Digital Scholarship@Leiden

The Centre for Digital Scholarship responds to Coronavirus

The Centre for Digital Scholarship responds to Coronavirus

With the announcement on Friday 13 March that the Leiden University Libraries would close and that all people in the Netherlands should take steps to avoid social contact, the CDS team packed up their laptops and prepared to work from home. What does this mean for the services that we deliver?

Initially, we thought that for the most part working from home might mean “business as usual”, but with the announcement over the weekend that nearly all facilities would close, the realization came that for some of the team, we would have to balance childcare and other (family) commitments, with our own work and that of our partners.

As far as our face-to-face work normally goes, the University Libraries' Centre for Digital Scholarship coordinates and participates in events and meetings, delivers training, answers in-person queries, and works together as a team to develop support materials or project outcomes. We’ve spent some time since Friday looking at our agendas and making decisions about what changes we should make: what can continue as normal, what will have to be postponed or cancelled, and what can be adapted or carried out in a different way.

The following decisions have therefore been taken about our regular planned work:

  • All workshops and training sessions in the period up to April 7 will be postponed until further notice. This applies to the following that were scheduled during March and early April:
    • How to Publish Your Data workshop
    • Bring-your-own Data workshop
    • Programming in Python training.
  • Participants registered for these courses have in the meantime been contacted to offer support via email or conference call.
  • In coming weeks we will look at how these could be delivered remotely or virtually in case the social isolation continues beyond April 7.
  • The Scholar’s Lab workshop planned for 30 March has been cancelled. This event was due to take place during the visit of U.S. librarian Katy Webb who received a Fulbright Specialist grant to work with us for a total of six weeks. Her planned travel at the weekend had to be cancelled and we wait to have news about whether Fulbright will support a visit to us later in the year.
  • In the meantime, everyone can enjoy participating in Katy’s ‘lunchtime’ talk, online at 15:00 on 1st April: “Data, Video, Coding, Digital Humanities: Libraries are Spaces to Create” (thanks to the Leiden University Centre for Digital Humanities for making this possible!)
  • Our mailboxes remain open and checked frequently during the day, as normal, so anyone with a question is welcome to contact us and can expect a timely reply.
  • Our team continues to work on projects and support materials, taking advantage of online collaboration tools to communicate and exchange ideas.
  • We are looking into the creation of an online overview of useful resources and training materials.

We realise that research is a lower priority for many researchers: some have teaching commitments and are busy preparing for remote delivery to students; some don’t have access to their research equipment, and some may be ill or have other priorities at home. However, in some cases research continues as normal. We want to make clear that we and our services are here for anyone who needs us, and we are doing our best to adapt to the new situation.

We are putting a higher priority on communication so that we can inform others what they can expect from CDS. This blog post is a part of that along with updates to our web pages. We will also be collecting news and information sources relevant to data management and open access to make available online so that there is more information and support available to everyone from across the university.

If you have a question, or a suggestion for something that we could do to help, contact us through our mailbox or or