Steven Ovadia

Deputy Chief Librarian/Professor

Profile picture of Steven Ovadia

Digital Research Tools

The DiRT Directory is a registry of digital research tools for scholarly use.

Explore more tools from DiRT on the Digital Tools Directory.

Steven Ovadia’s Tools

Steven Ovadia uses 12 tools from the DiRT Directory:

  • Dropbox is a file hosting service that includes cloud storage, personal cloud, file synchronization, and client software across multiple platforms. Dropbox allows users to create a folder on each of their computers where any type of file can be saved, synchronized, and made available across all computers. Contents of the Dropbox folder are also accessible via dropbox.com and mobile applications. Individual files and folders can be shared with other Dropbox users or made publicly accessible.

    Dropbox for Business is a paid service targeting organizations by providing administrative controls and auditing functionality while allowing users to create a work account that is completely separate from their personal account but the two are viewable side by side.Learn more on DiRTDirectory.org

  • Microsoft Excel is spreadsheet software with calculation, graphing tools, and pivot table options for analyzing data. A cloud-hosted version is available as part of Office 365.Learn more on DiRTDirectory.org

  • GitHub is a web-based repository service which offers the distributed revision control and source code management (SCM) functionality of GIT with a graphical user interface, desktop, and mobile integration. It also provides collaboration tools such as access control, wikis, task management, code review, bug tracking, and feature requests. It offers free accounts, often used to host opensource software projects, and private (paid) repositories.

    Projects on GitHub can be accessed and manipulated using the git command-line interface and all of the standard git commands work with it. GitHub also allows registered and non-registered users to browse public repositories on the site. Multiple desktop clients have also been created by GitHub and other third parties which integrate with the platform.

    GitHub is mainly used for code but can also be used for non-code files, it supports the following formats and features:

    3D render files
    Photoshop's native PSD format can be previewed and compared to previous versions of the same file.
    Nested task-lists
    Documentation and wikis
    Small websites can be hosted from public repositories on GitHub. The URL format is http://projectname.github.io.
    Issue tracking (including feature requests)
    Visualization of geospatial data
    Gantt charts

    GitHub is a heavily used in the opensource development community but does not require hosted projects to meet the definition of Open Source.Learn more on DiRTDirectory.org

  • Google Docs is an online environment for editing and sharing documents, spreadsheets, presentations, forms, drawings, and tables. Google Docs documents can be public or private, or shared with anyone with a Google account, e-mailed, or downloaded in various formats, including conversions to PDF and other formats not identical to the original or to the proprietary format used at creation. Designated people with whom items are shared can be given permission to comment or edit the files, thus providing a quick way to collaborate on creating and editing documents and presentations.Learn more on DiRTDirectory.org

    Used by Wendy Tronrud, Linda Yau, Dylan Easterday and 27 other users — Show all users
  • Available as a web-based service and as an app for iOS, Mac, PC, and Android, Google Drive allows users to create, store, edit, and share files across all their devices. Online and offline file access available. Requires a Google account for use, but allows files from Drive to be shared with non-Google users.

    Drive allows users to upload, store, and share any type of file (e.g., JPEG, MP4, JS, INDD, AI). The majority can be previewed, and many can be edited within Drive. Some files (e.g., DOCX, XLSX, PPTX) can be converted into compatible file types for editing, commenting, and more. Drive is the platform for Google Sheets, Docs, Slides, and many other approved applications. Files saved in Drive sync to all other devices, with an activity monitor that can be useful for version control (see what edits have been made and when, and revert back to previous instances if needed).

    Offers both free and paid accounts, priced by data capacity: 15 GB (free), 100 GB ($1.99/month), 1 TB ($9.99/month), 10 TB ($99.99/month), 20 TB ($199.99/month), 30 TB ($299.99/month). Teams with more than five people can purchase unlimited storage for $10/user/month.Learn more on DiRTDirectory.org

  • Markdown is a text-to-HTML conversion tool for web writers. Markdown allows you to write using an easy-to-read, easy-to-write plain text format, then convert it to structurally valid XHTML (or HTML).Learn more on DiRTDirectory.org

  • Slack is a team-based communication and archiving platform. It allows for both synchronous and asynchronous communications, channels for managing specific streams, full user management and integration with a wide variety of social media and storage providers. It is free for limited (rather generous) use and provides one the best means to allow for individual communication patterns within a managed project to be facilitated. Allowing for the quick and informal communications, hashtagged for quick scanning and searching as well as targeted messaging makes it a very compelling project tool. The addition of specific mobile clients with notifications makes it a very effective project management tool.Learn more on DiRTDirectory.org

  • PROS
    Tableau Public is a free service that lets anyone publish interactive data to the web. Once on the web, anyone can interact with the data, download it, or create their own visualizations of it. No programming skills are required. No plug-ins are required. You just need a browser with JavaScript enabled.
    Stylish, slick and user-friendly interface that allows the user to easily convert time and spatial datasets from a range of files, xlsx, csv etc in order to create colourful, interactive data visualisations very quickly. Good for people, for example journalists, students, teachers, researchers, who have no coding skills and want to convert large datasets to interactive, graphical data.


    CONS
    Not open source. Also the data you enter into Tableau Public and any visualisations you create are stored on Tableau's public cloud, and are accessible to everyone - so not suitable for converting private or sensitive datasets.
    Originally was designed for Windows, but now works with Mac, however only with OS 10.8 or later versions. Learn more on DiRTDirectory.org

  • Trello is a web-based project management and collaboration tool that allows users to organize projects in a dashboard view, containing one or more project-oriented boards. The dashboard provides a real-time overview of what is being worked on, who is working on what, and overall progress toward project milestones. Useful for organized task management, delegation, communication, and collaboration across teams.Learn more on DiRTDirectory.org

  • Twitter allows users to send 140-character messages. There is a thriving digital humanities community of Twitter users. This tool is great for communicating and sharing ideas, micro-blogging, real-time communication. You can follow tweets about digital humanities https://twitter.com/hashtag/digitalhumanities.Learn more on DiRTDirectory.org

    Used by Kim Holland, Davide G. Colasanto, JT Pickens and 24 other users — Show all users
  • WordPress is an easy-to-use web publishing platform originally designed around blogging that has now evolved with functionality as a robust content or learning management system, with many themes and plugins for extra functionality.Learn more on DiRTDirectory.org

  • Zotero is a free tool that collects, manages and cites research sources. It stays on your web browser where you do your work and it's easy to use. It's being downloaded as a firefox extension, used with the chrome and safari browsers or used as a standalone tool. It allows you to attach pdfs, notes and images to your citations, organise them into easily searchable collections for different projects, and open office using any of over 2800 citation styles. references can be added to a zotero library in many different ways: directly from databases, journal websites, google scholar or the library catalogue, by referencing file import ( for example from an Endnote library), by dragging in pdfs from your hard drive, and by entering them manually.Learn more on DiRTDirectory.org

    Used by Davide G. Colasanto, Jeff Allred, Ali Syed and 16 other users — Show all users
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