Session 12

Friday 11:30 - 13:00

High Tor 4

A Corpus Linguistic Study of “Models” and “Modelling”: intellectual and technical challenges

  • Chris Pak

King's Digital Lab

McCarty (2003) reflects on Winograd and Flores’ (1986) notion that ‘in designing tools we are designing ways of being.’ He asks ‘what ways of being do we have in mind?’ and ‘what ways of knowing do we have in hand? What is the epistemology of our practice?’ (McCarty 2003). Duranti (2004) highlights a fundamental ambiguity residing at the heart of any research endeavour. Despite the risks that such ambiguity implies in ‘letting others decide what we stand for,’ he cites Galison’s (1999) claim that ‘ambiguity, in the form of trading zones, can be a positive force in allowing the exchange of ideas and the co-existence of different scientific paradigms’ (Duranti 2004, 410).

Part of the project, “Modelling between Digital and Humanities: Thinking in Practice,” supported by the Volkswagen foundation, this presentation examines the role of models in designing ways of knowing and being in selected disciplines and their capacity to develop trading zones that foster interdisciplinary exchange. In particular, this presentation outlines a corpus linguistic approach to understanding the role of models and modelling processes in the humanities and offers indicative findings based on an analysis of academic journal articles published from 1900–2017 in five disciplines: Archaeology, Anthropology, History, Philosophy and the Digital Humanities.

This paper will detail the process of corpus construction, which draws on n-gram data and analysis of OCR-scanned full-text documents provided by the Jstor Data for Research service. This analysis will track the occurrence of “model,” related words and their inflections, focussing on collocation (the co-occurrence of two or more words) and colligation (the co-occurrence of a lexical word and a grammatical category) to ask how different disciplines in the humanities describe their uses of models and modelling processes in their research, and whether and how models and other related semantic categories are associated.

User Experience in scholar editions. Case study of New Panorama of Polish Literature (Nplp.pl and Tei.nplp.pl)

  • Agnieszka Kochańska

Institute of Literary Research of the Polish Academy of Sciences

In this presentation, I would like to show changes in typography, images display, navigation and searching in literary scholar projects due to the idea of user experience in web design. It will be connected to the few questions f.e. how far should we (re)design particular parts of digital edition for users or which of them enriches scholar projects individually.

In this presentation, I would like to show changes in typography, images display, navigation and searching in literary scholar projects due to the idea of user experience in web design. Case studies will be based on projects about 19th and 20th century polish literature such as the collection of a lexicon, essays and maps about Bolesław Prus and his novel "The Doll", Atlas of Polish Romanticism or the correspondence between poets Jan Lechoń, Kazimierz Wierzyński and editor Mieczysław Grydzewski.
It is worth mentioning that some of them also have traditional (paper) edition, and some exist primarily and only in a digital form. That diversity affects designing and modifying scholar editions on New Panorama of Polish Literature in the light of user experience.
The presentation will be connected to the few questions for instance, how far should we (re)design particular parts of digital edition for users or which of them enriches scholar projects individually.

Crowdsourcing at the British Library: lessons learnt and future directions

  • Mia Ridge

The British Library

The British Library has been experimenting with crowdsourcing since it launched the Georeferencer (http://www.bl.uk/georeferencer/) in 2012. It launched an updated platform for crowdsourcing in late 2017. Currently the platform supports two projects, In the Spotlight (http://playbills.libcrowds.com/, transcribing information from the Library's historic collection of theatre playbills) and Convert-a-Card (https://www.libcrowds.com/collection/convertacard, converting printed card catalogues into digital records).

This presentation will provide a case study of the implementation of this crowdsourcing platform, considering how the design of behind-the-scenes processes such as metadata workflow, and visible outputs such as the user experience and conversations with participants, were informed by lessons learnt from past projects. The platform is integrated with new Library infrastructure that publishes images in IIIF (International Image Interoperability Framework, http://iiif.io/about/) and has pioneered the use of web annotations for crowdsourced data.

It will discuss how and why In the Spotlight was designed with a balance between productivity (the number of tasks completed) with enjoyment and opportunities for engagement (whether discussing interesting playbills on the forum or social media, or investigating aspects of theatre history) in mind. It will also look at the integration of crowdsourced data into the Library's catalogues, and how the project has changed in response to requests and feedback from participants.

The presentation will include a progress update on the project, and discuss how we applied best practices like usability testing and Europeana's Impact model (https://pro.europeana.eu/what-we-do/impact). It will finish with a preview of future plans for the platform, including the ability for library staff to build their own projects with digitised collections in compatible formats. Reducing the technical overhead for launching a pilot project could be immensely valuable - but how will we ensure that anyone starting a project understands that crowdsourcing is more about people than it is about technology?