In addition to supporting digital scholarship and research at Northeastern, DSG staff are engaged in active research, publication, and collaboration within several different areas.
Inclusive Information Systems
As a developer of systems that support the publication and study of cultural objects—historical texts and artifacts, archival documents, works of art—DSG takes seriously the ways in which the design of these systems reflects cultural norms and hegemonies, both overtly and at the deeper and more invisible layers of technical design. Working in partnership with the University Archives and Special Collections, and also with faculty whose research brings these issues into special visibility, we are seeking to bring an awareness of cultural specificity to our own development and design practices. See Design for Diversity as an example initiative in this area.
Data Representation Standards
Underlying many of DSG’s projects are complex text encoding and data representation standards including the Text Encoding Initiative (TEI) Guidelines and Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG), metadata languages such as MODS, interoperability standards like the International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF), and linked open data technologies and standards such as RDF and OWL. DSG has world-class expertise in some of these (notably TEI) and a strong research interest in all of them. We work actively to contribute to standards bodies and open-source development initiatives, and our research also supports other institutions through consulting and workshops.
Digital Repository Systems
One of DSG’s major areas of research and development is CERES, the Community-Enhanced Repository for Engaged Scholarship: a repository-based framework for creating, publishing, and using complex forms of digital scholarship. CERES will soon be backed by Charon, a framework to support the transcription, encoding, translation, editing, and annotation activities involved in creating repository collections of full-text digital materials. In addition, DSG supports the TEI Archiving, Publishing, and Access Service (TAPAS) which offers a public service to publish and curate TEI data. The architecture of these frameworks, and their use of cutting-edge information standards, is an area of active research for DSG.