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By mapping-out the capabilities, challenges and limitations of named-entity recognition (NER), this article aims to synthesise the state of the art of NER in the context…
By mapping-out the capabilities, challenges and limitations of named-entity recognition (NER), this article aims to synthesise the state of the art of NER in the context of the early modern research field and to inform discussions about the kind of resources, methods and directions that may be pursued to enrich the application of the technique going forward.
Through an extensive literature review, this article maps out the current capabilities, challenges and limitations of NER and establishes the state of the art of the technique in the context of the early modern, digitally augmented research field. It also presents a new case study of NER research undertaken by Enlightenment Architectures: Sir Hans Sloane's Catalogues of his Collections (2016–2021), a Leverhulme funded research project and collaboration between the British Museum and University College London, with contributing expertise from the British Library and the Natural History Museum.
Currently, it is not possible to benchmark the capabilities of NER as applied to documents of the early modern period. The authors also draw attention to the situated nature of authority files, and current conceptualisations of NER, leading them to the conclusion that more robust reporting and critical analysis of NER approaches and findings is required.
This article examines NER as applied to early modern textual sources, which are mostly studied by Humanists. As addressed in this article, detailed reporting of NER processes and outcomes is not necessarily valued by the disciplines of the Humanities, with the result that it can be difficult to locate relevant data and metrics in project outputs. The authors have tried to mitigate this by contacting projects discussed in this paper directly, to further verify the details they report here.
The authors suggest that a forum is needed where tools are evaluated according to community standards. Within the wider NER community, the MUC and ConLL corpora are used for such experimental set-ups and are accompanied by a conference series, and may be seen as a useful model for this. The ultimate nature of such a forum must be discussed with the whole research community of the early modern domain.
NER is an algorithmic intervention that transforms data according to certain rules-, patterns- or training data and ultimately affects how the authors interpret the results. The creation, use and promotion of algorithmic technologies like NER is not a neutral process, and neither is their output A more critical understanding of the role and impact of NER on early modern documents and research and focalization of some of the data- and human-centric aspects of NER routines that are currently overlooked are called for in this paper.
This article presents a state of the art snapshot of NER, its applications and potential, in the context of early modern research. It also seeks to inform discussions about the kinds of resources, methods and directions that may be pursued to enrich the application of NER going forward. It draws attention to the situated nature of authority files, and current conceptualisations of NER, and concludes that more robust reporting of NER approaches and findings are urgently required. The Appendix sets out a comprehensive summary of digital tools and resources surveyed in this article.
This paper aims to make a contribution to the ongoing debates about the nature, value and potential of closer collaboration between digital humanities (DH) and the library…
This paper aims to make a contribution to the ongoing debates about the nature, value and potential of closer collaboration between digital humanities (DH) and the library sector by identifying and contextualising the types of new knowledge that were created through such a collaboration on the London School of Economics’s Webbs on the Web project.
A qualitative approach comprising a literature review, a case study of Webbs on the Web, a summary and analysis of the results of user testing and a critical analysis of the collaboration itself.
A deeper understanding of the complementary skills of library professionals and DH researchers and how they may best be utilised in digital library development will lead, ceteris paribus, to richer and more fit-for-purpose digital scholarly resources. This is exemplified by Webbs on the Web, where the unique but complementary perspectives that such groups brought to user testing enhanced the usability of the resource for a wide range of audiences. Furthermore, the kinds of collaborations that characterised this project reflect broader changes in academic communities and digital library development, and a host of mutually beneficial outcomes can be pursued as a result of such changes.
We demonstrate the benefits that can flow from breaking down boundaries and hierarchies between the academic library professional and DH researcher. We advance the current literature by providing concrete examples of practice; much of the current literature tends to be more abstract in nature.
This study aims to update and extend previous efforts gauging the status of the quickly evolving field of digital humanities (DH). Based on a sample of directly relevant…
This study aims to update and extend previous efforts gauging the status of the quickly evolving field of digital humanities (DH). Based on a sample of directly relevant DH literature during 2005–2020 from Web of Science, the study conducts a longitudinal examination of the research output, intellectual structures and contributors.
The study applies bibliometric methods, social network analysis and visualization tools to conduct a longitudinal examination.
The research output and scope of DH topics has grown over time with a widening and deepening field in four major development stages. Through both term frequency and term co-occurrence relationship networks, this study further identifies four major reoccurring topics and themes of DH research: (1) collections and contents; (2) technologies, techniques, theories and methods; (3) collaboration, interdisciplinarity and support and (4) DH evolution. Finally, leading DH research contributors (authors, institutions and nations) are also identified.
This study utilizes a greater number of and richer subject sources than previous efforts to identify the overall intellectual structures of DH research based on key terms from titles, abstracts and author keywords. It expands on previous efforts and furthers our understanding of DH research with more recent DH literature and richer subject sources from the literature.