I’m the One Building the Tool!

workshop / tutorial
  1. 1. Julia Damerow

    Arizona State University

  2. 2. Carsten Thiel

    Consortium of European Social Science Data Archives (CESSDA)

  3. 3. Malte Vogl

    Max Planck Institute for the History of Science / Institution Max Planck Institut für Wissenschaftsgeschichte

  4. 4. Stephan Druskat

    Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin (Humboldt University)

  5. 5. Robert Casties

    Max Planck Institute for the History of Science / Institution Max Planck Institut für Wissenschaftsgeschichte

  6. 6. Alexander Czmiel

    Berlin-Brandenburgische Akademie der Wissenschaften (BBAW) (Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities)

Work text
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In the modern world of “publish or perish”, the pressure to present polished results can lead to a focus on outcomes and immediately understandable forms of presentation. Sometimes, this results in an underrepresentation of the technologies used to produce these and an omission of its specific challenges. While awareness for the relevance of the research data used to produce a published article has been growing for many years, its acceptance as scholarly output is still contested. The same holds true for the actual software used to process data and create results.
At DH 2017 Montreal, the workshop “Building an Infrastructure for Historical Research Tools,” organized and/or attended by several of the authors, proved that a need for technical exchange exists. The workshop brought together developers, scholars with a programming or technical background, and generally people involved in the development of tools to support digital humanities research. A result of this workshop was the formation of DHTech, “an international grass-roots community of Digital Humanities software engineers” (DHTech 2017) that holds regular virtual workshops for the discussion of technical questions, technologies, and ideas.
At the same time, the nationally organized Research Software Engineering (RSE) Community has been growing worldwide (see for example (RSE 2019)), while at DHd 2018 Cologne, some 100 attendees joined to form the DH-RSE working group, as a way to bring together the RSE and the DH communities at their intersection (de-RSE 2018). DH-RSE is a platform for exchange and communication for German-speaking software developers in the digital humanities (DH-RSE 2018).
Both groups, DHTech and DH-RSE, aim to support dialogue and collaboration among Digital Humanities tool developers and provide a forum for collaboration as well as to increase the visibility of the people behind Digital Humanities research software and their work. We propose a joint half-day workshop to discuss shared concerns and to explore ideas for closer collaboration among technology-oriented DH researchers.
If you ever had a moment of “how did they use that technology to do this,” “what software did they use and can I adapt it,” or “where is that data from and how did they process it” during a conference talk, this is your chance to meet like-minded people!
Workshop Format
This half-day workshop will start out with short presentations about DHTech and DH-RSE, and related initiatives, describing the formats of the groups, topics they are concerned with, and their experiences gathered since their formations. Afterwards we invite workshop participants to describe their expectations and needs in regards to a DH specific research software community, as well as possibly existing communities and groups that address (or do not address) those problems. On that basis we will then discuss how DHTech and DH-RSE could address these needs, where they could join forces, and other relevant questions. Depending on the number of participants this might include breakout sessions that focus on particular issues.
The desired outcome of the workshop is a joint white paper, describing topics of concern and relevant steps for solving them.
Possible topics for breakout sessions include:
● Software development and academic careers
● Open Reputation Systems
● Collaboration vs. data-protection
● Publication of preliminary results / open source first
● Visibility of the technological side of DH


de-RSE (2018). Digital Humanities im deutschsprachigen Raum gründen AG DH-RSE. https://www.de-rse.org/blog/2018/03/01/digital-humanities-im-deutschsprachigen-raum-gruenden-rse-ag.html (accessed 9 January 2019).

DH-RSE (2018). Research Software Engineering in den Digital Humanities (DH-RSE).
https://dh-rse.github.io/ (accessed 5 January 5 2019).

DHTech (2017). DHTech. https://dh-tech.github.io/ (accessed 5 January 2019).

RSE (2019). Research Software Engineer Association.
https://rse.ac.uk/ (accessed 9 January 2019).

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Conference Info

In review

ADHO - 2019

Hosted at Utrecht University

Utrecht, Netherlands

July 9, 2019 - July 12, 2019

436 works by 1162 authors indexed

Series: ADHO (14)

Organizers: ADHO