Welcome to Digital Scholarship

What is DISC?

Digital Scholarship is a grassroots, faculty- and student-run online forum for the sharing of news, ideas, and expertise related to all aspects of digital scholarship in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) and beyond.

The Digital Scholarship site is a product of the DISC Lab, a faculty-run community that gathers for regular discussions about the practices of digital scholarship. The DISC Lab will co-sponsor a THATCamp in the GTA in October 2011, and it hosts two kinds of events. Hack Lab sessions feature faculty or students leading tutorials or workshops on technologies useful for a range of digital scholarship purposes. In Yak Lab sessions, a member brings to the group a particular problem, relating to digital scholarship, that she or he is trying to solve, and we work together to develop ideas or approaches to the problem. The group meets every other Friday during the academic year, and irregularly during the summer. All are welcome.

Why is DISC needed?

There are many people in the Greater Toronto Area involved in digital scholarship, but there has been no centralized forum that enables these people to find, learn about, talk, share news, knowledge and expertise and collaborate with each other. DiSc aims to address this need by enabling people to share information about their projects and skills, broadcast news about events, and form working groups on issues related to digital scholarship.

How did DISC come to be?

DISC is hosted at the University of Toronto but has a membership that extends to other institutions in the GTA area. The project's leading organizers in 2011 are Frances Garrett and Jason Boyd, although individual DISC groups may be managed by any community member, and we welcome new leadership from all areas of the university.

We may be contacted at disclab@utoronto.ca, or through our respective profiles on this site.

This site, made using the open-source Drupal Commons platform, was designed by academic technology developer Travis McCauley. It is hosted by the research lab of Jim Slotta, Associate Professor with the Department for Curriculum, Teaching, and Learning and the Centre for Science, Mathematics, and Technology Education at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education.

Founded in 2011, the DISC Lab has been generously supported by Open Scholarship, an off-shoot of the Knowledge Media Design Institute's  Project Open Source | Open Access, and the University of Toronto's Digital Collaboratory. Project Open Source | Open Access (2004-2007) was a cross-divisional, tri-campus initiative to develop a networked community to share knowledge, enhance coordination, increase awareness, and to encourage research and knowledge mobilisation on all apsects of openness. OS|OA created an annual Student Experience Program Awards program, designed and produced a cariety of workshops, seminars, and lectures, and conducted a series of pilot projects.

Once I've joined, what should I do?

The first thing to do when you join this site is fill out your profile. This will help us get to know each other. Click on existing members names/faces to see an example of what's visible to others in a profile. The next thing to do is to fill out a project description of digital scholarship-related projects you are engaged in, or create an entry for your organization.

What else can I do?

On this site you can form your own groups, which you can use for internal communications or organizing your own projects. You can establish your group with an open or closed membership - so, for example, if you are planning an event or forming a committee for any purpose, you could create a restricted membership group to organize your planning documents, discussions, ideas, etc.

You can alternatively post messages or start discussions for the entire community to see. At this point, the group called DiSc News is meant to include everyone. If you are a member of a given group, you can receive notifications in your email every time something is changed in the group (or you can turn off notifications).

Each group has its own features, which are available only to members of that group: a blog, a document upload place, a wiki, a broadcast (i.e. a way to send emails to the group), a calendar for group events, a discussion forum, and a group RSS feed. A group manager may disable some of these features for his or her group.