The purpose of this paper is to understand the needs of humanists with respect to information and communication technology (ICT) in order to prescribe the design of an e‐humanist's workbench.
A web‐based survey comprising over 60 questions gathered the following data from 169 humanists: profile of the humanist, use of ICT in teaching, e‐texts, text analysis tools, access to and use of primary and secondary sources, and use of collaboration and communication tools.
Humanists conduct varied forms of research and use multiple techniques. They rely on the availability of inexpensive, quality‐controlled e‐texts for their research. The existence of primary sources in digital form influences the type of research conducted. They are unaware of existing tools for conducting text analyses, but expressed a need for better tools. Search engines have replaced the library catalogue as the key access tool for sources. Research continues to be solitary with little collaboration among scholars.
The results are based on a self‐selected sample of humanists who responded to a web‐based survey. Future research needs to examine the work of the scholar at a more detailed level, preferably through observation and/or interviewing.
The findings support a five‐part framework that could serve as the basis for the design of an e‐humanist's workbench.
The paper examines the needs of the humanist, founded on an integration of information science research and humanities computing for a more comprehensive understanding of the humanist at work.
Toms, E.G. and O'Brien, H.L. (2008), "Understanding the information and communication technology needs of the e‐humanist", Journal of Documentation, Vol. 64 No. 1, pp. 102-130. https://doi.org/10.1108/00220410810844178Download as .RIS
Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited