The Digital Innovation Lab sets itself apart from other digital humanities centers and institutes by focusing on the collaborative production of digital public goods: digital projects, products, tools, and applications that are
- of special social and cultural value,
- can be produced for free public use (or at a minimal marginal cost)
- are scalable,
- are reusable and repurposable, and/or
- serve multiple audiences/end-users.
The development of these digital public goods might arise from individual faculty research, teaching, or public engagement activities within the humanities and social sciences, or from projects, processes, and technologies developed in other areas of the university’s work and for other purposes.
The “Digital Lab” is innovative in its structure as well as its output. It combines the project-focused organizational model of the laboratory with the social model of the network. Unlike a traditional center or institute, the “Digital Lab” is a virtual unit without a dedicated physical trialing new tools for project administration, collaboration, curricular adaptation, and pedagogy. The DIL is designed to operate with minimal physical and human infrastructure costs and to be symbiotic in relation to institutional resources rather than resource-redundant. Its project-based approach to digital humanities/social sciences means that it will constantly seek ways to leverage externally funded projects to the benefit of other aspects of its work: curriculum development, pedagogy, graduate-student training, etc.