Lorna hughes 12 05-2013 NeDiMAH and ontology for DH


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Presentation at Luxembourg DH conference, December 5th 2012.

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  • Computational methods demand rigour and precision in their application, and accordingly, research practitioners working in the emerging field of the digital humanities have begun to formalize new theories of the interaction between content, analytical and interpretative tools and technologies, methodological approaches, and disciplinary kinships. There is a need to articulate digital research methods in the arts and humanities, contributing to the need for better documentation and descriptions of "Methodologies of Use".  The concept was initially expressed as The "Methodological Commons" in an intellectual and disciplinary map, (or "ecology") of digital arts and humanities in the context of modelling humanities research processes. The map was developed by Harold Short with Willard McCarty at the Centre for Computing in the Humanities (CCH) at King's College (McCarty, 2005), and initially presented at an Association for Literary and Linguistic Computing (ALLC) "Roadmap" meeting in Pisa in 2002. The map went through various refinements, and it continues to evolve, although as a matter of presentation rather than the underlying concept. In Short and McCarty’s model, the "Methodological Commons" has the following core elements:Technical methods from discipline areas outside the arts and humanities, e.g. engineering and computer science, e.g., for mining, visualization, and modelling of digital content.New modes of collaboration across disciplines and communities, particularly in partnership with scientific, engineering and cultural heritage science disciplines.A combination of data types, technical methods and multiple technologies are frequently needed, for example, combinations of text, database, image, time- based data (video or sound), and Geographical Information Systems (GIS).Formal methods are required for analysis and design of source data and modelling of possible technical approaches.Methods for working with large-scale data sources, as well as aggregating materials from multiple collections or sources.It is maintained on the ALLC website http://www.allc.org/content/pubs/map.htmloutlines (last accessed 01/05/2010).
  • Projects: greater visibility of publicly funded research with digital outputMethods: Advanced ICT methods include:text analysis and mining; image analysis; moving image capture and analysis; and Quantitative and qualitative data analysis. They can be found at a key point of intersection between disciplines, collections and researchers: data-rich disciplines (e.g. archeology, library and information science, and musicology) have refined new ICT methods,and within the data-driven sciences research methods have emerged around data and information processes. The use of advanced ICT methods can effect significant benefits in arts and humanities scholarship: they can enhance existing research methods (for example, by harnessing the processing power of grid technologies to allow large datasets to be searched quickly and efficiently, and in complex or novel ways); and they enable new research methods (for example, developing pattern matching algorithms for image analysis that can be applied to digital images of manuscripts). New approaches can also come about from creative collaboration: for example, the REACH (Researching e-Science Analysis of Census Holdings) workshop series investigated the potential application of grid computing to use of historical census datasets, by applying record linkage research methods developed by researchers in Physics working on the AstroGrid project
  • Attempts to formalize descriptions of the “methodological commons”: In 2003 Sheila Anderson and Reto Speck, UK AHDS, developed "The Taxonomy of Computational Methods in the Arts and Humanities”: taxonomy of computational methods common to the creation, management and sustainability of digital resources in the arts and humanities. It formalized and provided a controlled vocabulary for digitization in the arts and humanities. In the ICT Methods Taxonomy, ICT methods are defined as follows:“Method”: all the techniques and tools that are used to gain new knowledge in arts and humanities disciplines.A method is a computational one if it is either based on ICT (i.e. database technology) or critically dependent on it (i.e. statistical analysis).Terms in the methods taxonomy are classified at two levels: “content type” and “function type”:Content types describe the type of digital resource created, for example: narrative text; dataset/structured data and text; still image/graphics; moving image; 3D object; spatial; and sound.Function types describe the broad functions commonly undertaken in digital resource creation processes. These include: capture, i.e. the conversion of analogue information into (raw) digital data (via “digitization”); structuring and enhancement, i.e. the organization and integration of the data captured from one or various sources into a uniform conceptual framework, via, for example, normalization, standardization and enhancement of its data; analysis, i.e.the extraction of information/knowledge/meaning from the resource; and dissemination and presentation,i.e. the presentation and dissemination/communication of the results of the research project. 2007, Arts-humanities.net embedded the ICT Methods Taxonomy into its descriptions of ICT UK funded research projects with a digital output, the methods these projects used, and used it to organize content and to help users categorize content they add to the sites via an emerging folksonomy providing suggestions for user-generated tags. This was subsequently modified by Oxford University into a taxonomy used to classify their own DH projects The taxonomy is a framework for understanding how 'methodologies of use' sit within and enable research practice in the arts and humanities, and how they might be replicated by future research projects.  Underpinning the taxonomy, in arts-humanities.net and the Oxford DH site, is a formalized, controlled vocabulary for describing digital scholarshipOntological mapping is used to semantically interrelate information from diversesources to represent complex relationships. In order to do that, it relies on ontologies,formal representations of a set of concepts and relations. 
  • *note after talk* - a question from the audience – do I think that digital humanities is a discipline? No, I don’t, I use it on this slide in the context of the formalisation of nomenclature being a recognised stage in maturity of disciplines/fields/research domains, therefore it’s an interesting stage in the development of DH as a field/research domain, etc.
  • Lorna hughes 12 05-2013 NeDiMAH and ontology for DH

    1. 1. NeDiMAH: Network of Digital Methods in the Arts and Humanities www.nedimah.eu Prof. Lorna Hughes, University of Wales Chair in Digital Collections, National Library of Wales, NeDiMAH Chair Digital Humanities Luxembourg December 5th 2013
    2. 2. NeDiMAH: Network for Digital Methods in the Arts and Humanities Chairs Lorna Hughes, UK (Chair) Fotis Jannidis, Germany Susan Schreibman, Ireland     Aims Research the practice of advanced ICT methods in the arts and humanities Develop activities, publications, and networking Outputs – Map of digital humanities in Europe – A taxonomy of digital humanities – A collaborative forum for Digital Humanities Methods in Europe Support from 16 Member Organizations: 1. Bulgarian Academy of Science 2. The National Foundation of Science, Higher Education and Technological Development of the Republic of Croatia (NZZ) 3. The Danish Council for Independent Research – Humanities (FKK), 4. The Academy of Finland – Research Council for Culture and Society 5. TGE ADONIS – National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) 6. Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) 7. Hungarian Academy of Sciences, (MTA) 8. Irish Research Council for the Humanities (IRCHSS), 9. Luxembourg National Research Fund (FNR) 10. Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NOW) 11. Research Council of Norway (NCR) 12. Portugal Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT) 13. Romanian National Research Council (CNCS) 14. Swedish Research Council (VR) 15. Swiss National Science Foundation (SNF) 16. UK Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC)
    3. 3. Digital Humanities: the challenge for researchers • Disproportionate investment in creation, management and curation of digital resources versus use of digital content for scholarship (in the UK from 20008, AHRC funded approx. £43million of creation of digital projects, only £1.5 million into use of digital collections for research) • Lack of accessible evidence for the transformative use of Digital Humanities • Lack of consistency in description of Digital Humanities methods • Inconsistent digital humanities research methods training for postgraduates • Decreases in research funding: need to do more with less, international cooperation is key • Networks needed to take existing work forward in broader context • Risk of national and disciplinary fragmentation hiding good work
    4. 4. NeDiMAH – – – – – – ESF has funded a unique Network examining the use of digital methods in the arts and humanities • Only similar activity: UK-only AHRC ICT Methods Network 2005-8 Wide (and growing) interest by ESF Member Organisations (16 to date) Timing: Digital Humanities experiencing increased international attention Facilitates participation of established researchers and young scholars Provides evidence for scholars and policy makers NeDiMAH: • • • • • Inclusive in disciplinary, national and career-stage representation Developing a framework for common exchange of expertise and knowledge Linking researchers with their peers across the disciplines Enabling participants to develop, share and refine ICT methods as the core elements of digital scholarship and articulate these methods formally Investigating issues related to the scholarly publishing of ICT methods in the arts and humanities 4
    5. 5. Digital humanities: a collaborative workspace • Digital collections and project with digital CONTENT METHODS outputs • Researchers demand high-quality content •Freely accessible content enables greater use and re-use • “Scholarly primitives” to gain new knowledge: discovering, annotating, comparing, referring, s ampling, illustrating, and representing digital content • Software to gather, analyze and/or process data TOOLS • To enable existing research processes to be conducted better and/or faster • To enable researchers to ask, and answer, completely new research questions
    6. 6. Digital Humanities: a “Methodological Commons” (McCarty and Short) (McCarty and Short)
    7. 7. The “scholarly primitives”: methods in digital humanities (Unsworth)
    8. 8. Taxonomy of Methods for the arts and humanities http://digital.humanities.ox.ac.uk/ Methods/ICT-methodology.aspx
    9. 9. NeDiMAH Working Groups Methodological Working Groups 1. Spatial and Temporal Modelling 2. Information Visualization 3. Linked Data 4. Building and developing Corpora 5. Using Corpora: Information retrieval and modelling 6. Scholarly editions 7. Scholarly publishing 8. ICT Methods Taxonomy Charge to the Working Groups – Investigation and analysis of current practice: Documenting the practice of digital humanities through exemplars – Modelling application of the methods in scholarly practice across the disciplines – Producing evidence for advancing the state of the art in understanding the scholarly ecosystem for digital humanities
    10. 10. Key output: NeDiMAH ICT Methods Ontology • The scholarly ecosystem for Digital Humanities will be articulated in the NeDiMAH ICT Methods Ontology • Ontology will be developed with DARIAH VCC2 (understanding and expanding scholarly practice) and DARIAH research community, NeDiMAH ICT Methods Taxonomy WG (Lorna Hughes, Christian-Emil Ore, Costis Dallas, Matt Munson, Torsten Reimer, Erik Champion, Orla Murphy, Panos Constantopoulos); and the Digital Curation Unit-IMIS, Athena Research Centre, Greece • Gathering data from all NeDiMAH activities about practice of Digital Humanities as structure for ontology layers and definition of schemas; building software environment/database tool for specifications of research methods • Build on existing DH taxonomies, other ontologies, expanding state of the art • To be completed Feb. 2015 • Outcome: a formal ontology for Digital Humanities, including classification and a shared vocabulary
    11. 11. An ontology of Digital Methods in the Arts and Humanities: Objectives • Provide evidence of the use of digital resources for scholarship to support visibility and sustainability of digital collections and scholarship • Enable the critical evaluation of digital humanities: projects that are transparent; well-documented; reviewable across disciplines • Making visible multi-disciplinary, multi-technology projects, nationally and internationally • Explore the potential benefit of the ontology as a guide and learning tool for the scholarly community, with DARIAH VCC2 • Documenting partnerships across disciplines and organizations: building collaborative, scholarly infrastructures as well as technical infrastructures
    12. 12. Workplan outputs • An ontology delivered in both document and machine readable forms • A Web service of a database containing the ontology definition and functionality to support access to and evolution of the ontology. • In document form, the ontology will include definitions of entities and properties, and examples of occurrence and use after the model of ISO standard 21127 CIDOC CRM. Compatibility will be ensured • In machine readable form, the ontology will be defined in RDF/S (RDF Schema), to support use in a wide range of applications accessing registries and knowledge bases that contain information about methods and their context of use. • The taxonomic parts of the ontology will comply with SKOS (Simple Knowledge Organization System)
    13. 13. Workplan outcomes • The compliance with standards allows syntactic as well as semantic interoperability between future registries and applications employing this methods ontology and other CIDOC CRM – and SKOS – compliant information systems in the arts and humanities and in libraries, museums and archives. • The Web service will provide (a) access to the ontology for research, education and development purposes under a suitable open policy, and (b) support for maintenance. • Various access methods are foreseen, e.g., faceted classification trees, predefined simple and complex query types, form-based queries, ad hoc SPARQL queries, and browsing. • The ontology will be “an explicit specification of a shared conceptualization” of the domain of digital research methods and their context of scholarly use. It includes types of objects and/or concepts, and their properties and relations. • The service will be sustained by DARIAH over the long term
    14. 14. Benefit to scholarship • The ontology will formalize and codify the expression of work in the digital arts and humanities • Greater academic credibility for the use of Digital Humanities methods, and support for peer-reviewed scholarship in this area. • Maximise the value of national and international e-research infrastructure initiatives by developing a methodological layer that allows arts and humanities researchers to develop, refine and share research methods • The ontology will have potential usefulness for eliciting and prioritizing the functional requirements for planned digital infrastructures in the A&H, following an evidence-based, user-centred approach. • The development of a commonly agreed nomenclature in the nascent field of Digital Humanities: something that typically happens with the maturing and consolidation of disciplines / research domains.