The traditional objects studied in the humanities have always been analogue records such as books, letters, and photographs. These objects are studied using analytical, critical, and interpretative approaches instead of computational ones. As the introduction of new technology and information sources is changing the way humanities researchers work and the questions they seek to answer, a new challenge arises for the development of tools and algorithms that support new practices as well as traditional ones.
Particular challenges for humanities researchers raised by the abundance of available material are to gain insight in which materials to consider for a study through exploration and once chosen to obtain a holistic view of the research topic through contextualization. This thesis investigates two dimensions along which tools to support humanities researchers in dealing with the flood of information may be improved: by providing richer means of interaction with information systems and developing algorithms that allow discovery of information through relations between concepts.
The results in this thesis show how both richer interactions and more effective related concept finding algorithms may be used to improve tools to support the research practices of humanities researchers. The insights from the work in this thesis may be used to inform the design and evaluation of future tools to continually support new needs and developments in the humanities.
Series: SIKS dissertation series 2013-43
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