Accepted Paper:

Beneath Freely Accessible Data in the Humanities. Collaboration between Humanities Scholars and Computer Science Researchers in a Digital Humanities Research Project  


Pierre-Nicolas Oberhauser (University of Lausanne)

Paper short abstract:

Based on an ethnographic inquiry inside a digital humanities research project, this study describes the construction of an international e-research infrastructure. It shows how collaboration is achieved between the humanities scholars and computer science researchers building that infrastructure.

Paper long abstract:

Creating an e-research infrastructure that enables large-scale digital data sharing is a difficult task. For scholars in the humanities and social sciences, it often implies developing collaborations with computer science researchers and practitioners. These collaborations are difficult to establish and secure, as the different disciplinary backgrounds of participants tend to produce divergent expectations. This proposal is based on a two-year ethnographic inquiry inside an interdisciplinary research project that brings together scholars and practitioners from developmental psychology and computer science. Together, they are building a database gathering thousands of drawings made by children from several countries (Brazil, Iran, Japan, Russia, Switzerland, etc.). They also seek to create innovative image-processing tools that would constitute a milestone in both developmental psychology and machine learning. Our study explores the way collaboration between members of the project team is achieved. We describe the consequences of these collaborations on project planning, as the humanities scholars depend on the information their computer science collaborators convey to them when they define goals for the project. We show what the humanities scholars put forward to assess their computer science collaborators' knowledge and skills. Doing so, we seek to show the work and difficulties beneath freely accessible data in the humanities and social sciences.

Panel T061
Open science in practice