Experimenting research design: Digital Humanities-Laboratories #dhiha6

DH - kleines Bild 2On the second day of the conference “Digital Humanities Experiments #dhiha6” at the German Historical Institute Paris (DHIP) we will experiment in different Laboratories (see the arcticle “The program explained“). Four live experiments will be organised and the participants can choose according to their interests.

Laboratory 1: Aggregate, visualize and browse information about researchers and their activities

Lambert Heller (TIB Hannover) and David Chavalarias (ISC-PIF, Paris)

Data-Experiments and Visualization with Open Science VIVO beta and communityexplorer.org

Nowadays, information about researchers and their activities can be found everywhere on the web, and there is nothing wrong with that in principle. A closer look reveals a more desperate situation: Many variations on the closed silo. On the one hand there are the classics like Web of Science (expensive, includes only traditional research products like the peer review journal article), on the other hand closed institutional systems (like Elsevier Pure, Thomson Reuters Converis) that are not mainly made for the web and its public. And then you have more recently portals like ResearchGate and academia.edu, which are fun to use for researchers (which is great), but do not have complete data of a given research field or institution, and do not allow any reuse of any data in the researchers’ profiles. Another option exists: What about building your own, decentralized researchers information system from the ground up? Made from Free and Open Source Software, widely agreed-upon ontologies, driven by information and information flows that are truly made for the web – free, easily reusable, with exciting visualizations and everything. We will go into two examples, and turn some knobs and screws!

Lambert Heller is head of the Open Science Lab at the German National Library of Science and Technology (TIB). Being an academic librarian with a background in social science, his main focus is the changing environment of scholarly work and communication. In his projects, his goal is to understand and cultivate these new working patterns, and to innovate new tools and services that fit into the networked environment. One example for this is CoScience, a “living handbook” on collaborative science that was initially written in a “book sprint” in 2014, but developed further since then. Another example is, of course, VIVO (live demo). His is a co-principal investigator of the NMC Horizon Report Library Edition 2014.

David Chavalarias is a CNRS permanent researcher, at Centre d’Analyses de Mathématiques Sociales (CAMS), Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) and Director of the Complex Systems Institute of Paris Ile-de-France. David Chavalarias’ research interests are Web mining and Quali-quantitative Epistemology, Cognitive economics and modelling of cultural dynamics as well as Collective discovery and scientific discovery.


Laboratory 2: Open analytical ecosystems for digital humanities

Mikko Tolonen and Leo Lahti (both University of Helsinki)

Transparency, reproducibility, and community are core values of the scientific process. Realizing them in practice has met new challenges in the digital era. The best practices adapted from data-intensive natural sciences are now starting to transform research in digital humanities. Open analytical workflows provide fully transparent, reproducible, and community-driven tools for quantitative analysis to support qualitative research. More specifically, they provide tools to create automated pipelines spanning from the raw data to the final research reports based on statistical software packages (R/Python/C++), open version control (Github), and reproducible document generation systems (Rmarkdown/LaTeX/iPython notebooks). The generality, scalability, and efficiency of such approaches will be highlighted in this session. We demonstrate the development, application and future prospects of such methodologies with a particular example of analysing library catalogues based on open source algorithms and supporting information from the public domain.

Mikko Tolonen has his background in intellectual history. His monograph, Mandeville and Hume: anatomists of civil society published in Oxford University Studies in the Enlightenment in 2013 combined the study of history of philosophy and book history. According to some reviews, it was a pioneering approach. Currently he continues his efforts to use book history to answer research questions in the tradition of intellectual history in a multidisciplinary project with a computational scientist Leo Lahti.

Leo Lahti obtained his doctoral degree at the machine learning and bioinformatics group in the Department of Computer Science, Aalto University, Finland in 2010. He is currently affiliated with the Laboratory of Microbiology, Wageningen University, The Netherlands and Department of Veterinary Biosciences, University of Helsinki, Finland, as a postdoctoral research fellow of the Academy of Finland. His current research focuses on the development and application of high-throughput data analysis methods in genomics, microbial ecology, and digital humanities.


Laboratory 3: Texts in a Laboratory

Jürgen Hermes (University of Cologne)

The Text Engineering Software Laboratory Tesla is a component framework for experimental analyses of textual data. This session demonstrates on various examples that workflows generated with Tesla are virtual experiments, which can easily be published, adopted, or modified to tackle related tasks. The use of virtual laboratories like Tesla can assist the scientific exchange not only within work groups, but also through specialized online plattforms, such as MyExperiment.

Jürgen Hermes is a Post-Doc computational linguist, specialising in designing frameworks for text mining tasks and deputy spokesman of the Cologne Center for eHumanities. His research interests are virtual research environments, text classification, information extraction, and historical ciphers. He believes that the internet in combination with modern software technologies has the potential to improve a real Open Science, where scientists are able to share their publications, code, data, results, and – of course – their experiments. He animates a research blog TEXperimenTales.


Laboratory 4: Machine Translation

Anne Baillot (Humboldt University of Berlin), Mareike König (DHI Paris), Petra Šoštarić (University of Zagreb)

In this laboratory we want to experiment with the blogposts following the blog carnival of #dhiha6 and translate them into different languages using Google translate, Anaphraseus, Pootle and other free software. Therefore, we not only want to compare results between the different programs but also try to understand the logic of these software. We will also compare completely automatized machine translation with semi-automatized computer aided translation.

Anne Baillot is junior research group leader at the institute of modern German literature of the Humboldt University of Berlin since 2010. She was a locum professor for Digital Humanities at Stuttgart University during the winter term 2014/15. Her research interests include history of ideas, digital editions, German-French cultural and scientific transfers as well as workflows and good texts in general. She is a member of the scientific board of fr.hypotheses, en.hypotheses, DHd (DH in the German Speaking Countries) and the ESTS (European Society for Textual Scholarship).

Mareike König is a Post-Doc historian and head of the Digital Humanities department and of the library at the German Historical Institute Paris. She is currently visiting professor for Digital Humanities at the University of Vienna. Her research interests are 19th century French-German History as well as Social Media in the Humanities. She is project manager and head of the editorial board of the German-speaking blogging platform de.hypotheses.org. Among her Blogs are digitale:geschichte and Das 19. Jahrhundert in Perspektive.

Petra Šoštarić is a Post-Doc at the Department of Classical Philology at the University of Zagreb, where she has also received her doctorate. Her main areas of interest are Latin translations of Homer, Croatian Neo-Latin literature and classics in translation; her aim is to apply digital humanities tools in these areas. She has collaborated as a junior researcher in several digital humanities projects at her home institution. She is a member of the Croatian Classical Philologists‘ Association, Renaissance Society of America and Association internationale des études homériques.


Afterwards, there will be a presentation of the Laboratories and the experiments.


Teamaccount der Redaktion. Forschen – Vermitteln – Qualifizieren: Das DHI Paris ist ein zentraler Akteur international ausgerichteter historischer Forschung im Verbund der Max Weber Stiftung, Deutsche Geisteswissenschaftliche Institute im Ausland.

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Teamaccount der Redaktion. Forschen – Vermitteln – Qualifizieren: Das DHI Paris ist ein zentraler Akteur international ausgerichteter historischer Forschung im Verbund der Max Weber Stiftung, Deutsche Geisteswissenschaftliche Institute im Ausland.

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  1. 07/06/2015

    […] Freitag Nachmittag unserer Tagung haben wir vier Datenlabore “eingerichtet”, in denen mit unterschiedlichen Daten und Zielsetzungen experimentiert wird. Mit […]

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