The Explorer Track

Grow awareness of fundamental concepts of digital scholarship


The EXPLORER track is open to anyone starting out with digital scholarship in Humanities or Social Sciences or related fields (e.g. Education). There is no limit on the number of participants and anyone is welcome, but the focus will be on the South African context and we therefore specifically welcome those affiliated with universities or research organisations in South Africa. No previous experience with digital scholarship or computational research required. We welcome anyone interested to learn more! We also invite those with more experience to join us and facilitate the monthly meetings.


This track is a primer, offering a glimpse of what people can expect to encounter in the community and via other Digital Champions Initiative tracks. The track offers a range of curated video play lists and one scheduled contact session per month. The contact session is an informal meetup and discussion session open to anyone with questions or comments about the EXPLORER track, or the broader ESCALATOR programme. We can discuss anything related to the topics covered in the videos or other topics that might be useful to help people get started with their digital scholarship journey.

For other useful resources, please take a look at our curated list of training materials and courses.


Watch the videos in our playlists at your own pace. You can start with topics that you are less familiar with, or only focus on those you are particularly interested in. No need to work through everything. These resources should equip you with foundational knowledge about the topics at hand. For more detailed resources, please refer to our curated list of training materials and courses.


Have some questions or want to discuss any of the topics? Sign up for an informal virtual meeting simply by adding your name to our open meetup document or registering via the form. Connection details will be shared on the document and via our Slack workspace an hour before the meetups. We’ll run a regular meeting every last Tuesday of the month.
Next meeting: 27 September 2022 @ 15:30 - 16:30 SAST


Participants are also encouraged to join our Slack Workspace to get to know the community and gain exposure to conversations about digital and computational research in the humanities and social sciences. Questions and discussions related to the video content from our EXPLORER’s Playlists can be asked on the #dci-explorer-track Slack channel specifically.


Complete our registration form to let us know you’re interested in this track. Although this track allows participants to work through material at their own speed, we would still like to hear from you and support you on your journey. You are also encouraged to provide feedback to help us improve content and delivery of the EXPLORER track.

ESCALATOR YouTube Playlists

Curated playlists showcasing resources created by people from all over the world

Many of the topics listed below are tightly connected to each other and you’ll find that some of the categories are a bit cosmetic. We hope that by creating these different playlists, newcomers to digital and computational research will find it easier to compile a big picture of what it all entails. The topics covered here could also serve as prompts or conversation starters and encourage deeper discussion within your research group or institution.

The playlists are under constant development. If you would like to suggest other topics to include or know of good video clips that illustrate these concepts well (especially shorter video clips with an African or South African focus), please let us know.