RESOURCE: “What’s in it for Me?”; or, Collaboration is not an End in Itself

In April, Brian Croxall, Digital Humanities Strategist at Emory University, delivered a talk at Case Western Reserve University as part of a colloquium on “Exploring Collaboration in Digital Scholarship.” As he described in his write-up of the talk, the heart of Croxall’s argument is the idea that collaboration is not an end in itself. Furthermore,

If you want to work with faculty, you need to know what could benefit them. This likely means helping them advance a particular research agenda or teach a class better. Graduate students have different needs that can be motivational: experience in a field or a methodology; experience getting an innovative project off the ground; or simple, lovely, filthy lucre. Librarians, developers, libraries—all of them have different motivations for why they might want to work together with you on a project. And you need to answer “What’s in it for me?” for every single group and then keep it foregrounded as you continue to work.

Other videos from the colloquium are available on Case Western’s site, including talks by Amanda French, Mark Christel, Lisa Spiro, Diane Cline, and Brian Gray.

This post was produced through a cooperation between Trevor Muñoz, Kristen Andrews, and Elizabeth Lorang (Editors-at-Large for the week), Zach Coble (dh+lib review Editor for the week), and Caro Pinto and Roxanne Shirazi (dh+lib review Editors).