The HathiTrust Research Center (HTRC) requests proposals for a special funded round of its Advanced Collaborative Support (ACS) program, with support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for HTRC’s “Scholar-Curated Worksets for Analysis, Reuse & Dissemination (SCWAReD)” project.

ACS is a scholarly service offering collaboration between researchers and HTRC staff to solve challenging problems related to computational analysis of the HathiTrust corpus. In this special cycle of ACS, we seek to collaborate with scholars to recover volumes in HathiTrust that tell the story of historically under-resourced and marginalized textual communities, and to identify gaps in the HathiTrust collection where such communities are not represented in the digital library. 

The ACS award

The selected projects in this round will be awarded $30,000 to cover project costs, generously funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, in addition to the HTRC staff time and compute resources typically given to awardees as part of the program. 

Projects will be supported from January 2021 through August 2022. 

The Focus for this Round of ACS

For this round of projects, we seek to collaborate with researchers to explore new methods for creating, analyzing, and reusing curated digital library collections, along with research data derived from these collections, with a particular emphasis on textual communities that have been historically under-resourced or marginalized. Selected projects will build HTRC worksets, which are collections of content from the HathiTrust Digital Library optimized for text data mining, and then use data processing and analysis techniques to analyze the workset, and to create derived datasets suitable for scholarly reuse. The workset-building process will involve recovering content from the massive HathiTrust Digital Library where the existing metadata is insufficient for identifying its relevance to the thematic focus of the project. It will also highlight gaps in the HathiTrust corpus, which may be opportunities to develop the digital library collection. Each project will result in an illustrative, reusable research model consisting of the workset, derived datasets, documentation, and scholarly analysis to support reuse of the data by other researchers. 

Expectations

During the course of the awarded project, teams will be expected to:

HTRC Context

HTRC services are built to analyze, and are developed from, the text corpus of the HathiTrust Digital Library, a corpus of 17.4 million volumes digitized from over 50 research libraries in North America, Asia, Europe, and Australia. Approximately 60% of the corpus is in copyright and therefore not available for close human reading. However, the text of the entire corpus is available for data mining through the HathiTrust Research Center. 

HTRC’s services include web-based algorithms, derived data extracted from the HathiTrust corpus called Extracted Features, the virtual Data Capsule environment for secure computational text analysis, and access to high-performance, data-intensive computing reserved for special projects (including ACS). Learn more about HTRC: https://wiki.htrc.illinois.edu/x/-IF0Aw

This is the sixth round of ACS. Read about past and current projects: https://wiki.htrc.illinois.edu/x/CADiAQ 

Proposals

Complete proposals will include the following:

  1. A cover sheet with basic project details (title, team members, contact information)

  2. Summary & rationale (<500 words) 

  3. Project narrative (1500-2000 words)

  4. Work plan (a brief bulleted list of activities)

  5. A budget describing how you will use the $30,000 stipend

  6. Brief bio-sketch(es) for each project team member

Together, the summary & rationale and narrative sections should describe:

The work plan should outline the steps needed to achieve the project objectives within the timeline of the ACS award.

The budget for $30,000 in project costs, broken down by calendar year, must be included in spreadsheet form, along with a narrative providing an explanation and justification for the expense and information on how the amounts for individual items were calculated. Supported expenses may include, but are not limited to, course release, summer salary, or support for student research assistants. Facilities and administrative costs (F&A), sometimes referred to as indirect costs or overhead, which includes tuition costs, may not be included in the budget. Cost share is also prohibited. An example budget and justification is available for review here: SCWAReD-ACS-Example-Budget&Justification

Pre-submission advice and consultations are available by emailing us at acs@hathitrust.org

Proposals must be sent in a single PDF document, which should be divided into the sections described above. Proposals should be submitted electronically to acs@hathitrust.org.

Timeline

Submission Deadline: December 7, 2020

Award Notification: December 22, 2020

Project Support Period: January 2021 - August 2022

Review Criteria and Process

HTRC will award up to 3 ACS projects this round. All proposals will be reviewed by a committee composed of representatives from HTRC, HathiTrust, and the SCWAReD project.

A successful proposal will include:

Applicants are encouraged to contact acs@hathitrust.org in advance of proposal submission to discuss eligibility, project details, prerequisites, and HTRC support.

Please see the FAQs with answers to questions about the program: SCWAReD Advanced Collaborative Support Application FAQs

Downloads

Call for Proposals


Sample budget and justification