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The Latest From Digital Humanities Questions and Answers

Launched in September of 2010, Digital Humanities Questions & Answers is a joint venture of the Association for Computers and the Humanities (ACH) and ProfHacker. (See Julie Meloni’s launch announcement.)

Digital Humanities Questions and Answers (@DHAnswers on Twitter) is designed to be a free resource where anyone with an interest in the digital humanities can pose a question to the community of folks working in the field.

Since we last checked in with the site, many interesting threads have been launched and several “best answers” have been provided. Below, I’ve provided links to a few of the threads with best answers:

  • Lectures de base (en français) pour les ‘digital humanities’: “D’autres fils de discussion ont abordé la question de lectures de base pour les digital humanities (ou informatique en sciences humaines), comme celui sur les examens généraux pour les doctorants, mais ils se limitent surtout à l’anglais. Quelles seraient les lectures de base en français pour les ‘digital humanities’?”
  • Topic Modeling (MALLET) with JSTOR Data For Research: “Does anyone have any experience using topic modeling to analyze data from JSTOR’s ‘Data for Research’? is there a way to get MALLET to take word counts as input rather than raw text?”
  • Precedent for coding partially fulfilling a PhD foreign-lang. requirement?: “I’ve proposed to the Graduate Studies Committee that literacy in writing code should fulfill one of the English PhD program’s two foreign-language requirements. Is there precedent, on an institutional level, for this move? What standards should we use to measure ‘literacy’?”
  • Getting Neatline Up and Running: Geoserver?: “I want to have neatline (neatline.org) up and running, using a variety of historical maps. Do I need to have Geoserver on the same server as my omeka/neatline? And if so, could somebody direct me to a for-idiots guide?”
  • Automatically Preparing Edge/Node Data for Gephi: “I’ve done some work with Gephi lately, but I find myself with a problem I can’t quite solve… Should I import my spreadsheet into Gephi as an edge graph, with the IDs as source and the Newspaper titles as target, and then use the plugin Shawn references to convert that graph to a 1-mode network?”
  • Standardized/recommended terms to categorize digital humanities projects?: “”I am looking for a standardized list of terms to help us categorize digital humanities projects. What are the terms that we would use to constitute the field/discipline of digital humanities?”
  • Is anyone using the RBMS/ACRL vocabularies Binding Terms or Type Evidence?: “I recently found out that the Rare Books and Manuscripts Section (RBMS) of the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) has published online versions of their controlled vocabularies. Is there any DH project or library that actually uses one of the RBMS/ACRL vocabularies? Or does anyone have an opinion on them, or can suggest better alternatives?”

In addition to the above questions with “best answers,” check out the discussions taking place in response to these questions:

  • What is the easiest way to automate Omeka backups to a local machine?
  • Any graduate level DH programs in the works?: “I’m working with a group at UNC-Chapel Hill on DH-related educational initiatives and we’re pulling together an environmental scan of graduate level digital humanities programs–PhD, MA, certificates. Past posts on DH Q&A have been great at pointing me toward established programs, but now I’m wondering if there are other graduate level programs in the works?”
  • Inventories/clearinghouses/registers of DH projects?: “Are there any directories of DH resources still maintained?”
  • Most effective software for building searchable digital bibliographic database?: “I am requesting advice and guidance as I explore the possibility of building a searchable digital database for my “Harold Pinter Bibliography” published in print in volumes of The Pinter Review. What would be the most effective current software package or packages to use for this entire process?”
  • Semantic Tagging in TEI: “The Dynamic Table of Contexts team is developing a semantic tagset that will be used to encode a collection of scholarly essays. We have searched for an alternative to the ‘term’ tag in the TEI catalogue but apart from customizing the schema, we have not found an adequate solution. Is there a term-like tag in TEI that we have overlooked?”
  • Best way to handle Arabic OCR?: “Does anyone have experience, positive or otherwise, with Arabic OCR? How did you go about it? What did you use and did it require special configuration?”

If you’re a newcomer to the site and in need of a primer, check out “How can I find answers, get my questions answered, & help DHanswers grow?

Whether you’re just “DH-curious” or are someone working in the field with either a question to ask or expertise to lend, you should give DHAnswers a try!

[Creative Commons-licensed flickr photo by Tsahi Levent-Levi]

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