The First of May in German Literature

The First of May in German Literature

Introduction by OpenMethods Editor (Erzsébet Tóth-Czifra): Research on date extractions from literature brings us closer to answering big questions of “when literature takes place”.  As Frank Fischer’s blog post, First of May in German literature shows, beyond mere quantification, this line of research also yields insights on the cultural significance of certain dates. In this case, the significance of 1st of May in German literature (as reflected in the “Corpus of German-Language Fiction” dataset) was determined with the help of a freely accessible data set and the open access tool HeidelTime. The brief description of the workflow is a smart demonstration of the potential of open DH methods and data sharing in sustainable ways.

Bonus one: the post starts out from briefly touching upon some of Frank’s public humanities activities.

Bonus two: mention of the Tiwoli (“Today in World Literature”) app, a fun side product built on to pof the date extraction research.

TAO IC Project: the charm of Chinese ceramics.

TAO IC Project: the charm of Chinese ceramics.

Introduction: Among the Nominees in the ‘Best DH Dataset’ of the DH Awards 2020, the TAO IC Project (http://www.dh.ketrc.com/index.html) leads us in a fascinating journey through the world of Chinese ceramics. The project, which is developed in a collaborative way at the Knowledge Engineering & Terminology Research Center of Liaocheng (http://ketrc.com/), exploits an onto-terminology-based approach to build an e-dictionary of Chinese vessels. Do you want to know every detail about a ‘Double-gourd Vase I’? If you consult ‘Class’ in the ‘Ontology’ section (http://www.dh.ketrc.com/class.html), you can discover the component, the function, from what such a vessel is made of, and what is the method to fire it. If you also wish to see how the vase appears, under ‘Individuals’ of the same section you can read a full description of it and, also, see a picture (http://www.dh.ketrc.com/class.html). All this information is collected in the e-dictionary for each beautiful item belonging to the Ming and Qing dynasties.

[Click ‘Read more’ for the full post!]

What Counts as Culture? Part I: Sentiment Analysis of The Times Music Reviews, 1950-2009 – train in the distance

What Counts as Culture? Part I: Sentiment Analysis of The Times Music Reviews, 1950-2009 – train in the distance

Introduction: This blog post by Lucy Havens presents a sentiment analysis of over 2000 Times Music Reviews using freely available tools: defoe for building the corpus of reviews, VADER for sentiment analysis and Jupiter Notebooks to provide a rich documentation and to connect the different components of the analysis. The description of the workflow comes with tool and method criticism reflections, including an outlook how to improve and continue to get better and more results.

OpenMethods Spotlights #3 Keeping a smart diary of research processes with NeMO and the Scholarly Ontology

OpenMethods Spotlights #3 Keeping a smart diary of research processes with NeMO and the Scholarly Ontology

In the next episode, we are looking behind the scenes of two ontologies: NeMO and the Scholarly Ontology (SO) with Panos Constantopoulos and Vayianos Pertsas who tell us the story behind these ontologies and explain how they can be used to ease or upcycle your daily works as a researcher. We discuss the value of knowledge graphs, how NeMO and SO connect with the emerging DH ontology landscape and beyond, why Open Access is a precondition of populating them, the Greek DH landscape …and many more!

Undogmatic Literary Annotation with CATMA in: Annotations in Scholarly Editions and Research

Undogmatic Literary Annotation with CATMA in: Annotations in Scholarly Editions and Research

Introduction: Digital Literary Studies has long engaged with the challenges in representing ambiguity, contradiction and polyvocal readings of literary texts. This book chapter describes a web-based tool called CATMA which  promises a “low-threshold” approach to digitally encoded text interpretation. CATMA has a long trajectory based on a ‘standoff’ approach to markup, somewhat provocatively described by its creators as “undogmatic”, which stands in contrast to more established systems for text representation in digital scholarly editing and publishing such as XML markup, or the Text Encoding Initiative (TEI). Standoff markup involves applying numbers to each character of a text and then using those numbers as identifiers to store interpretation externally. This approach allows for “multiple, over-lapping and even taxonomically contradictory annotations by one or more users” and avoids some of the rigidity which other approaches sometimes imply. An editor working with CATMA is able to create multiple independent annotation cycles, and to even specify which interpretation model was used for each. And the tool allows for an impressive array of analysis and visualization possibilities.

Recent iterations of CATMA have developed approaches which aim to bridge the gap between ‘close’ and ‘distant’ reading by providing scalable digital annotation and interpretation involving “semantic zooming” (which is compared to the kind of experience you get from an interactive map). The latest version also brings greater automation (currently in German only) to grammatical tense capture, temporal signals and part-of-speech annotation, which offer potentially significant effort savings and a wider range of markup review options. Greater attention is also paid to different kinds of interpretation activities through the three CATMA annotation modes of ‘highlight’, ‘comment’ and ‘annotate’, and to overall workflow considerations. The latest version of the tool offers finely grained access options mapping to common editorial roles and workflows.

I would have welcome greater reflection in the book chapter on sustainability – how an editor can port their work to other digital research environments, for use with other tools. While CATMA does allow for export to other systems (such as TEI), quite how effective this is (how well its interpretation structures bind to other digitally-mediated representation systems) is not clear.

What is most impressive about CATMA, and the work of its creator – the forTEXT research group – more generally, is how firmly embedded the thinking behind the tool is in humanities (and in particular literary) scholarship and theory. The group’s long-standing and deeply reflective engagement with the concerns of literary studies is well captured in this well-crafted and highly engaging book chapter.

[Click ‘Read more’ for the full post!]

Fragmentarium: a Model for Digital Fragmentology

Fragmentarium: a Model for Digital Fragmentology

Introduction: One of the major challenges of digital data workflows in the Arts and Humanities is that resources that belong together, in extreme cases, like this particular one, even parts of dismembered manuscripts, are hosted and embedded in different geographical and institutional silos. Combining IIIF with a mySQL database, Fragmentarium provides a user-friendly but also standardized, open workspace for the virtual reconstruction of medieval manuscript fragments. Lisa Fagin Davis’s blog post gives contextualized insights of the potentials of Fragmentarium and how, as she writes, “technology has caught up with our dreams”. 

GROBID: when data extraction becomes a suite

GROBID: when data extraction becomes a suite

Introduction: GROBID is an already well-known open source tool in the field of Digital Humanities, originally built to extract and parse bibliographical metadata from scholarly works. The acronym stands for GeneRation Of BIbliographic Data.
Shaped by use cases and adoptions to a range of different DH and non-DH settings, the tool has been progressively evolved into a suite of technical features currently applied to various fields, like that of journals, dictionaries and archives.
[Click ‘Read more’ for the full post!]