February 13, 2017
by Anouk Lang

Digital Day of Ideas 2017

Join us at the University of Edinburgh on 17 May 2017 for the sixth annual Digital Day of Ideas, a day symposium showcasing the best of recent work in digital scholarship which gives members of the university community the opportunity to connect with others working on digital scholarship.

As well as keynotes from scholars at the forefront of the digital humanities, participants will have the opportunity to try out some digital tools for themselves with hands-on workshops.

The Day will be held at the Business School, 29 Buccleuch Place, Edinburgh, ED8 9JS. Attendance is free, and all members of staff and postgraduate students are welcome: booking is now open.

Keynote Speakers

Professor Susan Brown
Canada Research Chair in Collaborative Digital Scholarship, University of Guelph/University of Alberta
“This Identity Which is Not One: Intersectionality and Difference in a Linked Data World”

Dr Jen Ross

Senior Lecturer in Digital Education and Co-Director of the Centre for Research in Digital Education, University of Edinburgh
“Learning with Digital Provocations”

More information on the programme, workshops and booking here.


April 3, 2017
by Helen Bradley

Visualising Data in QGIS

Date: 27 April 2017

Time: 9.30am – 12.30pm

Place: uCreate Studio, room 1.12, Main Library

Bring: Your own laptop with software downloaded (see below)

Ever wondered how people create those 3D maps and data visualisations? Want to know how to animate data on maps to show how the data changes over time? This workshop will show you how to create these sorts of data visualisations with QGIS.  We will introduce you to a range of data visualisation plugins for QGIS. A core point dataset will be manipulated in a range of ways along with backdrop mapping to produce interesting views of the data.

The workshop will take you through the process of creating point data from a csv file; overlaying it on an OpenStreetMap basemap; visualising it as a heatmap; Using a hexagonal grid to sample the data; create 3D skyscraper diagram of the hexagon; and visualise changes to the point distribution over time.  The final outputs will be a 3D model built into a web viewer and an animated heat map as an mp4 movie.

To book your place please click here.

What you will need:

  1. Some previous experience with GIS software is helpful but not strictly necessary if you are comfortable using computers.
  2. Your own laptop, this should be reasonably up-to-date, with a screen 13 inches or more, and have spare disk space. If your laptop struggles with Office it will not cope with QGIS!
  3. Please ensure QGIS installed prior to the workshop:
    1. Download the software for free here: http://www.qgis.org/en/site/forusers/download.html
    2. The PC installation is easy but it is a bit more involved for Mac Users, here is a step by step guide: http://drjill.net/install-qgis-on-a-mac-in-8-steps/
    3. Start QGIS and make sure you can open a new blank map.
  4. Please bring a mouse! Navigating around maps in QGIS is much easier If you have a mouse, if you have access to one with a scroll wheel that would be best for zooming in and out.

March 23, 2017
by Helen Bradley

Statistical Literacy: What You Need To Know and Why

Date: Thursday 6 April  

Time: 9.30 – 12.30

Place: uCreate Studio, room 1.12, Main Library

Bring: Your own laptop

As computational and data-led research become increasingly common across the disciplines, statistical literacy is becoming more important than ever. The aim of this workshop is to cover some of the core concepts that underpin statistical literacy. In particular we explore where statistics come from, what they look like and represent, how they are communicated, and what uses they are put to. Through a mix of activities, discussions, and puzzles, participants are exposed to a range of statistical claims and encouraged to make judgments as to their credibility. As a result of participating in this workshop, individuals should have a new sense of confidence regarding their ability to critically consume the statistical claims they encounter in their research and everyday lives.

This workshop is suitable for individuals with little-to-no knowledge or experience of statistics and are looking for a basic understanding of the subject. As such, the session does not cover formulae, quantitative research methods or commonly used statistical software packages.

Workshop Preparation: The following materials provide an engaging and informative insight into some of the issues and barriers we encounter in becoming statistically literate:

How not to be ignorant about the world | Hans and Ola Rosling [19:09 minutes]

Everyday risks: when statistics can’t predict the future | Michael Blastland and David Speigelhalter

Our nine-point guide to spotting a dodgy statistic | David Speigelhalter

Bacon Sandwiches – Professor David Spiegelhalter explores the risk [4:37]


Book online here

March 15, 2017
by Emma Cockburn

Free Webinars from the UK Data Service

The UK Data Service provides the UK’s largest collection of social, economic and population data resources suitable for research and teaching. To help you navigate the data that they hold they run introductory webinars on key data, which focus on their most popular datasets. Join them for webinars on:

In addition, they provide webinars which introduce different aspects of the Service:

They also provide more specialised webinars, such as:

All webinars run from 15.00—16.00 and are free to attend.

You can book, or find out more information about any of our events, on their events pages.

For a quarterly round-up of our latest news, features, and forthcoming events, subscribe to their newsletter. For more regular updates and news, subscribe to their Jiscmail.

February 23, 2017
by Anouk Lang

Karen Gregory, “The Labor of Digital Scholarship”, 23 Feb 2017

Seminar: “The Labour of Digital Scholarship”

Karen Gregory, School of Social and Political Science

Organised by the Centre for Research in Digital Education, in partnership with the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Science Digital Scholarship programme.

A recording with the audio and slides for this seminar is now available here, and an updated set of slides is here.

Time: 12 noon-2pm

Date: 23rd February 2017

Location: Project Room 1.06, 50 George Square, University of Edinburgh, EH8 9LH

Open to all (lunch is provided)

Digital platforms have given rise to new modes of scholarly communication. From individual scholarly blogs, shared digitalresearch libraries, open online teaching, social media profiles, to Open Access university initiatives, contemporary academic labour is increasingly becoming digital labour. Drawing on work done in the fields of education, media studies, and cultural studies, this talk will offer a definition of academic digital labour in order to ask make visible the nature of this work, as well as to offer a theory of why such digital work is increasingly valuable in the University. I argue that digital labour is the unacknowledged thread that links disciplinary work, instructional and educational technologies, library services, and information technology to larger administrative visions and goals for restructuring the University. Such restructuring, however, also entails demands for decreased labour costs and docile labour, both of which have resulted in an increasingly contingent, precarious, and causalized University. As such, tracing the labour that makes digital scholarship possible enables us to chart new labour arrangements in the University, as well as ask larger and essential questions about the labour required to curate, sustain, and steward knowledge in a digital society.

About the speaker: Karen Gregory is a Lecturer in Digital Sociology at the University of Edinburgh. Her work explores the intersection of digital labor, affect, and contemporary spirituality, with an emphasis on the role of the laboring body. Karen is a founding member of CUNY Graduate Center’s Digital Labor Working Group and her writings have appeared in Women’s Studies Quarterly, Women and Performance, Visual Studies, Contexts, The New Inquiry, and Dis Magazine. You can often find Karen online at @claudiakincaid.


February 23, 2017
by Emma Cockburn

Liz Losh, “Nasty Women, Private Servers, and Digital Purity Myths”, Friday 31 March 2017

Nasty Women, Private Servers, and Digital Purity Myths

Liz Losh, Associate Professor of English and American Studies, William and Mary University

11.30 am – 12.30 pm, Friday 31 March (with lunch from 12.30 – 13.00)

Room G.06, Ground Floor, 50 George Square

A recording with the audio and slides for this seminar is now available here.

A seminar presented by CAHSS Digital Scholarship, Digital Education and Sociology, University of Edinburgh


This talk argues that the rhetoric surrounding failed U.S. presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s 2016 email scandals can be understood as the consequences of a particular confluence of gender and technology in which excessive digital privacy is represented as a feminized user choice and digital transparency is presented as a masculinist norm.  In visual culture depicting Obama, Clinton, and Trump as users of personal mobile devices in public places Clinton is shown as a secretive user of email, Trump as a demonstrative user of Twitter, and Obama – the digitally fluent president – as a figure of ambiguity, both technologically and in terms of the gendering of digital labor. Using the concept of algorithmic hospitality, this talk also explores how a user’s relationships to non-human servers, peripherals, and portable devices is perceived of as potentially threatening to the sexual order and by extension threatening to political sovereignty.

About the speaker:

Elizabeth Losh is an Associate Professor of English and American Studies at William and Mary with a specialization in New Media Ecologies.  Before coming to William and Mary, she directed the Culture, Art, and Technology Program at the University of California, San Diego.  She is a core member and former co-facilitator of the feminist technology collective FemTechNet, which offers a Distributed Open Collaborative Course, and part of the organizing team of The Selfie Course.

She is the is the author of Virtualpolitik: An Electronic History of Government Media-Making in a Time of War, Scandal, Disaster, Miscommunication, and Mistakes (MIT Press, 2009) and The War on Learning: Gaining Ground in the Digital University (MIT Press, 2014). She is the co-author of the comic book textbook Understanding Rhetoric: A Graphic Guide to Writing (Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2013; second edition, 2017) with Jonathan Alexander.  She is the editor of the edited collection from University of Chicago Press MOOCs and Their Afterlives: Experiments in Scale and Access in Higher Education.

In addition to recent work on selfies and hashtag activism, she has also written a number of frequently cited essays about communities that produce, consume, and circulate online video, videogames, digital photographs, text postings, and programming code. The diverse range of subject matter analyzed in her scholarship has included coming out videos on YouTube, videogame fan films created by immigrants, combat footage from soldiers in Iraq shot on mobile devices, video evidence created for social media sites by protesters on the Mavi Marmara, remix videos from the Arab Spring, the use of Twitter and Facebook by Indian activists working for women’s rights after the Delhi rape case, and the use of Instagram by anti-government activists in Ukraine.  Much of this body of work concerns the legitimation of political institutions through visual evidence, representations of war and violence in global news, and discourses about human rights.  This work has appeared in edited collections from MIT Press, Routledge, University of Chicago, Minnesota, Oxford, Continuum, and many other presses.


Click here to book your place.

Click here for venue map

February 22, 2017
by Emma Cockburn

Working with Images

Date: Monday 20 March

Time: 10am – 12.30pm

Place: uCreate Studio, room 1.12, Main Library

Bring: Your own laptop.

As libraries, galleries and museums increasingly digitize their collections, more and more high quality images are available for research and teaching. At the same time, new digital imaging techniques such as 3d scanning, multispectral imaging and photogrammetry are becoming increasingly important research methods. This workshop gives an overview of the key attributes of images (file types, resolution, size, etc.) and how these attributes can be adjusted to suit different purposes: participants will be guided through the process of using editing software to manipulate digital images. There will also be the opportunity learn about new imaging methods, and about how such research methods can be supported at the University of Edinburgh.

This workshop is an introduction to working with images, and no previous experience is assumed: it is recommended as a primer for researchers who may wish to subsequently pursue imaging methods in their work.

Prior to the class, participants should download and install the free trial version of Adobe Photoshop, which is available here:


Book online here.

February 16, 2017
by Emma Cockburn

An Introduction to Ircam AudioSculpt

An Introduction to Ircam AudioSculpt

11.00 am – 1.00 pm

Monday 6 March 2017

Soundlab, Room 1.08, Alison House

Eleni-Ira Panourgia

Organised in partnership with College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences digital scholarship programme.


In this two-hour workshop you will analyse your sounds, transform and re-synthesize them.

We will explore AudioSculpt’s functions of:

Filtering directly on the sonogram using a pencil or eraser or by specifying with the mouse the points forming a polygon.

Compression/expansion allows modification of the length of a sound without changing its pitch or timbre while maintaining the quality of the transitions.

Cross synthesis application of spectral data from one sound to another in order to create a hybrid sound or a transition from one sound to another.

Requirements: Bring your own sounds and headphones



Register your place here.

February 16, 2017
by Emma Cockburn

MESH (Mapping Edinburgh’s Social History)

MESH (Mapping Edinburgh’s Social History):

What we’ve done and how we contribute to the future of the past and to contemporary urban agendas

1.00-1.30pm, Wednesday 1 March

Meadows Lecture Theatre, Teviot Place (doorway 4)

Professor Richard Rodger

Professor Richard Rodger will give a brief, illustrated introduction to how the MESH team has advanced the development of historical analysis and opened up new research and teaching possibilities for arts and social science subjects, as well as providing tools to assist business, tourism, and the governance of the city.

This event is not bookable, all staff and students are welcome to attend.

February 9, 2017
by Emma Cockburn

Working with Spatial Data (QGIS)

Date: Tuesday 14 March

Time: 14:00 – 17:00

Place: uCreate Studio, room 1.12, Main Library

Bring: Your own laptop

Spatial analysis underpins a wide range of research across numerous fields, from tracking the movements of people, to considering the impact of location, to studying environmental change.

This workshop introduces the key elements of spatial data and the concepts and methods that underpin Geographic Information Systems.  It introduces users to QGIS, a free and open source GIS which allows users to create, edit, visualise, analyse and publish geospatial information.


You will need:

Prior to the class, participants should download and install the QGIS software on their laptop:


Make sure you are also able to connect to the University WiFi in the library as we will need internet connectivity for the workshop.

Although we will have data to use at the workshop, if you have your own data you want to use with GIS bring this along too.  This could be a scanned map you want to georeference or a spreadsheet of places that you want to put on a map.


Places on Digital Scholarship Training Workshops are limited and non-attendance at workshops may result in preference being given to other delegates in future.

To book your place please click here.