Mission & Vision

The Digital Scholarship & Publishing Studio collaborates with faculty and students on the digital design, implementation, and circulation of their research. Subscribing to a show more, tell less approach where digital scholarship–particularly the digital humanities–is concerned, the Studio embraces scholarly creativity and encourages interdisciplinary research and multiplatform circulation. In this manner, the Studio helps scholars tailor the presentation and application of their research to a variety of audiences.

Housed in the UI Libraries, the Studio oversees the Iowa Digital Library, Iowa Research Online, DIY History, and faculty and graduate student Digital Editions. Given its position in the Libraries, the Studio can shepherd digital projects from their inception to their eventual archival treatments, creating responsible lifespans for these projects and their attendant data.

In close connection with other campus resources, including Student Instructional Technology Assistants (SITAs), Iowa Digital Engagement and Learning (IDEAL) and the UI Libraries’ Research & Library Instruction department, the Studio can help instructors thread their research projects into university and community curricula.


The Studio is located on the first floor of the Main Library in the 1015 suite of spaces. In addition to staff workspaces, the Studio houses one Mac and two Dell consultation spaces for faculty and graduate student use. Current software includes: Oxygen, Blender, Autodesk, Adobe Suite, Quantum GIS, ArcGIS 10.3, Gephi, and many, many other programs. The Studio also maintains a non-circulating collection of digital scholarship reference materials for patron use.

Use of the consultation stations is first-come, first-served. Faculty and students are welcome to use the machines for existing digital scholarly projects or set up a consultation with Studio staff.


Interested in news and events related to digital scholarship at Iowa and beyond? Our weekly mailing list contains information about new projects, grant funding, upcoming conferences, and other opportunities in digital scholarship and publishing.


Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need funding to use the Studio?

No! The Studio is open to use by faculty and student researchers (undergraduate and graduate alike). While grants are great–and we’ll help you apply for external funding–the Studio adheres to the principle of democratic access to resources. Anyone who wants to explore digital scholarship should be able to–regardless of research dollars.

Do I need to know exactly what I want to do?

Not at all! We welcome discussion of projects that are not fully-formed. It’s perfectly okay to be unsure about how to do what you want to do. We are happy to talk it through with you!

So I can schedule a consultation without dollars or details?

Yes! While we gladly welcome both, neither funding nor detailed project plans are necessary to get a project underway (depending on its size and scope, of course).

What information should I gather / think about in preparation for my initial consultation with the Studio?

  • Who is the intended audience for the project?
  • Is the project primarily a resource tool or will it be integrated into a course / event?
  • Is there a set outside timeline or deadline?  For example, is the project part of a grant or a larger event?  Is there a partner institution?
  • Are you connected or working with other resources on campus (e.g., another Library Dept such as RLI or Special Collections, SITA, IDEAL, Digital Bridges, etc.)?
  • Are there examples of projects you’ve seen at Iowa or elsewhere that are similar to the project you envision?
  • Are there specific platforms you’d like to use for your project?

What happens at the initial consultation?

Once you request a consultation the Studio head and program coordinator will select a small group of Studio staff to meet with you based on your expressed interests or needs. This first meeting is all about getting to know you and your scholarship. We’re interested in hearing about the aims of your work and helping you choose the right digital approach. Typically, a point person–referred to as your Studio project manager–will be designated during this meeting. This person serves as your main Studio collaborator, your guide, your go-to person when questions arise. Whether you’re planning a broad collaboration with a variety of University partners or a more tailored project, the initial meeting is where it all starts.

What can I expect following my initial consultation?

Your Studio project manager will likely speak with you about next steps during your initial consultation meeting. Based on the project size and scope, you and the project manager will schedule additional meetings and will discuss timelines, deadlines, and objectives. It is likely that the Studio will issue a project-specific Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to you following your first few meetings. An MOU, for our purposes, is simply a document reflecting project team members’ understanding of a project and its scope, timeline, and deadline at that moment in time. It is not a legally-binding document and is typically assessed annually. MOUs can be revised at any time based on revisions made to any project element.

What is the typical turn-around time on a project?

That depends! Projects come in all shapes and sizes, each with its own software, design, development, and storage needs. Some projects can be developed within a semester if the Studio staff has all the information needed from you and your project team. Larger projects can take several months. More time should be allowed if Studio staff will be working with another department or another institution. If you’re in need of a project for classroom use, it’s best to allow at least one semester of lead time. Also, please allow time for Studio staff to obtain access to new software, if it is not currently available.

What is the typical turn-around time to post in Iowa Research Online?

While turnaround on IRO materials depends on the quantity of the files you’d like to archive or post, smaller batches can be turned around in one week. Larger batches can take more time, especially if metadata is handled by a separate department.

What kinds of publishing services do you offer?

The Studio provides a variety of publishing services for various materials, including:

We are also in the process of creating support for the publishing of:

    • Research datasets
    • Maps and geospatial data
    • Open educational resources

The materials are often available through Iowa Research Online or through Iowa Digital Library.

Journal Services

Our journal-hosting service is part of a larger initiative at the Libraries to help advance new forms of scholarly publishing. The journals are accessible through Iowa Research Online

Our services include:

    • training your editorial team to use the editorial management software
    • creating a customized web site for your journal
    • migrating back issues into your journal site (including scanning and metadata creation)
    • helping you draft author copyright guidelines
    • offering long-term digital preservation

All editorial activities—including copy-editing, proofreading, and page composition—are the responsibility of the participating academic unit or publishing program.

Types of journals:

    • scholarly journals published by University of Iowa
    • literary journals published by University of Iowa
    • society publications with University of Iowa editors (all editors do not need to be at Iowa)

This publishing platform is well suited for open access titles or titles that become open access after an embargo of no more than 24 months.

Conference management

We also offer online hosting and long-term preservation of proceedings, papers, and supplemental materials for all UI-affiliated conferences. This service is part of a larger effort to support the scholarly activities of the University. All materials are made accessible through Iowa Research Online. Please browse an example of the work we have done in the past. For administrative and logistical management services for your conference, please contact the UI Center for Conferences for their service offerings.

Making Your Books Available

If you have copyright for a book or thesis, we can work with you to make it freely available. You would still retain copyright and can decide what rights you want to retain. If you would like to make your thesis or dissertation available, please use this form. If you would like to make your book accessible, if it is in HathiTrust, we can help you with the form at HathiTrust to make the full text available. If it is not in HathiTrust, please use this form.

What if I would like to digitize Libraries materials or create a digital collection?

The digitization of materials is handled by our Preservation & Conservation Department. Given the array of libraries-based and researcher projects, the digitization queue is lengthy. However, materials needed for classroom use will be prioritized and handled in a timely manner. Pro tip: sooner is always better. Lead time is crucial in getting your materials to you on time. You may also want to refer to these digitization capture guidelines for more information on digitization standards.

What is the difference between a mock-up, a prototype, and a digital project?

A mock-up includes basic specs and wire-framing, and may or may not contain interactivity (as in: being able to usefully click on things). A prototype will likely contain basic interactivity, but little design. A digital project incorporates initial features, design, and functionality. When working with the Studio your project manager may suggest building a mock-up or prototype prior to developing a full digital project. Allowing for that step can assist the project team in assessment and next steps, and will often save time, money, and resources.

What happens to my project after it is complete?

Projects will age and because the Studio specializes in guiding projects from inception to archive, we will make sure your project ages gracefully. If your project is no longer being actively used by a public audience, we’ll explore archival options with you. In some cases, this may mean preserving the project and all its attendant functionality. In other cases, things like an existing web interface may be replaced by alternative means of access related to the digital preservation of your data. Studio staff will talk with you early and often about how they can assist in helping your project age.

What is an Affiliated Scholar? And how do I become one?

“Affiliated Scholar” designates a primary investigator working with the Studio on a project in development. You can easily become one by initiating a digital scholarly project with us. Affiliated Scholars are listed on our People page by academic year. Members of the Scholar Steering Committee as well as members of the Public Humanities in a Digital World and the Digital Public Arts clusters are understood to be Affiliated Scholars.


Student Work Opportunities

Are you an undergraduate or graduate student interested in working for the Studio? We’ve got options! The Studio offers paid, unpaid, and course credit opportunities. Positions subject to availability.

Student Hourly Employment

  • Typically 8-12 hours/week; max 20 hours
  • Open to UI undergraduate and graduate students only
  • Contact the Studio

Summer Employment

  • Typically 8-12 hours/week; max 40 hours
  • Open to both UI and non-UI students
  • Contact the Studio

ICRU Fellow

  • Typically 5-10 hours/week while classes are in session
  • Open to UI undergraduates only
  • More information

Academic Internship

  • 60-150 hours/semester
  • Open to UI undergraduates only
  • Requires enrollment in CCP:1201

Independent Study

  • Hours vary.
  • Students should consult with their faculty advisor regarding availability.

Graduate Research Assistantship

  • 25%-50% time appointment
  • Open to UI graduate students only
  • Graduate RAships are currently not available.

SLIS Mentorship

  • 15-20 hours/week
  • Limited to UI School of Library and Information graduate students
  • To apply please contact the SLIS liasion

Supervised Practicum

  • 80 hours/semester
  • Limited to UI School of Library and Information graduate students or graduate students in an ALA-accredited program
  • Application varies depending on school requirements
  • UI SLIS students must be enrolled in SLIS:6520