Citing ODH’s Summer Institutes

While I generally like to reserve posts for a wider audience, this is the second time I’ve come across this particular issue, and I’d like help from the masses. Every summer, the NEH’s Office for Digital Humanities funds a series of Institutes for Advanced Topics in the Digital Humanities. I’ve had the great fortune of attending one on computer simulations in the humanities, and teaching at one on network analysis for the humanities. I often find myself wishing I could cite one, as a whole, because of all the valuable experience and knowledge I received there. Unfortunately I have found no standard format to cite whole conferences, workshops, or summer institutes.

Our Great and Glorious Funders

I asked Brett Bobley, the ODH director, if he had any suggestions, but unfortunately he was at as much a loss as I. His reply: “Good question! I’d cite the URL (ex: ). But we don’t have a format. Want to choose one & we’ll anoint it?” I’m not terribly familiar with citation styles, but I figured I’d try one out and see if the The DH Hive Mind had any better ideas. If so, please post in the comments. Ideally, the citation should include the URL of the grant, the PI(s), the date, the location, and the grant number (this is very important for tracking the impact of these summer institutes). While the PI is important, though, as the cited ideas do not come from the PI but rather the entire institute, I have chosen to place the institute name first.

“Network Analysis for the Humanities.” August 15-27, 2010. ODH Institute for Advanced Topics in the Digital Humanities: HT-50016-09. Tim Tangherlini, PI.

“Computer Simulations in the Humanities.” June 1-17, 2011. ODH Institute for Advanced Topics in the Digital Humanities: HT-50030-10. Marvin J. Croy, PI.

What thoughts?

4 thoughts on “Citing ODH’s Summer Institutes”

  1. For making up citation’s the best refference I have seen is the APA’s Style Blog’s post on The Generic Reference. Your reference is doing everything you want it to do in terms of what, when and where can I find things about it, but I think the who part is still important. IMHO, you are almost always better off citing someone’s position on something, or some groups position on something. As long as that is clear I think you’re good.

    One more nit to pick.. The URL in a citation generally is a way of saying “See for yourself, the thing I am referencing lives here!” Where this URL is really “For some more info about this go and see here”

    This gets to a somewhat broader point, as this is not recoverable and you are not trying to give credit to a particular author why not just describe all this in text and skip the reference entirely?

    1. Thanks, this looks like a fantastic resource. I’m not really sure how to differentiate the URL in this issue, but I can definitely see where you’re coming from.. as opposed to a book or conference proceeding, the most permanent record of the event is website itself, I think.

      For me, the reason why I am citing rather than describing (although I’m doing that two) is two-fold: first, explaining the institute causes a needless break in my narrative, although I suppose it could be relegated to a footnote, and second, I feel the purpose of a reference is more than just granting credit; it’s also explaining the origin of some idea. Even if that were not the case, though, the ODH should absolutely receive credit for facilitating this research. From a purely utilitarian standpoint, if the government sees these institutes are getting cited, perhaps they will be more encouraged to send more money toward the ODH.

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