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WCSA project proposal public narrativePDF


Title:Workset Creation for Scholarly Analysis: Prototyping Project
Author(s):Downie, J. Stephen; Plale, Beth; Cole, Timothy
Contributor(s):Senseney, Megan
digital humanities
text data mining
Abstract:Scholars rely on library collections to support their scholarship. Out of these collections, scholars select, organize, and refine the worksets that will answer to their particular research objectives. The requirements for those worksets are becoming increasingly sophisticated and complex, both as humanities scholarship has become more interdisciplinary and as it has become more digital. The HathiTrust is a repository that centrally collects image and text representations of library holdings digitized by the Google Books project and other mass-digitization efforts. The HathiTrust's computational infrastructure is being built to support large-scale manipulation and preservation of these representations, but it organizes them according to catalog records that were created to enable users to find books in a building or to make high-level generalizations about duplicate holdings across libraries, etc. These catalog records were never meant to support the granularity of sorting and selection or works that scholars now expect, much less page-level or chapter-level sorting and selection out of a corpus of billions of pages. The ability to slice through a massive corpus consisting of many different library collections, and out of that to construct the precise workset required for a particular scholarly investigation, is the “game changing” potential of the HathiTrust; understanding how to do that is a research problem, and one that is keenly of interest to the HathiTrust Research Center (HTRC), since we believe that scholarship begins with the selection of appropriate resources. Given the unprecedented size and scope of the HathiTrust corpus—in conjunction with the HTRC’s unique computational access to copyrighted materials—we are proposing a project that will engage scholars in designing tools for exploration, location, and analytic grouping of materials so they can routinely conduct computational scholarship at scale, based on meaningful worksets. “Workset Creation for Scholarly Analysis: Prototyping Project” (WCSA) seeks to address three sets of tightly intertwined research questions regarding 1) enriching the metadata in the HathiTrust corpus, 2) augmenting string-based metadata with URIs to leverage discovery and sharing through external services, and 3) formalizing the notion of collections and worksets in the context of the HathiTrust Research Center. Building upon the model of the Open Annotation Collaboration, the HTRC proposes to release an open, competitive Request for Proposals with the intent to fund four prototyping projects that will build tools for enriching and augmenting metadata for the HathiTrust corpus. Concurrently, the HTRC will work closely with the Center for Informatics Research in Science and Scholarship (CIRSS) to develop and instantiate a set of formal data models that will be used to capture and integrate the outputs of the funded prototyping projects with the larger HathiTrust corpus.
Issue Date:2013-03-15
Sponsor:Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, grant no. 21300666
Date Available in IDEALS:2018-02-01

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