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Information visualization skills for academic librarians: A content analysis of publications and online LibGuides in the digital humanities

Hsuanwei Michelle Chen (San José State University, San José, California, USA)

Library Hi Tech

ISSN: 0737-8831

Article publication date: 7 March 2019

Issue publication date: 13 September 2019




The purpose of this paper is to investigate how scholars in the digital humanities employ information visualization techniques in their research, and how academic librarians should prepare themselves to support this emerging trend.


This study adopts a content analysis methodology, which further draws techniques from data mining, natural language processing and information visualization to analyze three peer-reviewed journals published within the last five years and ten online university library research guides in this field.


To successfully support and effectively contribute to the digital humanities, academic librarians should be knowledgeable in more than just visualization concepts and tools. The content analysis results for the digital humanities journals reflect the importance of recognizing the wide variety of applications and purposes of information visualization in digital humanities research.

Practical implications

This study provides useful and actionable insights into how academic librarians can prepare for this emerging technology to support future endeavors in the digital humanities.


Although information visualization has been widely adopted in digital humanities research, it remains unclear how librarians, especially academic librarians who support digital humanities research, should prepare for this emerging technology. This research is the first study to address this research gap through the lens of actual applications of information visualization techniques in digital humanities research, which is compared against university LibGuides for digital humanities research.



Chen, H.M. (2019), "Information visualization skills for academic librarians: A content analysis of publications and online LibGuides in the digital humanities", Library Hi Tech, Vol. 37 No. 3, pp. 591-603.



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