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Digital Scholarship

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


undefinedThis guide contains key information about the following topics: 

This is a new, introductory guide but we expect it to grow quickly and substantially.

What is Digital Scholarship?

"Digital scholarship is an incredibly awkward term that people have come up with to describe a complex group of developments. The phrase is really, at some basic level, nonsensical. After all, scholarship is scholarship."

‘The “Digital” Scholarship Disconnect’. Accessed 3 June 2020.

Digital Scholarship can be hard to define and that is why there are many definitions of it out there. The Open University define it as:


"shorthand for the intersection of three technology related developments: digital content, networked distribution and open practices. It is when digital, networked and open intersect that transformational practice occurs."

OpenLearn. ‘The Digital Scholar’. Accessed 3 June 2020. 


Or for a simpler definition:


"digital scholarship is research and teaching that is made possible by digital technologies, or that takes advantage of them to ask and answer questions in new ways."

'Welcome to Digital Scholarship @ The Libraries'. Accessed 3 June 2020.

What is Digital Humanities?

You may hear the term Digital Humanities often used in conjunction with Digital Scholarship but what is Digital Humanities? The University of Edinburgh's Professor Melissa Terras gives us her definition:


"Digital Humanities is becoming an increasingly popular focus of academic endeavour. There are now hundreds of Digital Humanities centres worldwide and the subject is taught at both postgraduate and undergraduate level. Yet the term ’Digital Humanities’ is much debated. It can be used to mean the practical computing skills to analyse data to answer questions in the arts and humanities. It can mean the theoretical approaches to computing and data processing that come with humanities training. It can mean the community that is engaged with aspects of undertaking novel research in the arts and humanities by computation. It can mean the type of research that can only be done by computational approaches in the arts and humanities, and reflecting on how this transforms our conception of those fields. As such, it is a rich nexus of computational possibilities, the increasing availability of digitised resources from the past, and how the theoretical and methodological approaches of the arts and humanities can be utilised to undertake research that would otherwise be impossible."

Professor Melissa Terras, Director of the Edinburgh Centre for Data, Culture & Society.

Like Digital Scholarship, Digital Humanities can be hard to define and has multiple definitions. 


Image credits

The earth from space surrounded by a digital network. Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Permission for reuse

Creative Commons Licence
This Guide to Learning Resources for MicroMasters by Lauren Smith at the University of Edinburgh is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.