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Article
Publication date: 3 June 2019

Chih-Ming Chen and Chung Chang

With the rapid development of digital humanities, some digital humanities platforms have been successfully developed to support digital humanities research for humanists…

Abstract

Purpose

With the rapid development of digital humanities, some digital humanities platforms have been successfully developed to support digital humanities research for humanists. However, most of them have still not provided a friendly digital reading environment and practicable social network analysis tool to support humanists on interpreting texts and exploring characters’ social network relationships. Moreover, the advancement of digitization technologies for the retrieval and use of Chinese ancient books is arising an unprecedented challenge and opportunity. For these reasons, this paper aims to present a Chinese ancient books digital humanities research platform (CABDHRP) to support historical China studies. In addition to providing digital archives, digital reading, basic search and advanced search functions for Chinese ancient books, this platform still provides two novel functions that can more effectively support digital humanities research, including an automatic text annotation system (ATAS) for interpreting texts and a character social network relationship map tool (CSNRMT) for exploring characters’ social network relationships.

Design/methodology/approach

This study adopted DSpace, an open-source institutional repository system, to serve as a digital archives system for archiving scanned images, metadata, and full texts to develop the CABDHRP for supporting digital humanities (DH) research. Moreover, the ATAS developed in the CABDHRP used the Node.js framework to implement the system’s front- and back-end services, as well as application programming interfaces (APIs) provided by different databases, such as China Biographical Database (CBDB) and TGAZ, used to retrieve the useful linked data (LD) sources for interpreting ancient texts. Also, Neo4j which is an open-source graph database management system was used to implement the CSNRMT of the CABDHRP. Finally, JavaScript and jQuery were applied to develop a monitoring program embedded in the CABDHRP to record the use processes from humanists based on xAPI (experience API). To understand the research participants’ perception when interpreting the historical texts and characters’ social network relationships with the support of ATAS and CSNRMT, semi-structured interviews with 21 research participants were conducted.

Findings

An ATAS embedded in the reading interface of CABDHRP can collect resources from different databases through LD for automatically annotating ancient texts to support digital humanities research. It allows the humanists to refer to resources from diverse databases when interpreting ancient texts, as well as provides a friendly text annotation reader for humanists to interpret ancient text through reading. Additionally, the CSNRMT provided by the CABDHRP can semi-automatically identify characters’ names based on Chinese word segmentation technology and humanists’ support to confirm and analyze characters’ social network relationships from Chinese ancient books based on visualizing characters’ social networks as a knowledge graph. The CABDHRP not only can stimulate humanists to explore new viewpoints in a humanistic research, but also can promote the public to emerge the learning interest and awareness of Chinese ancient books.

Originality/value

This study proposed a novel CABDHRP that provides the advanced features, including the automatic word segmentation of Chinese text, automatic Chinese text annotation, semi-automatic character social network analysis and user behavior analysis, that are different from other existed digital humanities platforms. Currently, there is no this kind of digital humanities platform developed for humanists to support digital humanities research.

Details

The Electronic Library , vol. 37 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0264-0473

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Article
Publication date: 9 March 2010

Mingjie Li and Jinfang Niu

This paper aims to provide a theoretical guide for preserving ancient books in China.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to provide a theoretical guide for preserving ancient books in China.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper reviews the history of the damage and preservation of ancient books in China, and analyzes the value attributes of ancient books: archaeological value, historical value and artistic value.

Findings

The paper proposes a preservation framework for Chinese ancient books. This framework is composed of three layers. The foundation layer is to preserve the physical entity of ancient books so that the archaeological values are preserved. The middle layer is to preserve the intellectual content of ancient books so that the values for historical research are preserved. The top layer is mainly about preserving the productions process of the artistic format of ancient books, so that not only the static artistic formats are preserved, the techniques and procedures to produce the artistic format are preserved as well.

Originality/value

The paper presents a framework that connects the value attributes of ancient books and the strategies to preserve those values, systematizes them and presents them as a whole. The framework can be used to justify government policies and help identify pitfalls in the preservation strategies for ancient books.

Details

Journal of Documentation, vol. 66 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0022-0418

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 22 February 2021

Bai Yun, Zhao Yue and Zhou Yaolin

This study aims to identify the prominent topics, the distribution and association characteristics of topics and the topic evolutionary trends of Documentary Heritage…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to identify the prominent topics, the distribution and association characteristics of topics and the topic evolutionary trends of Documentary Heritage Preservation and Conservation (DHPAC) research in China.

Design/methodology/approach

Keywords of relevant papers in China National Knowledge Infrastructure (CNKI) were extracted as the data source in this study. First, frequency and co-occurrence of keywords of the selected papers were obtained by using SATI. Second, co-word network indicators were calculated with the Pajek software. Then, VOSviewer was applied to optimize the visualization of the sub-communities. Finally, a topics evolution map of this research field was implemented by CorTexT.

Findings

The research topics of DHPAC research in China were unbalanced but distinct. Topics of DHPAC research in China possessed inconspicuous orientation and consistency. The core topics had less influence on the overall network. A research system had formed with archival conservation and ancient books conservation as the core research directions. Research in this field had formed four continuous evolutionary paths about ancient books conservation, salvage conservation, archival conservation and archives conservation technology science with topics fusion and differentiation coexisting. Attentions on “ancient books conservation”, “paper relics conservation”, “electronic record”, “digitization”, “minority”, “documents in the republic of China” had increased during the past two decades and new hot topics of DHPAC research kept appearing in China.

Originality/value

This study synthesized and analyzed the research results of DHPAC research in China from a more comprehensive perspective and revealed the topic structure and longitudinal evolution process intuitively with co-word analysis and social network analysis, which can assist researchers to improve research systematization, discover new research directions and seek cooperative research path.

Details

Library Hi Tech, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0737-8831

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 19 January 2021

Chih-Ming Chen, Chung Chang and Yung-Ting Chen

Digital humanities aim to use a digital-based revolutionary new way to carry out enhanced forms of humanities research more effectively and efficiently. This study…

Abstract

Purpose

Digital humanities aim to use a digital-based revolutionary new way to carry out enhanced forms of humanities research more effectively and efficiently. This study develops a character social network relationship map tool (CSNRMT) that can semi-automatically assist digital humanists through human-computer interaction to more efficiently and accurately explore the character social network relationships from Chinese ancient texts for useful research findings.

Design/methodology/approach

With a counterbalanced design, semi-structured in-depth interview, and lag sequential analysis, a total of 21 research subjects participated in an experiment to examine the system effectiveness and technology acceptance of adopting the ancient book digital humanities research platform with and without the CSNRMT to interpret the characters and character social network relationships.

Findings

The experimental results reveal that the experimental group with the CSNRMT support appears higher system effectiveness on the interpretation of characters and character social network relationships than the control group without the CSNRMT, but does not achieve a statistically significant difference. Encouragingly, the experimental group with the CSNRMT support presents remarkably higher technology acceptance than the control group without the CSNRMT. Furthermore, use behaviors analyzed by lag sequential analysis reveal that the CSNRMT could assist digital humanists in the interpretation of character social network relationships. The results of the interview present positive opinions on the integration of system interface, smoothness of operation, and external search function.

Research limitations/implications

Currently, the system effectiveness of exploring the character social network relationships from texts for useful research findings by using the CSNRMT developed in this study will be significantly affected by the accuracy of recognizing character names and character social network relationships from Chinese ancient texts. The developed CSNRMT will be more practical when the offered information about character names and character social network relationships is more accurate and broad.

Practical implications

This study develops an ancient book digital humanities research platform with an emerging CSNRMT that provides an easy-to-use real-time interaction interface to semi-automatically support digital humanists to perform digital humanities research with the need of exploring character social network relationships.

Originality/value

At present, a real-time social network analysis tool to provide a friendly interaction interface and effectively assist digital humanists in the digital humanities research with character social networks analysis is still lacked. This study thus presents the CSNRMT that can semi-automatically identify character names from Chinese ancient texts and provide an easy-to-use real-time interaction interface for supporting digital humanities research so that digital humanists could more efficiently and accurately establish character social network relationships from the analyzed texts to explore complicated character social networks relationship and find out useful research findings.

Details

Library Hi Tech, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0737-8831

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 21 September 2015

Suoling Zhu and Ping Bao

The purpose of this paper is to apply Geographic Information System (GIS) in the development and utilization of Chinese ancient local chronicles to achieve the mining and…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to apply Geographic Information System (GIS) in the development and utilization of Chinese ancient local chronicles to achieve the mining and visualization of historical data about products distribution and dispersal in Products in Local Chronicles of Guangdong.

Design/methodology/approach

Using 1,756 records of product-related location names in Products in Local Chronicles of Guangdong of the Qing dynasty, which are recognized by a name recognition system, as attribute data; taking the spatial data of Chinese administrative geography of the Qing dynasty in 1820 and the Historical Atlas of China as spatial data; connect the attribute data with relevant spatial data based on the table connection function of Arcmap in Arcgis 8.3 to implement the data management, cartography and analysis.

Findings

The application of GIS in the development and utilization of ancient local chronicles was quite successful. With some thematic maps, knowledge about products distribution and dispersal in ancient books was vividly displayed so as to facilitate relevant researches.

Research limitations/implications

Only product-related location names inside China were analyzed, not other named entities in local chronicles; and only static visual display was achieved, not dynamic visual display. Historical maps of the world can be used to carry out the visualization of the products distribution and dispersal in the world, and even the visualization of other knowledge, such as poetries and songs scattered over many places in China. The process of products dispersal and the distribution of poetries and songs can be dynamically and visually displayed by pictures, audios, videos, multimedia, etc.

Practical implications

By using GIS in the development and utilization of Chinese ancient local chronicles, this paper explores a new way for the collation of ancient books and open up a new area for the research of digital humanities.

Originality/value

This is the first try about the application of GIS in the development and utilization of ancient local chronicles, and also the same of digital humanities research in the field of agricultural history.

Details

Library Hi Tech, vol. 33 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0737-8831

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 10 June 2014

Ping Bao and Suoling Zhu

The purpose of this paper is to present a system for recognition of location names in ancient books written in languages, such as Chinese, in which proper names are not…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to present a system for recognition of location names in ancient books written in languages, such as Chinese, in which proper names are not signaled by an initial capital letter.

Design/methodology/approach

Rule-based and statistical methods were combined to develop a set of rules for identification of product-related location names in the local chronicles of Guangdong. A name recognition system, with functions of document management, information extraction and storage, rule management, location name recognition, and inquiry and statistics, was developed using Microsoft's .NET framework, SQL Server 2005, ADO.NET and XML. The system was evaluated with precision ratio, recall ratio and the comprehensive index, F.

Findings

The system was quite successful at recognizing product-related location names (F was 71.8 percent), demonstrating the potential for application of automatic named entity recognition techniques in digital collation of ancient books such as local chronicles.

Research limitations/implications

Results suffered from limitations in initial digitization of the text. Statistical methods, such as the hidden Markov model, should be combined with an extended set of recognition rules to improve recognition scores and system efficiency.

Practical implications

Electronic access to local chronicles by location name saves time for chorographers and provides researchers with new opportunities.

Social implications

Named entity recognition brings previously isolated ancient documents together in a knowledge base of scholarly and cultural value.

Originality/value

Automatic name recognition can be implemented in information extraction from ancient books in languages other than English. The system described here can also be adapted to modern texts and other named entities.

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Article
Publication date: 11 April 2008

Mu‐Lan Hsu and Kuan‐Yao Chiu

The purpose of this paper is to determine the value of I‐Ching (also called Book of Changes), the ancient Chinese book of wisdom, which has been used for thousands of…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to determine the value of I‐Ching (also called Book of Changes), the ancient Chinese book of wisdom, which has been used for thousands of years to help people make decisions in daily life. Recently, eastern and western scholars have begun discussing how to apply the wisdom of I‐Ching to the field of business administration, particularly decision‐making practices.

Design/methodology/approach

A content analysis method was adopted to uncover possible modern management decision‐making constructs. The single words approach did not find frequently appearing words that integrated decision‐making constructs in the context of I‐Ching. Further uncovering I‐Ching's administrative decision‐making approach, the managerial decision‐making model of I‐Ching is explained, including the premises, the decision contingencies, and the decision process.

Findings

By using an academic comparative analysis method, as it applies to managerial decision making, I‐Ching's early management decision‐making model is subsequently compared with western management decision models, which include rational decision making, bounded‐rationality decision making, intuitive decision making, implicit favorite decision making, and garbage‐can decision making.

Research limitations/implications

The majority of scholars that study I‐Ching focus on “practice divination” research, paying attention to the interpretation or critique of the text only. Unfortunately, related literature based upon a social science research foundation is limited.

Originality/value

The value of I‐Ching was determined to lie in allowing flexibility in the decision‐making process.

Details

Chinese Management Studies, vol. 2 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1750-614X

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 18 April 2008

Sheau‐yueh J. Chao

This paper seeks to discuss the genealogical sources for Chinese immigrants as well as the settlement of Chinese in the USA and the historical evolution of Chinese names…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper seeks to discuss the genealogical sources for Chinese immigrants as well as the settlement of Chinese in the USA and the historical evolution of Chinese names, their origins, arrangement and development. It aims to cover the origins of various classes of Chinese surnames, followed by the content description of a traditional genealogical book for jiapu.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper researches the various ways that a Chinese person can find out about their ancestry.

Findings

The paper reveals the roles of libraries, including serving the needs of patrons interested in genealogical research, preserving and interpreting information through oral and family history projects and collaborating with other libraries through interlibrary loan, document delivery, library consortia, collection management and international resource‐sharing.

Research limitations/implications

The study provides information on where and how to locate the genealogical resources for researching the genealogy of a Chinese family.

Originality/value

The paper analyzes the value of genealogical research as a documentary source for population history, life expectancy in a clan, marriages and family connections, as well as lineage organizations and inter‐lineage relations.

Details

Collection Building, vol. 27 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0160-4953

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 25 March 2020

Jihong Liang, Hao Wang and Xiaojing Li

The purpose of this paper is to explore the task design and assignment of full-text generation on mass Chinese historical archives (CHAs) by crowdsourcing, with special…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the task design and assignment of full-text generation on mass Chinese historical archives (CHAs) by crowdsourcing, with special attention paid to how to best divide full-text generation tasks into smaller ones assigned to crowdsourced volunteers and to improve the digitization of mass CHAs and the data-oriented processing of the digital humanities.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper starts from the complexities of character recognition of mass CHAs, takes Sheng Xuanhuai archives crowdsourcing project of Shanghai Library as a case study, and makes use of the theories of archival science, including diplomatics of Chinese archival documents, and the historical approach of Chinese archival traditions as the theoretical basis and analysis methods. The results are generated through the comprehensive research.

Findings

This paper points out that volunteer tasks of full-text generation include transcription, punctuation, proofreading, metadata description, segmentation, and attribute annotation in digital humanities and provides a metadata element set for volunteers to use in creating or revising metadata descriptions and also provides an attribute tag set. The two sets can be used across the humanities to construct overall observations about texts and the archives of which they are a part. Along these lines, this paper presents significant insights for application in outlining the principles, methods, activities, and procedures of crowdsourced full-text generation for mass CHAs.

Originality/value

This study is the first to explore and identify the effective design and allocation of tasks for crowdsourced volunteers completing full-text generation on CHAs in digital humanities.

Details

Aslib Journal of Information Management, vol. 72 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2050-3806

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 20 April 2012

Hur‐Li Lee

This study aims to understand the epistemic foundation of the classification applied in the first Chinese library catalogue, the Seven Epitomes (Qilue).

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to understand the epistemic foundation of the classification applied in the first Chinese library catalogue, the Seven Epitomes (Qilue).

Design/methodology/approach

Originating from a theoretical stance that situates knowledge organization in its social context, the study applies a multifaceted framework pertaining to five categories of textual data: the Seven Epitomes; biographical information about the classificationist Liu Xin; and the relevant intellectual, political, and technological history.

Findings

The study discovers seven principles contributing to the epistemic foundation of the catalogue's classification: the Han imperial library collection imposed as the literary warrant; government functions considered for structuring texts; classicist morality determining the main classificatory structure; knowledge perceived and organized as a unity; objects, rather than subjects, of concern affecting categories at the main class level; correlative thinking connecting all text categories to a supreme knowledge embodied by the Six Classics; and classicist moral values resulting in both vertical and horizontal hierarchies among categories as well as texts.

Research limitations/implications

A major limitation of the study is its focus on the main classes, with limited attention to subclasses. Future research can extend the analysis to examine subclasses of the same scheme. Findings from these studies may lead to a comparison between the epistemic approach in the target classification and the analytic one common in today's bibliographic classification.

Originality/value

The study is the first to examine in depth the epistemic foundation of traditional Chinese bibliographic classification, anchoring the classification in its appropriate social and historical context.

Details

Journal of Documentation, vol. 68 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0022-0418

Keywords

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