speaker system, Azure Kinect Depth Cameras, Greenscreen, and a Multi-Camera and display system for Video Capture & Livestreaming, SCIM Studio will cater to researchers and students interested in utilizing the cutting edge of multimedia technology. The Core i9 workstation equipped with Nvidia A6000 48GB GPU will allow for 3D modeling, Computer Vision processing, Virtual Production compositing, Data Visualization/Sonification, and Machine Learning workflows. Please reach out to Jake Metz if you have questions or a project you would like to pursue at the SCIM Studio and keep your eye on our website for launch information. 

Have Questions?

Please continue to contact us through email (sc@library.illinois.edu) for any questions about the Scholarly and Media Commons this year. Finally, you can check out the new Scholarly Commons webpage for more information about our services, as well as our staff directory to set up consultations for specific services. 

We wish you all a wonderful semester and look forward to seeing you here at the Scholarly and Media Commons!

Introducing Drop-In Consultation Hours at the Scholarly Commons!

Do you have a burning question about data management, copyright, or even how to work Adobe Photoshop but do not have the time to set up an appointment? This semester, the Scholarly Commons is happy to introduce our new drop-in consultation hours! Each weekday, we will have an expert from a different scholarly subject have an open hour or two where you can bring any question you have about that’s expert’s specialty. These will all take place in room 220 in the Main Library in Group Room A (right next to the Scholarly Commons help desk). Here is more about each session:

 

Mondays 11 AM – 1 PM: Data Management with Sandi Caldrone

This is a photo of Sandi Caldrone, who works for Research Data Services and will be hosting the Monday consultation hours from 11 AM - 1 PMStarting us off, we have Sandi Caldrone from Research Data Services offering consultation hours on data management. Sandi can help with topics such as creating a data management plan, organizing/storing your data, data curation, and more. She can also help with questions around the Illinois Data Bank and the Dryad Repository.

 

 
 

Tuesdays 11 AM – 1 PM: GIS with Wenjie Wang

Next up, we have Wenjie Wang from the Scholarly Commons to offer consultation about Geographic Information Systems (GIS). Have a question about geocoding, geospatial analysis, or even where to locate GIS data? Wenjie can help! He can also answer any questions related to using ArcGIS or QGIS.

 
 

Wednesdays 11 AM – 12 PM: Copyright with Sara Benson

This is a photo of Copyright Librarian Sara Benson who will be hosting the Wednesday consultation hours from 11 AM - 12 PMDo you have questions relating to copyright and your dissertation, negotiating an author’s agreement, or seeking permission to include an image in your own work? Feel free to drop in during Copyright Librarian Sara Benson’s open copyright hours to discuss any copyright questions you may have.

 

 

 

Thursdays 1-3 PM: Qualitative Data Analysis with Jess Hagman

This is a photo of Jess Hagman, who works for the Social Science, Education, and Health Library and will be hosting the Thursday consultation hours from 1 PM - 3 PMJess Hagman from the Social Science, Health, and Education Library is here to help with questions related to performing qualitative data analysis (QDA). She can walk you through any stage of the qualitative data analysis process regardless of data or methodology. She can also assist in operating QDA software including NVivo, Atlas.ti, MAXQDA, Taguette, and many more! For more information, you can also visit the qualitative data analysis LibGuide.

 

 

 
 

Fridays 10 AM – 12 PM: Graphic Design and Multimedia with JP Goguen

To end the week, we have JP Goguen from the Scholarly/Media Commons with consultation hours related to graphic design and multimedia. Come to JP with any questions you may have about design or photo/video editing. You can also bring JP any questions related to software found on the Adobe Creative Cloud (such as Photoshop, InDesign, Premiere Pro, etc.).

 

Have another Scholarly Inquiry?

If there is another service you need help with, you are always welcome to stop by the Scholarly Commons help desk in room 220 of the Main Library between 10 AM – 6 PM Monday-Friday. From here, we can get you in contact with another specialist to guide you through your research inquiry. Whatever your question may be, we are happy to help you!

Halloween Data Visualizations!

It’s that time of year where everyone starts to enjoy all things spooky and scary – haunted houses, pumpkin picking, scary movies and…data visualizations! To celebrate Halloween, we have created a couple of data visualizations from a bunch of data sets. We hope you enjoy them!

Halloween Costumes

How do you decide what Halloween costume you wear? Halloween Costumes conducted a survey on this very topic. According to their data, the top way people choose their costume is based on what is easiest to make. Other inspirations include classic costumes, coordination with others, social media trends, and characters from either recent or classic movie or tv franchises.

Data on how people choose their Halloween Costumes. 39% of people base it on the easiest costume they can find, 21% on classic costumes (such as ghosts, witches, etc.), 14% on recent TV or movie characters, another 14% on couples/group/family coordination, 12% on older TV or movie characters, and 11% on social media trends.

The National Retail Federation also conducted a survey of the top costumes that adults were expected to wear in 2019 (there were no good data sets for 2020…). According to the survey, the most popular Halloween costume that year was a witch. Other classic costumes, such as vampires, zombies, and ghosts, ranked high too. Superheroes were also a popular costume choice, with many people dressing up as Spider-man or another Avengers character.

 

Data on the top 10 costumes of 2019. The top choice was dressing up as a witch, followed by a vampire, superhero, pirate, zombie, ghost, avengers character, princess, cat, and Spider-man.

 

Halloween Spending and Production

According to the National Retail Federation, Halloween spending has significantly increased between 2005 to this year, with the expected spending this year surpassing 10 billion dollars! That is up from fifteen years ago when the estimated Halloween spending averaged around 5 billion dollars.

 

This is data on expected Halloween spending between 2005 and 2021. In 2005, the expected spending was 3.3 Billion dollars. In 2006, it was 5 billion dollars. In 2007, it was 5.1 billion dollars. In 2008, it was 5.8 billion dollars. In 2009, it was 4.7 billion dollars. In 2010, it was 5.8 billion dollars again. In 2011, it was 6.9 billion dollars. In 2012, it was 8 billion dollars. In 2013, it was 7 billion dollars. In 2014, it was 7.4 billion dollars. In 2015, it was 6.9 billion dollars. In 2016, it was 8.4 billion dollars. In 2017, it was 9.1 billion dollars. In 2018, it was 9 billion dollars. In 2020, it was 8 billion dollars. Finally, in 2021, it is expected to be 10.1 billion dollars.

With much spending invested in Halloween, it would make sense that the production of Halloween-related items would likely grow too to meet this demand. The U.S. Department of Agriculture records each year the number of pumpkins produced in the United States. Besides one dip taken in 2015, it appears that pumpkin production has almost doubled in the past twenty years on average.

 

This is data on the number of pumpkins produced in the United States every year. In 2001, it was 8,460,000 pumpkins produced. In 2002, 8,509,000 Pumpkins were produced. In 2003, 8,085,000 pumpkins were produced. In 2004, 10,135,000 pumpkins were produced. In 2005, 10,756,000 pumpkins were produced. In 2006, 10,484,000 pumpkins were produced, in 2007, 11,458,000 pumpkins were produced. In 2008, 10,663,000 pumpkins were prodcued. In 2009, 9,311,000 pumpkins were produced. In 2010, 10,748,000 pumpkins were produced. In 2011, 10,705,000 pumpkins were produced. In 2012, 12,036,000 pumpkins were produced. In 2013, 11,221,000 pumpkins were prodcued. In 2014m 13,143,000 pumpkins were produced. In 2015, 7,538,000 pumpkins were prodcued. In 2016, 17,096,500 pumpkins were produced. In 2017, 15,600,600 pumpkins were produced. In 2018, 15,406,900 pumpkins were produced. In 2019, 13,450,900 pumpkins were produced. Finally, in 2020,, 13,751,500 pumpkins were produced.

Halloween Activities by Demographics

Finally, here are two statistics taken from the National Retail Federation again regarding how people celebrate activities based on age and region. As the data shows, younger people seem more likely to dress in costumes, visit haunted houses, or throw parties on Halloween. Meanwhile, older individuals are more likely to decorate their homes or hand out candy.

This is data about how people celebrate different Halloween activities by age. Those 65 and older are only 31% likely to carve a pumpkin (31%) as opposed to the 43-50% likelihood of other age groups. Those 55-64 are the most likely to decorate their homes/yard (58%) while 18-24 are the least likely (47%). Those 18-24 years old, however, are the most likely to dress in costume (69%) while only 18% of those 65 and older will dress in costumes. Those 25-34 are the most likely to dress their pets up at 30% with only 8% of those 65 and older doing the same. Those 65 and older are 81% likely to hand out candy, however, while only 51% of people 18-24 years of age will pass out candy. Those at ages 35-44 are 38% likely to take their children trick-or-treating, while only 13% of those 65 and older do so. The 18-24 year old demographic are the most likely to throw or attend a party (43%), while 11% of those 65 and older do the same. Similarly, 18-24 demographic are the most likely to attend a haunted house at 32% while only 3% of those in the 65 and older range do the same.

At the same time, there seems to be not too huge of a difference in celebrating by region, apart from those living on the west coast being more likely to dress up or those living in the northeast more likely to hand out candy. Other than those two differences, it seems that most regions celebrate the same Halloween activities in the same proportions.

This is data about how people celebrate different Halloween activities by region. 42-46% of people carve a pumpkin (with those in the Midwest on the higher end and the South on the lower end). 50-54% of people decorate their home or yard with the Midwest and Northeast on the higher end and the South on the lower end. 41-52% of people dress in costume with those living in the West on the higher end and the Midwest on the lower end. 19-22% of people dress their pets with those living in the West on the higher end and the Midwest on the lower end. 64-70% of people hand out candy with the Northeast on the higher end and the West and South tied on the lower end. 22-26% of people take their children trick-or treating with those living in the Midwest and South on the higher end and the West on the lower end. 25% of people throw or attend a party equally across regions. 17-19% of people visit a haunted house with the Midwest and South on the higher end and the West on the lower end.

 

We hope these data visualizations got you in the mood for spooky, Halloween fun! From all of us at the Scholarly Commons, Happy Halloween!

What Are the Digital Humanities?

Introduction

As new technology has revolutionized the ways all fields gather information, scholars have integrated the use of digital software to enhance traditional models of research. While digital software may seem only relevant in scientific research, digital projects play a crucial role in disciplines not traditionally associated with computer science. One of the biggest digital initiatives actually takes place in fields such as English, History, Philosophy, and more in what is known as the digital humanities. The digital humanities are an innovative way to incorporate digital data and computer science within the confines of humanities-based research. Although some aspects of the digital humanities are exclusive to specific fields, most digital humanities projects are interdisciplinary in nature. Below are three general impacts that projects within the digital humanities have enhanced the approaches to humanities research for scholars in these fields.

Digital Access to Resources

Digital access is a way of taking items necessary for humanities research and creating a system where users can easily access these resources. This work involves digitizing physical items and formatting them to store them on a database that permits access to its contents. Since some of these databases may hold thousands or millions of items, digital humanists also work to find ways so that users may locate these specific items quickly and easily. Thus, digital access requires both the digitization of physical items and their storage on a database as well as creating a path for scholars to find them for research purposes.

Providing Tools to Enhance Interpretation of Data and Sources

The digital humanities can also change how we can interpret sources and other items used in the digital humanities. Data Visualization software, for example, helps simplify large, complex datasets and presents this data in ways more visually appealing. Likewise, text mining software uncovers trends through analyzing text that potentially saves hours or even days for digital humanists had they analyzed the text through analog methods. Finally, Geographic Information Systems (GIS) software allows for users working on humanities projects to create special types of maps that can both assist in visualizing and analyzing data. These software programs and more have dramatically transformed the ways digital humanists interpret and visualize their research.

Digital Publishing

The digital humanities have opened new opportunities for scholars to publish their work. In some cases, digital publishing is simply digitizing an article or item in print to expand the reach of a given publication to readers who may not have direct access to the physical version. Other times, some digital publishing initiatives publish research that is only accessible in a digital format. One benefit to digital publishing is that it opens more opportunities for scholars to publish their research and expands the audience for their research than just publishing in print. As a result, the digital humanities provide scholars more opportunities to publish their research while also expanding the reach of their publications.

How Can I Learn More About the Digital Humanities?

There are many ways to get involved both at the University of Illinois as well as around the globe. Here is just a list of a few examples that can help you get started on your own digital humanities project:

  • HathiTrust is a partnership through the Big Ten Academic Alliance that holds over 17 million items in its collection.
  • Internet Archive is a public, multimedia database that allows for open access to a wide range of materials.
  • The Scholarly Commons page on the digital humanities offers many of the tools used for data visualization, text mining, GIS software, and other resources that enhance analysis within a humanities project. There are also a couple of upcoming Savvy Researcher workshops that will go over how to use software used in the digital humanities
  • Sourcelab is an initiative through the History Department that works to publish and preserve digital history projects. Many other humanities fields have equivalents to Sourcelab that serves the specific needs of a given discipline.

Introductions: What is Data Analysis, anyway?

This post is part of a series where we introduce you to the various topics that we cover in the Scholarly Commons. Maybe you’re new to the field or you’re just to the point where you’re just too afraid to ask… Fear not! We are here to take it back to the basics!

So, what is Data Analysis, anyway?

Data analysis is the process of examining, cleaning, transforming, and modeling data in order to make discoveries and, in many cases, support decision making. One key part of the data analysis process is separating the signal (meaningful information you are trying to discover) from the noise (random, meaningless variation) in the data.

The form and methods of data analysis can vary widely, and some form of data analysis is present in nearly every academic field. Here are some examples of data analysis projects:

  • Taylor Arnold, Lauren Tilton, and Annie Berke in “Visual Style in Two Network Era Sitcoms” (2019) used large-scale facial recognition and image analysis to examine the centrality of characters in the 1960s sitcoms Bewitched and I Dream of Jeannie. They found that Samantha is the distinctive lead character of Bewitched, while Jeannie is positioned under the domination of Tony in I Dream of Jeannie.
  • Allen Kim, Charuta Pethe, Steven Skiena in “What time is it? Temporal Analysis of Novels(2020) used the full text of 52,183 fiction books from Project Gutenberg and the HaithiTrust to examine the time of day that events in the book took place during. They found that events from 11pm to 1am became more common after 1880, which the authors attribute to the invention of electric lighting.
  • Wouter Haverals and Lindsey Geybels in “A digital inquiry into the age of the implied readership of the Harry Potter series” (2021) used various statistical methods to examine whether the Harry Potter books did in fact progressively become more mature and adult with successive books, as often believed by literature scholars and reviewers. While they did find that the text of the books implied a more advanced reader with later books, the change was perhaps not as large as would be expected.

How can Scholarly Commons help?

If all of this is new to you, don’t worry! The Scholarly Commons can help you get started.

Here are various aspects of our data services in the Scholarly Commons:

As always, if you’re interested in learning more about data analysis and how to support your own projects you can fill out a consultation request form, attend a Savvy Researcher Workshop, Live Chat with us on Ask a Librarian, or send us an email. We are always happy to help!

Welcome to the new Scholarly Commons!

The staff at the Scholarly Commons are excited to welcome you to our new location in Room 220 of the Main Library! Over the course of the past year of remote work, we have been making progress on getting 220 ready for patron use by the start of the Fall semester and officially opened our new space on August 9th.

Study tables arranged in two rows with students studying.

Study tables located in Room 220

The new Scholarly Commons in Room 220 is a much bigger space that can accommodate more patrons, support individual and group study, host research consultations, and more. We have brand new soft furniture that patrons can lounge in, as well as several study tables that come with screen-casting monitors for easy collaboration.

Individual study pod with clear glass doors

Rooms available to reserve for individual or group study

Our patrons have also been excited about the group collaboration rooms, which are brand new to the Scholarly Commons. These rooms can be reserved for individual study or group meetings. They are glass-enclosed spaces with adjustable lighting, a monitor for screen-casting, and air conditioning. The pods can be reserved for two hours at a time through the library’s online reservation portal.

The Scholarly Commons mission of supporting the advanced research needs of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign community continues in our new space, where we have 14 desktop computers equipped with specialized research software. A full list of software available in Room 220 is available on the Scholarly Commons website. You can also receive statistical consulting services through the Center for Innovation in Teaching and Learning in Room 220 during their drop-in hours. Our scanning equipment is also now located in Room 220, including our new KIC Bookeye Book Scanning Station.

Bookeye scanner with touchscreen and two flatbed scanners

Bookeye and Flatbed scanners

The Scholarly Commons service desk is also now located in Room 220 and is the best way to get immediate help from one of our staff members. We will also be available via our online chat and through email (sc@library.illinois.edu) during our oprerating hours, Monday-Thursday, 10am-4pm and Fridays 10am-noon. You can also visit Room 220 outside of these hours – the room will be available for use whenever the Main Library building is open.

We are so excited to be back on campus and in our new space. We look forward to seeing you at the new Scholarly Commons!