Research Tools Zeitgeist

August 20th, 2010 § 1

I’d like to propose a session to discuss the use of  research tools and services within the digital humanities.
Sites like the DiRT wiki, and provide lists of  projects and software,  but these lists are large and it’s difficult to tell which of the tools are widely adopted, mature or stable. I’m particularly interested in how THATcampers are using open source tools and free or open access services, because these have the potential for reuse, extension and adaptation.
The kinds of things that could be discussed include:
  • What digital research tools/services do you use or are you considering using?
  • What kinds of activities are not well supported by existing tools?
  • How might current or future DH projects try to fill the gaps?

§ One Response to “Research Tools Zeitgeist”

  • S_Russell says:

    I use PDF to solidify photographs of large continuous slabs of archival documents.
    I use PDF to comment them. Skim commentary doesn’t inspire confidence regarding portability and reuse of comments.
    Devonthink to file electronic materials and author (which uses Spotlight to index, so it is dependent on spotlight).
    LyX/LaTeX to render output.

    Ideally these would be served from a location independent stable file system available over an encrypted network as a mounted drive. The reality is that the file size of 300-600 pages of archival material makes even a localised on disk version strain processing capabilities.

    PDF commentary and annotation are really in their infancy.

    Humanities bibliography management is poor to very poor. Major failings mostly at the level of integration to a user level (You want premade christmas tree templates for that, why?) Thus the integration of metadata sources with humanities database needs are of a poor quality (fetch data in Biblatex/Historian off a DOI/ISSN? Not happening).

    Customisable tools are “nice”, but trying to run a LaTeX based bibliography / document index has involved continuous struggles against customisation. All things are possible, none achievable in human time while producing research outputs.

    In many ways it is just simpler to keep a brick copy of Chicago handy: data that goes into historian biblatex isn’t very likely to come out nicely if a journal demands social-science style formatting.

What's this?

You are currently reading Research Tools Zeitgeist at THATCamp Canberra.