DH Research Software Engineers – For We Are Many

DH Research Software Engineers – For We Are Many

Introduction: This white paper is an outcome of a DH2019 workshop dedicated to foster closer collaboration among technology-oriented DH researchers and  developers of tools to support Digital Humanities research. The paper briefly outlines the most pressing issues in their collaboration and addresses topics such as: good practices to ease mutual understanding between scholars and researchers; software development and academic career and recognition; or sustainability and funding.

Approaching Linked Data

Approaching Linked Data

Introduction: Linked Data and Linked Open Data are gaining an increasing interest and application in many fields. A recent experiment conducted in 2018 at Furman University illustrates and discusses some of the challenges from a pedagogical perspective posed by Linked Open Data applied to research in the historical domain.

“Linked Open Data to navigate the Past: using Peripleo in class” by Chiara Palladino describes the exploitation of the search-engine Peripleo in order to reconstruct the past of four archeologically-relevant cities. Many databases, comprising various types of information, have been consulted, and the results, as highlighted in the contribution by Palladino, show both advantages and limitations of a Linked Open Data-oriented approach to historical investigations.

Do humanists need BERT?

Do humanists need BERT?

Introduction: Ted Underwood tests a new language representation model called “Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers” (BERT) and asks if humanists should use it. Due to its high degree of difficulty and its limited success (e.g. in questions of genre detection) he concludes, that this approach will be important in the future but it’s nothing to deal with for humanists at the moment. An important caveat worth reading.

‘Voyant Tools’

‘Voyant Tools’

Introduction: Digital humanists looking for tools in order to visualize and analyze texts can rely on ‘Voyant Tools’ (https://voyant-tools.org), a software package created by S.Sinclair and G.Rockwell. Online resources are available in order to learn how to use Voyant. In this post, we highlight two of them: “Using Voyant-Tools to Formulate Research Questions for Textual Data” by Filipa Calado (GC Digital Fellows and the tutorial “Investigating texts with Voyant” by Miriam Posner.

Evaluating named entity recognition tools for extracting social networks from novels

Evaluating named entity recognition tools for extracting social networks from novels

Introduction: Named Entity Recognition (NER) is used to identify textual elements that gives things a name. In this study, four different NER tools are evaluated using a corpus of modern and classic fantasy or science fiction novels. Since NER tools have been created for the news domain, it is interesting to see how they perform in a totally different domain. The article comes with a very detailed methodological part and the accompanying dataset is also made available.

The Uncanny Valley and the Ghost in the Machine

The Uncanny Valley and the Ghost in the Machine

Introduction: There is a postulated level of anthropomorphism where people feel uncanny about the appearance of a robot. But what happens if digital facsimiles and online editions become nigh indistinguishable from the real, yet materially remaining so vastly different? How do we ethically provide access to the digital object without creating a blindspot and neglect for the real thing. A question that keeps digital librarian Dot Porter awake and which she ponders in this thoughtful contribution.