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Digitalisation has impact in all academic domains and in all stages of the research process: from formulating research questions, collecting data and collaborating with fellow researchers, to publishing and archiving research results. This presents both opportunities and challenges for scientific research.

The Library offers researchers tools to seize digital opportunities and effectively leverage them for digital and data-driven research. We provide customised advice and knowledge-enriching workshops on digital skills (or digital competencies). The Library assists data stewards and researchers with research data management and gives advice on registering research output, Open Access publishing and scientific visibility

Through the UvA Data Science Centre, which is part of the University Library, we contribute to innovative developments in data-driven research within the University of Amsterdam. The Library also collaborates with the UvA’s IT services (ICTS), the national ICT partnership for education and research SURF and the Netherlands eScience Center

Training programmes and workshops

The Library offers an interdisciplinary training programme through ‘The Carpentries’, a global community of software engineers, data scientists and librarians who develop and teach workshops on programming and data science.

The Library regularly organises workshops on data science, software and programming skills. In addition, the Library makes five training spots available each year for researchers who wish to become a certified Carpentry instructor. Instructors commit to spending at least three days per year sharing their knowledge with others.

Participants had the following to say about the workshop ‘Data analysis and data visualisation with Python’: 

Copyright: Marton Gera
The two-day workshop was a great and well-organized opportunity to get acquainted with the basics of Python. The thorough and focused sessions allowed me to get familiar with writing scripts and organizing and visualizing data in the programming environment. This workshop is highly recommended for those who want to get an introduction to Python without prior programming experience. Marton Gera, Teaching Assistant at the Amsterdam Business School, University of Amsterdam
Copyright: Clara McDonnell
Even though I was a complete beginner in Python, this course helped me feel comfortable getting started and learning how to problem solve and build my skills in the future. Even after only a few hours, I already learned a few ways to start using Python to visualise data. Clara McDonnell, PhD Candidate in Governance and Inclusive Development, University of Amsterdam

Digital tools

The Library provides workshops and advice on applying digital tools for research, for example for text and data mining (TDM) or transcription.


For text recognition and transcription, the UvA Library offers researchers credits for using the digital tool Transkribus. With this AI-powered text recognition tool, (old) handwritten texts can be transcribed and digitally searched. Scan tents can be borrowed from the Library to make qualitative scans. For more information, contact Jenneken Schouten, Information Specialist Hebrew, Modern Greek & Religious Studies:

  • What are digital competencies (digital skills)?

    The digitalisation of science and Open Science require a new set of knowledge and skills based on current (international) standards and principles. Digital competencies or skills are the skills that are needed to optimally carry out digital and data-driven research.

  • Why are digital competencies important for research?

    Data is increasingly digital, and more and more data is becoming available. There are also many new ways to study and analyse this data. As a result, a large amount of research has radically changed in recent decades and new skills are now required, such as when searching for data and thinking about how data can be managed and shared. There are countless options for data analysis when conducting research, from different visualisation tools to the use of programming languages. Publishing and archiving research data requires specific knowledge and skills as well. Important developments are also taking place in the area of Open Science, such as Open Access publishing, which are closely tied to the digitalisation of science.

  • Which digital competencies does the Library help with?

    The Library supports and promotes digital skills in various domains and in all phases of the research process: 

    • Managing, sharing and publishing research data (Research Data Management);
    • Data-driven research (Data Science Centre); 
    • Use of various (open-source) software programs;
    • Programming with R and Python; 
    • Open Access publishing;
    • Registering research and scientific visibility. 

    Would you like to know how the Library can help you as you prepare, conduct and finalise your research? The Research Support Portal is a one-stop-shop for information and support. 

  • What partners does the Library collaborate with to support digital competencies?

    The Library collaborates with partners within and outside the UvA to support digital competencies. Our key partners within the UvA are the UvA Data Science Centre, which is part of the Library, ICTS, faculty-appointed data stewards and the Amsterdam Science Park Study Group. The Library also works with other external partners such as the Netherlands eScience Center, SURF, The Carpentries, the UKB, other Dutch university libraries, the Dutch National Coordination Point Research Data Management (LCRDM) and the DCC implementation network. The DCC implementation network is a network of all local Digital Competence Centres (DCCs) and the thematic DCCs.