Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
Ask Us!Toggle Chat Widget

Digital Scholarship: Digital / Data Tools

Data and Digital Tool Access

The Digital Scholarship Lab (DSL) caters to the digital preservation of research, reformatting of paper to digital, and use of editing tools and software that enhance the scholarship of MTSU and the collections of Walker Library. In addition to the software available throughout the Library, this guide shares specific digital/data tool options in the library and other open source (free) tools available online. This guide also shares resources to learn about other tools or digital/data methodologies.

Need help finding the right research tool?

Tool Indexes are a starting place for finding information and how-tos for the type of research tools that can be used in digital scholarship, digital humanities, data science, etc. Check some of the Tool Indexes below:

Examples of what you can do with digital tools that are described in the above indexes include:

  • creating a mashup
  • editing images
  • make a screencast
  • how to publish/share information
  • brainstorming ideas
  • blogging & networking
  • analyzing data, networks, spatial analysis
  • how to collect & analyze data
  • transcribe handwritten or spoken texts
  • web scrapping, data mine
  • and so much more!

Free Books on Digital Tools, Data Tools

Free Books


Make graphics, visusals, maps, documents interactive with Thinglink. Requires (free) account sign up.

Tools for Data Analysis and Visualization

Digital / Data Tools

  • Researchers use digital and data tools for various phases of the research lifecycle. This includes data management, data collection, data cleaning, data analysis (methods including sentiment analysis, entity extraction, document summarization, theme analysis, statistical analysis, and more), data visualization, dissemination and preservation.

Data Tools Available in Walker Library
  • ArcGIS is a geographic information system (GIS) for working with maps and geographic information. This is a product of ESRI and available on all four floors of  Windows computers in Walker Library
  • NVivo is a software program used for qualitative and mixed-methods research. This tool is mostly used for analysis of unstructured text, audio, video, and image data, including (but not limited to) interviews, focus groups, surveys, social media, and journal articles. Walker Library has 9 computer work stations for public use in the 3rd floor Curriculum Collection. Walker Library occasionally offers NVivo workshops. When offered, these will be listed at

  • R is an open-source programming language and command-based application for visualization and analysis although R is primarily used for statistical analysis, so it lends itself well to text mining.Walker Library has R pre-downloaded on computers on the 4th floor east side; and all 4th floor group study rooms

  • SPSS is software package used for interactive, or batched, statistical analysis. This is an IBM product, available download and available on all four floors of  Windows computers in Walker Library. Walker Library occasionally offers NVivo workshops. When offered, these will be listed at

Other Free Data Tools
  • Gephi is an open graph visualization platform that supports exploration of all kinds of networks and complex systems.  Gephi can be downloaded for free onto any Linux, Windows, or Mac OS X device.
  • Mallet is a Java-based package for statistical natural language processing, document classification, clustering, topic modeling, information extraction, and other machine learning applications to text. 
  • Neatline is a suite of add-on tools for Omeka, it opens new possibilities for hand-crafted, interactive spatial and temporal interpretation.
  • OpenRefine is a free, open source tool which offers a number of powerful functions to quickly and efficiently clean your data. For tutorials on how to use OpenRefine, see the products created by the University of Illinois.
  • Python is an interpreted, high-level, general-purpose programming language. Available for download.
  • QGIS is a free and open-source cross-platform desktop geographic information system application that supports viewing, editing, and analysis of geospatial data
  • Scrapy is an open source and collaborative framework for extracting the data you need from websites.  It is available as a free download for Linux, Windows, Mac OS X.
  • Tableau Public is a free software download that can allow anyone to connect to a spreadsheet or file and create interactive data visualizations for the web. Account sign up required, all data is open to the public.
  • TimelineJS is a free web-based tool for creating timelines. Requires use of Google Docs.
  • Voyant  is a web-based reading and analysis tool for digital texts.  Voyant allows you to type in multiple URLs, paste in full text, or upload your own files for analysis.
  • Wordle is a web-based word cloud tool that creates word clouds from text you provide. 

Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC)

Check out these free online course offerings! Brush up on your skills or learn something new! One example course:

Text Mining Online Class

"Text Mining and Analytics" class offered by the University of Illinois as part of Coursera's Data Mining Specialization (available for free or as a paid certification program).