(These notes are the outcome of our design charrette and our team discussion following the charrette.)


The problem: Increasingly scholars are working on multimedia and multimodal forms of research and publication. However, there are few places to coordinate these forms of research and publication and also to allow for more interaction between non-traditional and traditional publishing. Scholars need a space to plan this kind of work, to draw from existing tools, and to get guidance on shaping and sharing materials.

Provisional definition: Makerspace is a space (both physical and metaphorical) that is established for the scholar to explore and engage in a collaborative process with other stakeholders and specialists, including librarians, editors, content managers and tool developers, and community partners. Within this space the Makerspace ‘team’ envisions and begins to build a multi-modal research framework.

Objectives: The Makerspace community building begins with a makerspace workshop that brings all parties together and explores the soup to nuts publishing of a scholarly work that is necessarily multi-modal. In the workshop, the collaborative group comes together to share ideas and questions from each disciplinary realm. Peer reviewers, developers, editors, and librarians work collectively to provide feedback, suggest tools and platforms for the research, opening up the research to multi-modal possibilities and making it easier to produce multimodal outputs by prioritizing interoperable tools. (Example: What might start as a manuscript ends up as a manuscript and an exhibit and a multi-media presentation and an annotated bibliographical resource and a mapping tool to pool the work of researchers engaged in related projects. Or what might start as a curated digital collection ends up as a collection and an exhibit and an ebook with links that interface with the collection and a website with maps and other visualizations and alternate paths through the information.)

Value Proposition

  • Publishers — Presses would gain earlier involvement in shaping the relationship between digital publishing endeavors and more traditional publishing. They would learn more about how scholars organize and shape digital projects and how these projects might be used by readers. I doing so, publishers may be able to craft and hone publishing tools and to enhance the interaction between scholarly publishing projects. More interaction between publishers and libraries would broaden understanding about best practices for storing and sharing such projects.
  • Libraries, Archives, & Museums — Libraries also want to be involved earlier in the scholarship lifecycle, rather than being brought in at the very end to “store” knowledge.
  • Authors — Having a bigger, more collaborative process in which other groups’ expertise is put to use open up a lot of new possibilities for authors.
  • Scholarly societies
  • University affiliated organizations (e.g., humanities centers)

General Principles

The Makerspace is a collaborative research model that

  • is inclusive, bringing together the scholarship community (flexible model in which the scholarly project community varies based on the subject matter)
  • broadens the scope of research in its early/proposal stages through feedback, insights, and suggestions for the use of particular tools and processes, as well as for framing particular questions
  • expands scholarship projects with multi-modal components that include prototyping of visualizations, wireframes for websites, and other prototyping creates a shared learning environment that provides opportunities for all stakeholders in the authorship process to share ownership of the process
  • establishes a creative realm or sphere within which critical engagement and idea sharing takes place
  • models an iterative process in which feedback and critique is built into knowledge building, construction of the project’s framework, and intellectual outcomes
  • encourages open dialogue, collective contribution, and more collective attribution
  • enables exploration of multiple tools and multi-modal products encourages tool developers to focus on interoperability in a larger publishing context that
  • is not focused just on the scholar, but re-envisions the scholar as part of a larger community or team that strategizes opportunities for integrating DH tools and other strategies into the research process
  • redefines publishing as an ecosystem of interrelated processes and outputs, both digital and physical (e.g., print book, museum exhibit)
  • organically expands peer review to engage with the whole ecosystem of content creation and publishing, including multiple audiences
  • has generative potential for the creation of other types of Makerspaces with other constituents and audiences (can be replicated with Makerspace workshops at various institutions)

Key Objectives


Engages in scholarship as a multimodal, collaborative process: Re-shapes traditional paths of scholarship, moving beyond the manuscript as the main artefact of scholarship, recognizing and connecting the multiple outputs of the research process, from item description in an archive to multimodal publication or virtual world.

Provides a framework for creating makerspaces (What should they include? What do they look like? How do we facilitate their implementation? How useful is the notion of a flexible structure? What can we draw from models of collaboration and scholarship? How is the library becoming a leader in building creative communities with scholars and specialists? How is the publisher’s space one of creative engagement and articulation of scholarship goals, definition of audiences, and planning scholarly projects?)

Outlines a process for mapping the scholarship lifecycle: What models can scholars be provided that might expand their vision of what their research projects might become, and help them to consider workflows to enable creation of a constellation of interconnected work in multiple forms? Especially in the early stages of formulating a project, which workflows are optimal, and why? What tools should be employed early in the process and at an intermediate stage? For example, when should tagging be introduced as a practice?

Enables project customization, including evaluation of DH tools. Which are most appropriate for enabling the development of a Makerspace? Why? What criteria do we need to put in place to select appropriate DH tools and platforms?

Develops creative and collaborative authorial processes

Facilitates a flexible pathway to engagement encourages contributions of ideas and exploration of intersections between collaborators in publishing, in library science, in digital humanities

Focuses on developing relationships with publics in two key ways (1) engaging the public with the results of multi-modal investigations as a starting point to creating a broader discourse; (2) inviting publics into the Makerspace to contribute to the dialogue and inform it, and help shape it. Consequently it re-thinks the scholarly project as something that is not just for publics, but is created in part through collaboration and partnership with these publics.

Recording, analyzing, and reflecting on the Makerspace process– notes taken during the process are shared and used as a project-specific repository of influential ideas and insights about methodologies and frameworks

Makerspace Frameworks

Makerspace as a place

  • physical and metaphorical
  • a creative realm or sphere within which critical engagement and idea sharing takes place
  • engages various publics and creates spaces for dialogue
  • inclusive, bringing together the work of librarians, editors, peer reviewers and DH tool builders
  • builds creative communities: a shared learning environment that provides opportunities for all stakeholders in the authorship process to share ownership of the process
  • created in collaboration and partnership with the public
  • explores intersections between collaborators in publishing, in library science, in digital humanities
  • might be enacted/piloted in a workshop format, possibly two workshops: (1) at the proposal/prototyping stage and (2) later, when the work is more developed but not yet “finished” or launched
  • the space is made actual by the meeting of the team; it exists wherever they meet (a moveable feast)
  • replicable
  • model could be distributed to public libraries and communities

Makerspace as a set of tools

  • re-envisions the scholar as part of a larger community or team that strategizes opportunities for integrating a variety of tools into research and writing/creation
  • incorporates project/workflow design and management tools
    • strategies for managing tools using multiple tools and toolsets – conceptualizing a “toolchain”
    • tools for end-to-end management of workflow
    • compilers and reference management tools
    • templates for refining and improving the research and writing/creating process
  • conceptualizes techniques as parts of the “maker” process
    • proposal and prospectus as prototype
    • lo-fi storyboarding for visualizations
    • TOC/outline as wireframe
    • proposal/prospectus a prototype
  • allows for the workshop/space/ecosystem to be replicated and developed in new environments
    • forkable workshop materials/framework
    • mothership site for group or space with room for growth and contribution

Makerspace as a process

maps the scholarship lifecycle

flexible pathway to engagement

enables innovative and multi-modal workflows

constructs creative and collaborative authorial processes

engages various publics and creates spaces for dialogue

shared ownership of the authorship process (co-authorship)

Makerspace as a collaborative platform (interactions of actors–Venn diagram visualization)

  • collaborations between editors, peer reviewers, and scholars
  • collaborations between scholars, librarians, and tool makers
  • collaborations between institutions (library and Museum or press and library, for example)
  • collaborations with publics (for projects in engaged scholarship)

Makerspace Venn diagram

Makerspace Stages:

  1. Early phase workshop (including peer review, prototyping and input regarding audiences)

Scholarship workflow (entry routes for conceptualizing multi-modal project components, for incorporating visualizations, multi-media, big data)

  1. Late phase workshop (including peer review and refinement of concepts)

End products

Collaborative discussions and seminal formation of scholarly project in Makerspace

Collaborative discussions (reshaping project) and engagement within Makerspace

Scholarship production

Questions and Future Goals:

Replicability (Creating Makerspace instance–modeled after ThatCamp Instances with mothership website that is articulated, forked, revised, and customized for each hosted workshop)


THAT Camp Call for Proposals (Publishing Makerspace Workshop)


Infrastructure Creation

Applying Makerspace rubric in other instances (creating template, forked website like THATCamp; could start .io in GitHub, eaesier to fork off )


Audiences and Publics

Longevity & upkeep

Makerspace Wordle

Wordle summary of our 15 pages of notes as of 3:30pm on November 11


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