Humanities Data

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What we are trying to do, and why we are trying to do it

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Our core service will include a search engine parmalink tagging.

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Bibliographical, Network, Geospatial, Text, and More

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About

Open data is the future of the scholarly field of digital humanities. A culture of openness and collective access to shared digital objects of study will enable digital humanists to:

  1. Collaborate more effectively
  2. Interrogate and invalidate insufficiently rigorous scholarship
  3. Verify and build upon excellent scholarship
  4. Avoid duplicating the intense labor of data creation and normalization
  5. Learn new methods and approaches at a pace that’s consistent with the speed at which DH moves

Currently, the open data movement in digital humanities is growing but not yet dominant. It’s all too common to publish data-driven humanities scholarship without making one’s data available to the public. Concerns about proprietary data, copyright, vendors’ terms and conditions, and long-term data curation are significant roadblocks and are not to be dismissed out of hand. In turn, an overall reticence about data for the humanities (or using the term data when discussing DH) creates a climate where discussions about open data are more difficult to have.

Humanitiesdata.com seeks to help address some of these roadblocks by collecting and disseminating information about publicly available data and the people who are creating it. There are numerous places to find data of relevance to the humanities, including the Corpora listserv and the digital humanities Slack channel, but a more consolidated web-based clearinghouse for web-hosted resources can only increase visibility and help newcomers to digital humanities find their way. As a result, the mission of humanitiesdata.com is not to replace any existing resources but, rather, to increase the overall number of digital pathways to humanities data, and to make it easier to search for data by its relevance to specific subfields.

Humanitiesdata.com is starting with two content types: datasets and recipes. We may expand to include additional resources types if there is interest. Users can search for data by keyword, or by using the open tag structure provided by Humanitiesdata.com

Similarly, would-be contributors are encouraged to submit datasets and recipes.

A dataset contribution should describe the data, provide a link to a web-based endpoint where the data can be found, and suggest at least three tags for the dataset

A recipe should also include a descrption, tags, and a link. The link to lead to a code snippet on a publicly available endpoint, such as Gist or JSfiddle. Code should not be pasted into the submission description. One of your tags should indicate the programming language of the snippet.

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