Knowledge Sharing
  • Research Life Cycle
  • Digital Humanities
  • Data Management
  • Open Access
  • Scholarly Communications
What is Digital Humanities?

As an article of "The Chronicle of Higher Education" states, Digital Humanities is "the next big thing" in higher education all over the world [1]. It is a movement of research and teaching that uses digital technologies to serve as research tools, facilitate community building and information sharing, and help yield new findings. Although the name of this movement has the term "Humanities" in it, it is indeed interdisciplinary. Academic departments such as arts, communication, computer science, education, and social sciences are often potential allies as well, because of their interest in new media, coding and web design, and research and instructional technology.

Elsewhere in the world, Digital Humanities has become a very popular area. Quite a few universities are setting up Digital Humanities centers, embedding Digital Humanities into library services, integrating digital humanities into the curriculum, and developing new research areas, etc. A good number of publications [2,3] and conferences are also discussing this important trend. Many of these initiatives in the US and UK are carried out by university libraries, in collaboration with faculties and scholars.

The HKBU Library shares the enthusiasm for digital humanities. We dedicate to supporting the ideas / initiatives generated by HKBU faculty members to accomplish research or teaching goals via digital technologies.


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[1] Parry, M. (2014, January). How the humanities compute in the classroom. The Chronicle of Higher Education. Retrieved from
[2] Waters, D.J. (2013). An overview of the digital humanities. Research Library Issues, 284. Retrieved from
[3] Adams, J.L. and Gunn, K.B. (2013). Keeping up with... digital humanities. Association of College and Research Libraries Retrieved from


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What is Data Management?

Scholars have been creating data as part of their research for centuries. However, the term data management has emerged as an important theme in academia as technology has allowed the data created during the research process to be easily transformed into a primary resource for others.

Recently numerous research funding agencies have begun requiring a data management plan be included along with any application for research grants. Some funding agencies also require associated grant-funded research data be made available in a repository.

What is a Data Management Plan?

It is a document that explains the most basic aspects of a research project: such as research team responsibilities, security storage and preservation provisions and permissions of use.

HKBU Data Management Plan Template Download (.docx)

Why is the Library involved?

Admittedly, "researchers are more interested in conducting their work than in managing and organizing the data behind it, and this is where librarians can provide valuable services and support [1]."

Data curation can require significant technological and organizational resources. Libraries have traditionally fit this role, and HKBU Library has a dedicated unit devoted to working with researchers and helping them curate data created during their research process.

HKBU Library can assist researchers in ensuring their research data can successfully pass through its lifecycle: organization, description, dissemination and preservation.

For more information on the importance of data management and data sharing in academia, see New York University Health Science Library's dramatization:


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[1] Krier, L., & Strasser, C. A. (2014). Data Management for Libraries: A LITA Guide. Chicago: ALA Techsource.

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What is Open Access?

The advances in technology of the past few decades mean the time and effort to disseminate writing is within the general public's grasp - including universities and libraries. These advances have had a profound effect on the traditional publishing cycle. Recognising these developments, in 2002 & 2003 a group of representatives from a variety of research institutions drafted declarations on what is known as "Open Access".

Open Access emphasizes academia’s contribution to knowledge, and that such knowledge should be as freely available as possible in order to facilitate further scholarly pursuit.

Publishers and universities increasingly recognize open access as a viable mode of disseminating academic research.

What about Peer-Review?

Open Access does not imply the editing and review process has changed from its traditional role. Peer Review is still a vital part of scholarly communication.

Data and Open Access

Surveys have indicated researchers in numerous disciplines perceive access barriers to data necessary to produce new research [1]. However, in this same survey researchers acknowledged they often do not ensure their research data available for others.

Managing and allowing research data to be openly accessible has a number of advantages.

  • Veracity & integrity - Like citation, the transparency of publishing your research data demonstrates the integrity of your research to the scholarly community and allows others to explore alternative directions of research.
  • Visibility - Raised visibility of research increases the possibility of citation.


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[1] Tenopir C, Allard S, Douglass K, Aydinoglu AU, Wu L, Read E, et al. (2011) “Data Sharing by Scientists: Practices and Perceptions.” PLoS ONE 6(6): e21101.

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Scholarly Communications

Libraries are traditionally known for their role in research support as acquiring, storing and preserving research materials after they are published. However, the Association of College & Research Libraries details three intersections, detailing why this is no longer academic libraries’ only role:

  1. Economics of the distribution of scholarship
  2. Digital literacies
  3. Our changing roles (librarians) [1]

Pervasive changes in the traditional publishing model mean that faculty and graduate students are faced with an overwhelming array of choices with regards to grant applications, data management, publishing agreements and citation metrics.

Librarians, through our traditional role of disseminators of information, have been obliged to keep up with the rapid changes in the publishing model, and in some cases have become prime movers in attempts to shape its evolution

Research support

HKBU Library offers support for faculty and post-graduates in

  • interpreting copyright
  • your rights as an author
  • archiving your publication to the HKBU Institutional Repository
  • quantifying your research output h-index, citation counts and altmetrics
Data support

HKBU Library offers a broad variety of digital support services including

  • advising on data repositories
  • advising on data management plans as part of grant applications
  • which grant agencies require data sets be made public


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[1] Association of College and Research Libraries Working Group on Intersections of Scholarly
Communication and Information Literacy.(2013) Intersections of Scholarly Communication and Information Literacy: Creating Strategic Collaborations for a Changing Academic Environment. Retrieved from

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