War in parliament, New Trends in eHumanities

1. Hinke Piersma, NIOD Institute for War, Holocaust and Genocide Studies. 2. Jeroen Sondervan, AUP, Amsterdam University Press


May 19, 2011

1. War in Parliament
‘War in Parliament’ (duration: 1 May 2011 to 31 April 2012), entails a study of the impact of the Second World War in post-war political debates and decision-making in the Netherlands. In this project, which is financed by CLARIN, we will research references to WW II in the Dutch parliamentary debates. The quantitative approach which forms the basis of ‘War in Parliament’, can contribute on at least three different levels to the qualitative historical research: (1) New foci of analysis (serendipitous discoveries); (2) Discover and analysis of trends (war discourse); and (3) testing existing hypotheses.
References to the Second World War shaped political debate in the Netherlands for many decades. However, we have no systematic knowledge of why, how often, when, by whom or from which political party, and in which context, these references were made. Nor do we know the meanings politicians ascribed to the war years, the lessons the war was supposed to teach, and how all of this influenced political decision-making. Answering these questions will help us better understand the complex legacies of the Second Wold War. With tools developed in the e-sciences we are able to research large corpora and language resources (in this case de Handelingen der Staten-Generaal (Dutch Hansard)) by creating an advanced search engine for this dataset with an intuitive and powerful query language.

Hinke Piersma (political historian) studied history at the University of Amsterdam. Since 1998 she has worked in the research department of the NIOD Institute for War, Holocaust and Genocide Studies in Amsterdam. In 2005 she completed her dissertation about four German war criminals who, from their trials in 1948-1949 until the release of the last two in 1989, were the subject of an intense public and political debate in Dutch society. Recent publication: Bevochten recht. Politieke besluitvorming rond de wetten voor oorlogsslachtoffers (Amsterdam: Boom 2010).

2. Jeroen Sondervan (AUP, Amsterdam University Press)
Scholarly Publishing in the Digital Age
While the internet is reshaping the future of print news media and television at a dramatic pace, digital network communications open up new perspectives for academic publishing as well. Entire libraries of books and journals have been made available via search engines such as Google, platforms such as JSTOR (amongst others), and the recently launched online open access library OAPEN for academic monographs. The classic paper journal is also coming under pressure from new peer-reviewed online publications.
Nonetheless the push over the last few years, at least for academic publishing, has been towards open access publishing. Funding for scientific publications from national science organizations (like NWO) increasingly depends on the availability of the content via online platforms and open access solutions, and a number of publishers have resorted to a policy where books are published simultaneously in paper for a price and online for free, supposedly making scientific content available to ever larger audiences at an ever lower price. With all this ‘open content’ it is possible to experiment with new publication methods and forms, like the ‘enriched publications’.
Enhanced publications are compositions of textual publications and supporting resources. In addition to the possibility to support the textual publication with for example data or visualizations, these kinds of publications also promote the availability of (reusable) scientific research data and above all allow verification of the outcomes of research. In 2010 AUP developed an enriched e-book as well as three enriched journal articles. What are the lessons learned, when developing enriched publications in these new ‘open access’ environments?