Heike Neuroth, Laurent Romary
Services for the eHumanities

Over the last few years not only eScience served as a new buzzword but also the term eHumanities was established. eHumanities means developing shared services, tools and (research) infrastructures based on new technologies and thus allowing new forms of cooperation and collaboration. Sharing of resources like research data, (digitized) content, tools, computational and storage hardware etc. is one of the great opportunities when establishing eHumanities infrastructures.

The presentation will provide an overview of ongoing activities and initiatives. The focus lies on best practice examples of already developed services for the eHumanities.

Services developed within two German projects will be discussed in detail: TextGrid and eSciDoc:

TextGrid is one of the first projects in the humanities in Germany and Europe creating a community grid for the collaborative editing, annotation, analysis, and publication of specialist text resources. Providing a computational infrastructure, a collective network, and a comprehensive and extensible toolset for text scholars, it is based on e-Science methods and forms a cornerstone in the emerging eHumanities. The TextGrid Lab offers a range of services for researchers to deal with all aspects of text modelling (e.g. annotation, lematizer, tokenizer).

eSciDoc offers an open and persistent access to research results and materials of scientific institutions and research organizations. It will integrate these materials in an emerging e-research network and increase the accountability of research. The second solution developed in the eSciDoc project, the Scholarly Workbench, aims at providing a generic solution for communities in the arts and humanities to store digital artefacts and make them "processable" and reusable within a collaborative environment. Two services within eSciDoc were developed: FACES, which provides a lifespan database of adult emotional facial stimuli and VIRR ("Virtueller Raum Reichsrecht"), which offers a digital collection and cooperative working environment for various legal artefacts of the period of the Holy Roman Empire.

Both projects show that the development of a so called "Research Infrastructure" is a fundamental part on the way to develop specific (e.g. discipline-specific) as well as generic (e.g. data curation) services for the eHumanities.

Bielefeld University Library - last update: 13/01/2009