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Digital Scholarship

An introductory guide to tools, resources and support for Digital Scholarship at the University of Edinburgh and beyond.

Digital Scholarship at University of Edinburgh



Find out more about the resources, services and support available at the University of Edinburgh, including tools, datasets and training. 

Gale Digital Scholar Lab

Gale Digital Scholar Lab is an online tool for collecting data sets comprised of content from the University of Edinburgh's Gale Primary Sources purchases. These data sets can be analysed using open-source text analysis and visualization tools built into the Digital Scholar Lab. Tools included are Ngram, Topic Modelling (Mallet), Named Entity Recognition,  Parts of Speech (SpaCy), Sentiment Analysis (OpenNLP), Clustering (SciKit) and Term Frequencies (Lucene).

First-time users will be asked to link their University of Edinburgh Microsoft account or their own Google Drive Account.

When logging in to the Gale Digital Scholar Lab App using either Google or Microsoft, the App accesses the user’s Google Drive or Microsoft OneDrive through an anonymous access token that is created when users first log in. This anonymous token is generated in order to connect users to the content and analysis they create in the Digital Scholar Lab. The App does not collect, read, access, or store any of the data from a user’s Google Drive or Microsoft OneDrive account(s), nor does it access any open documents. In addition, the App does not access or share personal information as part of this process.

Text and data mining with the Library's online resources

The Library is currently reviewing existing licence agreements to determine those which already include provision for text  mining and analysis by University of Edinburgh authorised users, and a list will be made available in due course.

Increasingly, publishers are supporting research activity by allowing members of subscribing institutions to carry out Text and Data Mining on their copyrighted, licenced content. 

This access is governed by usage terms and conditions which are already included in the contracts or licence agreements into which the Library has entered with the publisher, and the access will also be governed by existing copyright provisions.

  • In some instances, publishers will require you to use specific tools or dedicated TDM platforms which they provide to facilitate the mining of their content, or they may conduct the process for you.  This allows publishers to manage the volume of data being accessed and the impact on their servers. 
  • The publisher may also require you - as an individual - to sign a specific and separate TDM licence, or to use an API.
  • Unauthorised mining can affect the performance of publisher platforms, and this will impact on authorised users across the University who are trying to access and read the content.
  • Publishers may also levy a fee for the additional usage which sits outside of our existing licence agreement. 

Please note that publishers have systems in place which detect downloading of large amounts of data, and this frequently triggers automatic lockouts, preventing legitimate access to resources by authorised users across the University.

In the meantime, you can consult the Library’s E-Resources Team (via the IS Helpline) if you have any queries about using specific University of Edinburgh  licenced Library e-resources as a source of data.

Digital Scholarship Centre

Digital Scholarship Centre, Centre for Research Collections, Main Library.

uCreate Studio

Further reading

For a more extensive reading list:

Image credits