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watercolor illustration of a Michigan State University Spartan helmet logo suspended in midair, facing a gopher holding the Manifold logo

Manifold Digital Services Spotlight: MESH at Michigan State University

This week we find our trusty digital projects editor on the road in East Lansing with Kathleen Fitzpatrick, Scott Schopieray, Kelly Sattler, and members of MESH at Michigan State University.

This is the life! I'm at the gate, ready to head out to East Lansing to talk @ManifoldScholar with @meshresearch. Looking forward to some exciting and productive meetings with @kfitz, @schopie1, @ksattler, and the rest of the team over the next few days!

— Terence Smyre (@tremayning) September 16, 2019

Just arrived on the beautiful Michigan State campus. Can't wait to start @ManifoldScholar training here with @meshresearch this morning.

— Terence Smyre (@tremayning) September 17, 2019

As his tweets suggest, Terence was excited to meet the MESH team, and he was not disappointed.

It’s fair to say I’m in awe of the MESH team. After a relaxed first meeting over dinner on Monday night with Scott, Kelly, and lead developer Brian Adams, I returned to my hotel and scribbled down three words: team, positivity, and collaboration. I had just met these folks, and their welcome was such that I immediately felt a part of their group, and it was obvious how much trust and respect and care they had for one another. It felt familial.

The sessions over the course of the next two days were wide ranging, with a good mix of focus and fun. They talked about how best to present and structure journals on Manifold, mapped out a possible means to integrate a custom peer-review application they are crafting, and even ventured into crunchy topics of digital preservation, branding, data migration, and extensibility through Manifold APIs. Each concept served as a catalyst to further, more nuanced conversations specific to their work within their group and how and where it may intersect with the greater university community here in East Lansing. It was amazing how much they packed into those two days.

They were lucky enough to bring into the conversation two others from the Manifold team: lead developer, Zach Davis, and co-PI, Matt Gold, Zoomed in to discuss the platform’s underlying architecture and the ways it’s being employed in the classroom. Terence commented, “I’m pretty sure they were as struck by the group as I was, as we all three agreed that we couldn’t wait to see where MESH goes next." He fully expects they will be pushing the platform to its limits—and that the greater Manifold community will all be the better for it.

We had a full day yesterday talking all things @meshresearch and @ManifoldScholar—from journals to APIs. Can't wait to get back at it this morning in Linton Hall. On tap, digital preservation and a discussion with @mkgold about using Manifold in the classroom.

— Terence Smyre (@tremayning) September 18, 2019

MESH is a research collective that works in conjunction with the College of Arts and Letters and the MSU Libraries. With agile, open-source collaborative development, MESH supports both the developer and the community facilitation networks demanded by digital humanities and digital scholarly publishing. MESH conducts research into and development of new systems for scholarly communication, supports faculty and graduate students’ scholarly communication projects, and provides professional development opportunities for those interested in scholarly communication. Manifold aligns with MESH’s commitment to openness, community, and equity.

Visit the MESH website for more information and follow MESH, College of Arts and Letters and MSU Libraries on Twitter.

  • Miles traveled: 1,230

  • Say What? Over dinner on Tuesday night with coordinating editor Kurt Milberger, Amaresh Joshi, one of MESH’s informational technologists, shared some of the work he’s doing as a PhD candidate in linguistics. Stops, registers, various hierarchical structures of languages across the globe—we were awash in strange and mercurial wisdom. It was as bewildering as it was exciting and motivating. Clearly a linguistics text or two is in Terence’s future!

  • Terence meet Terence. On first arriving at the library on Tuesday morning Terence was greeted by librarian Terence O’Neill:

    “Good morning, my name is Terence, how can I help you?"

    “Good to meet you Terence, I’m Terence, and this has never happened before.”

    Not only that, they both spell it the same way: one r and no a.