Research Meetings

KNAW e-Humanities Group
Virtual Knowledge Studio for the Humanities and Social Sciences (VKS)

Academic Year: 2010-2011

30 June: no Research Meeting, Summer holidays.
Research meetings will resume in September.

23 June: no Research Meeting; e-History meeting at NIOD

16 June
Herbert van de Sompel , Los Alamos National Laboratory, Visiting Professor DANS
Resource-centric interoperability for digital scholarship: Open Annotation and SharedCanvas
This presentation will provide insights in recent efforts aimed at achieving information interoperability for digital scholarship using a web-centric and resource-centric approach. The core ingredients of such an approach will be reviewed, followed by an overview of various efforts in which the approach has been used. Two efforts will be briefly discussed: OAI Object Reuse & Exchange that addresses the problem of compound digital objects, and Memento that adds a time dimension for the Web and as such has implications for object versioning. Another two efforts will be discussed in some more detail: Open Annotation that aims at interoperability for scholarly annotations, and SharedCanvas that aims at uniformly modeling medieval manuscripts.

Herbert Van de Sompel graduated in Mathematics and Computer Science at Ghent University (Belgium), and in 2000 obtained a Ph.D. in Communication Science there. For many years, he headed Library Automation at Ghent University. After leaving Ghent in 2000, he was Visiting Professor in Computer Science at Cornell University, and Director of e-Strategy and Programmes at the British Library. Currently, he is the team leader of the Prototyping Team at the Research Library of the Los Alamos National Laboratory. The Team does research regarding various aspects of scholarly communication in the digital age, including information infrastructure, interoperability, digital preservation and indicators for the assessment of the quality of units of scholarly communication. Herbert has played a major role in creating the Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting (OAI-PMH), the Open Archives Initiative Object Reuse & Exchange specifications (OAI-ORE), the OpenURL Framework for Context-Sensitive Services, the SFX linking server, the bX scholarly recommender service, and info URI. Currently, he works with his team on the Open Annotation and Memento (time travel for the Web) projects.

Nick Jankowski (KNAW eHumanities Group), Clifford Tatum (KNAW eHG, Leiden University), Zoutian Tatum ((KNAW eHG, Leiden University), Andrea Scharnhorst (KNAW eHG, DANS)
Enhancing Traditional Scholarly Book Publications: Final Report SURF Project
Members of the e-Humanities Group have been preparing a series of websites to complement traditionally-published books as part of the SURF project on enhanced publications. This presentation is based on the final report of this six-month project and provides opportunity to reflect on the initiative and consider future directions. The project is particularly salient inasmuch as one of the four books in this project is the manuscript prepared during the last year of the Virtual Knowledge Studio This book, with the working title Virtual Knowledge, includes contributions from VKS members. Background information and a blog related to the eHg Enhanced Publication Project can be found here.

9 June
Eep Talstra (Free University Amsterdam, VU), W. T. van Peursen (Leiden Univ.), Janet Dyk (VU), Oliver Glanz, Reinout Oosting (VU)
ICT and Ancients Literary Texts
We are building databases of ancient biblical texts to facilitate the study of their languages, their literary structure and the effects of historical change during centuries of copying and transmission. In several ways the construction of text databases is at the same time also research in linguistics and literary compositions. We will describe our investigation of Hebrew and Syriac morphological and syntactic analysis; the research in verbal valence patterns and our attempts to do participant analysis and participant tracking of these texts. The special challenge of working with ancient texts is the interaction of linguistic system, literary composition and the disturbing effects of textual transmission.

26 May: no research meeting

19 May
Hinke Piersma, (NIOD Institute for War, Holocaust and Genocide Studies)
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).

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?

12 May
Erik Schultes (Leiden University Medical Center)
The Concept Web, Data Publishing, and Automated Knowledge Discovery
High data volume enterprises like genomics and astrophysics challenge traditional modes of scholarship (i.e., reading papers, formulating hypotheses and publishing new data). I will review our resent efforts to develop a variety of computational technologies for managing the deluge of information in the life sciences. In particular, I will describe how we used ‘concept profiles’ to text mine the biomedical literature and discover previously unknown protein-protein interactions. I will also describe our recently completed pilot study (along with Nature Publishing Group and Thomson Reuters) in data-publishing using an RDF framework called ‘nanopublications’ (nanopub.org). Nanopublications are designed to disseminate, preserve and make interoperable very large scale datasets.

Dr. Schultes studied evolutionary biology, informatics and biotechnology at the University of California Los Angeles and the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research and has held appointments at the Santa Fe Institute. Between 2007 and 2009, Erik was Adjunct Professor (Computer Science) and member of the Visualization Technology Group at Duke University. He is presently Research Scientist at Leiden University Medical Center (Human Genetics) and member of the Concept Web Alliance, a consortium of public and private organizations developing Web 3.0 technology for high-volume information management. Background article: ‘The value of data’ published in Nature Genetics, 43, 281-283 (2011); open access article available here.

28 April
Paul Wouters (Centre for Science and Technology Studies, Leiden University)
Evaluating e-Research: A Basis for Collaboration Between the e-Humanities Group and CWTS?
Currently, research evaluation, if it takes place, is strongly biased towards publication in international peer reviewed journals and more specifically in journals that are used as source journals by Thomson Reuters for the production of the Web of Science suite of products. This has created a disadvantage for scholars in the humanities and social sciences. I will discuss the main outlines of a report that is currently under review and will be published in the near future about evaluating the humanities and qualitative social sciences. This will be the backdrop to discuss more generally how methodological innovative researchers can be properly evaluated in the sciences, social sciences and humanities more generally. The current focus on ISI covered journals is not only problematic for scholars who write books or articles in other languages than English, it is also problematic for researchers who spend their energies on new media products or invest in e-research methods that are not yet visible in the scientific journals. In this context, I will try to pose some questions about the tensions between formal evaluation and assessing the potential of new research venues. This might be an interesting research agenda for the e-Humanities Group to explore together with other researchers in the area of evaluation, such as the Centre for Science and Technology Studies at Leiden University, and also our colleagues at the Science Assessment department of the Rathenau Institute. Presentation available here.

21 April: no Research Meeting; workshop for contributors to Virtual Knowledge book

14 April
Hans Bennis, Sally Wyatt, Herman Roodenburg, Marc Kemps Snijdens, Andrea Scharnhorst, Charles van den Heuvel, Jan Kok, Nick Jankowski
Meertens Institute & e-Humanities Group: Panorama of Projects

7 April
Sally Wyatt (KNAW eHumanities Group)
Reinventing research? Information Practices in the Humanities
Sally Wyatt will discuss the findings of the report of the same title. The report aims to improve our understanding of how researchers in the humanities find, access, use and share information. Centred around six case studies of users of a resource, members of a department or participants within a research field, each case presents several viewpoints on the changing nature of research. It is clear that new information behaviours are developing. Researchers make increasing use of digital resources, and are collaborating in more open configurations. However, some challenges remain, and researchers are not always able to make the most of the new tools that are available to them. The report was prepared by the researchers from the Oxford Internet Institute (OII) and Oxford e-Research Centre, University of Oxford; UCL Centre for Digital Humanities and the Department of Information Studies, University College, London; e-Humanities Group, Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts & Sciences (KNAW). The research was supported by the Research Information Network and British Library.

31 March
Maarten van Wesel (University of Maastricht)
The Influence of Word Processing on Scientists, Their Practices, Output and Citability
In this presentation I will shortly introduce my research proposal. I propose to research the influence of word processing on the scholarly writing process and the quality of writing in academic articles. Furthermore the influence of the quality of writing in of the academic articles on their subsequent citation will be researched. Next to the proposal two working papers will be presented. One dealing with the readability of English language social science papers and writing media, the other studding factors that influence the number of citations a paper receives.

24 March
Sal Restivo (Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute)
Brains, Robots, and Humans; Reflections on Information and the Neurosociety
Reflections on Information and the Neurosociety Research on brains and robots has not only raised new questions about what the brain is and the artificial intelligence potential of robots but has forced us to reexamine perennial questions about what it means to be human. Based on multi-pronged provocations from sociological theory, neuroscience, philosophy, and social and sociable robotics engineering I have been concerned with what comes next as we challenge and potentially eliminate classical brain/mind, mind/body, brain/body dichotomies. In order to get some purchase on the issues and troubles raised by the coming of the robosapiens and an emerging neurosociety, I will explore the nature and limits of humans and robots, a sociology of the brain, and a new view of how bodies, brains, and social life interact.

Sal Restivo is Professor of sociology, science studies, and information technology at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He is a founding member and former president of the Society for Social Studies of Science, and most recently the editor-in-chief of Science, Technology, and Society: an Encyclopedia (Oxford University Press, 2005), co-author (with Bauchspies and Croissant) of Science, Technology and Society: A Sociological Approach (Wiley-Blackwell, 2005), and author of Red, Black, and Objective: Science, Sociology, and Anarchism (Ashgate, 2011).

Sabrina Weiss (Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute)
The Cybermarketplace of Ideas and Skills: An Insider’s Look at Understated Personal Development on the Internet
Tycoon mothers, fangirl newshounds, genderbending bloggers, knights in shining armor who can’t yet vote, and fans who help write the shows they love. Observations of online societies like Livejournal and World of Warcraft suggest rich avenues for further research on identity, interpersonal skills, and community interactions that can be transferred from the cyberspace to “meatspace.”

Sabrina Weiss earned a B.S. degree from Stanford University in Science, Technology, and Society with a focus in biology and bioethics. After serving for a tour in Japan as a Navy officer, she spent several years working with local political and non-profit groups in Seattle, WA. While finishing her M.S. degree in Bioethics from Albany Medical College, she tutored high school students in math and science while coaching high school debaters in philosophical- and value-based debating styles. Sabrina is currently a graduate student in Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute’s Science and Technology Studies department and is focusing on topics at the intersection of biology, the neuro- and social sciences, and ethical philosophy.

17 March
Martijn Stevens Radboud Univ.), Johan Oomen (Netherlands Inst. For Sound & Vision), Anne Beaulieu & Sarah de Rijcke (KNAW e-Humanities Group), Chiel van den Akker (VU)
Authenticity, Authority and Cultural Heritage: The Challenge of Digital Data
Information and communication technology transforms our cultural knowledge and the way we relate ourselves to our cultural heritage. Museums and other cultural heritage institutions are in the midst of this transformation. Rather than being passive respondents to the demands of the information age, cultural heritage institutions are key actors in the transition towards the information society. As such they have to rethink their methods and practices as knowledge keepers, producers, and disseminators, in relation to their more traditional task of preserving, collecting, and exhibiting collections. New models of presentation, communication, and participation, need to be experimented with, making use of new media inside and outside the institution’s walls, to achieve whatever goal the institution sets itself. The transformative role played by cultural heritage institutions thus also changes the institution itself, asking for new concepts and epistemologies that are able to account for that change. This session (co-organized by Dr. Chiel van den Akker and Prof.dr. Susan Legene) explores these diverse and pressing issues from both a theoretical and a practical perspective. The research meeting will consist of four short papers:
• Dr. Martijn Stevens (Radboud University): Presence through Absence: Towards a Tactile Perspective on Digital Museums
• Johan Oomen (Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision): Authenticity and trust in a Cultural Heritage Wiki Platform
• Dr. Anne Beaulieu & Dr. Sarah de Rijcke: Networked knowledge and epistemic authority in the development of virtual museums: Who is entitled to know?
• Dr. Chiel van den Akker (VU): On Future Origin
.

10 March
Anne Beaulieu & Alphalab colleagues
Alfalab
Alfalab is a project of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW), which applies and promotes use of digital tools and methods in humanities research, and fosters cooperation of humanities researchers at national and international levels. Alfalab is part of the KNAW’s strategy of supporting humanities research in general and digital and computational humanities in particular. In August 2008, the KNAW Board accepted the Alfalab project proposal, and the project was formally launched on March 1, 2009.
Alfalab’s first phase will last until July 1, 2011 and involves the following KNAW institutes:
• Data Archiving and Networked Services (DANS)
Fryske Akademy
The Huygens Instituut
Meertens Instituut
• Virtual Knowledge Studio for the Humanities and Social Sciences (VKS)
• International Institute of Social History (IISH)
As a collaborative project, Alfalab will pursue collaboration at all levels:
• among organizations and people developing Alfalab;
• among national and international institutions and researchers;
• among academic disciplines and research fields;
• among actors involved in digital humanities, whether as users, developers, or decision-makers.

3 March: holiday, no Research Meeting

24 February: holiday, no Research Meeting

17 February
Alexander Badenoch, Fellow, Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study (NIAS)
Harmonizing for dissonance? Creating a Transnational Virtual Exhibit Using Online Heritage Collections
Creating access to cultural heritage is an important motivation for the digitization and online publication of museum, library and archive collection, one that lies at the heart of projects such as Europeana. But access is only one part of the equation of heritage; especially in an era where objects from local and national collection are coming into potentially worldwide circulation, tools for (re-)contextualization and understanding the multiple voices surrounding heritage objects and documents gain in importance. This presentation will describe one such effort: the Making Europe Virtual Exhibit (a prototype of this can be found at Inventing Europe). This is a project that draws on the research of a book series currently being written on the history of technology of Europe, as well as the digital collections of a growing coalition of heritage institutions to tell stories about the development and use of technology in Europe. It will explore the practices and pitfalls of creating such a platform among such a broad range of stakeholders. How does one create a harmonized platform that can preserve the dissonant voices surrounding objects? How can digital catalogues be made to generate the kind of contextual information conducive to historical exploration? How can users be brought into fruitful dialogue with the various forms of expertise surrounding collections?

10 February
Sally Wyatt (KNAW e-Humanities Group)
Developing a Programme for e-Humanities Research

3 February
Saskia te Riele, & Marko Daas (Statistics Netherlands, Univ. of Maastricht)
Using Twitter Data for Statistics: Gathering and Classifying Tweets

27 January
Nick Jankowski, Anne Beaulieu, Clifford Tatum (VKS / KNAW e-Humanities Group)
Preparing Enhanced Publications: Plans, Parameters, Reflections
The e-Humanities Group was recently awarded financial support to prepare Web sites for four traditionally (to be) published books as part of the ‘enhanced publication’ initiative of the SURFfoundation. In this presentation, participants in the project – Anne Beaulieu, Clifford Tatum and Nick Jankowski – describe the meaning of ‘enhanced publication’, and the parameters and plans of this relatively short-term project, which officially began on 19 January and lasts until May 31, 2011. The presentation concludes with examination of the enhancements of another recent publication, Atlas of Science: Visualizing What We Know (K. Börner, MIT Press, 2010), and notes some of the lingering and difficult challenges facing authors, editors and publishers interested in this form of scholarly communication.

20 January
Andrea Scharnhorst, Almila Akdag, Krzysztof Suchecki, Cheng Gao (Knowledge Space Lab, KNAW e-Humanities Group)
Visualizing the Evolution of Different Knowledge Orders
In the last 15 months the Knowledge Space Lab team has worked on aspects of how to visualize different knowledge orders. Knowledge orders are structures which emerge in the production of knowledge. They can be provided as a mean to structure knowledge as present in a collection of work/objects (think in terms of library collection, musea or discipline specific bibliographic databases) or they can be derived from attributes of the objects in such collections themselves. To give an example, in the Web of Science, one can search for data or analyze data using subject categories (provided structure) or one can extract groups, communities, links from the attributes of the referenced work themselves (related references, citation networks, co-authorship networks, journal maps). The Knowledge Space Lab has look into two different systems:
• as example for an expert-discourse driven knowledge order system we looked into the Universal Decimal Classification – UDC
• as example for a object-attribute driven knowledge system we looked into the Wikipedia link structure (in particular the links between category pages)
We will present the results in a team presentation with the following parts:
• Andrea Scharnhorst: Introduction in the project – history – lessons
• Cheng Gao: The evolution of the UDC: how to visualize tree structures over time
• Almila Sahal: Structure and meaning – when semantics penetrates link analysis
• Krzsysztof Suchecki: Wikipedia as complex network – visualization and analytics
As introduction to the project please find attached a short paper submitted to the journal Leonardo Transactions (a journal at the interface between science and arts).

13 January: Panorama of VKS research projects

6 January 2011
Björn Hammarfelt (KNAW e-Humanities Group, Visiting Fellow)
Following the footnotes: A citation analysis of literature studies
I will present my PhD-project ‘Following the footnotes: A citation analysis of literature studies’ which investigates the problem area of bibliometrics and the humanities. The project has a twofold aim: first, to study if and how bibliometric methods can be used on the humanities, and second, to investigate what the use of bibliometric methods – and the results they bring – say about the limits of these methods. I would like to discuss both the theoretical framework of the project as well as methodical and empirical matters related to it. My thesis will consist of four articles and a ‘coat’ (Introduction, previous research, discussion). Two of the articles are published and available at links below.
• Referencing in the humanities and its implications for citation analysis, (JASIST, 2010)
• Interdisciplinarity and the intellectual base of literature studies: Citation analysis of highly cited monographs, Scientometrics (in press).

16 December
Jan Kok (VKS Senior Researcher)
CLIO-INFRA: The Challenges of Interfacing
CLIO INFRA is the name of an ambitious project aimed at collecting, harmonizing and disseminating data on global inequality, covering the period from 1500 to the present. VKS took part in the successful grant application to ‘NWO Groot’ (large research infrastructures). The working budget of the project is about 3 Million Euros. Apart from creating a new source for global economic and social history, the project aims to ‘change the rules of the game’, as it promotes and is based on collaborative research. Moreover, through the use of an accessible central portal with different visualization options, the project hopes to attract users from different backgrounds and interests. What are the challenges of this project? What kind of interface is needed? To what extent are these challenges faced by e-humanities projects in general? What kind of support can VKS/its successor offer?

2 December
Smiljana Antonijevic (VKS Postdoctoral Researcher)
Voices from the Field: Practices, Challenges and Directions in Digital Humanities Scholarship
This presentation will give an overview of key findings of a fieldwork study that explored research practices, challenges, and directions in contemporary digital humanities scholarship. The research was part of two VKS projects- Alfalab and Humanities Information Practices, and it included observations and in-depth interviews with digital humanities researchers, theorists, policy makers, and funders. The study involved 32 informants from the following institutions: Huygens Institute; National Endowment for Humanities Office of Digital Humanities; Stanford University; University of Alberta; University of California, Berkeley; University of California, Los Angeles; University of Maryland; University of Virginia. This presentation will focus on the following themes, which emerged from the fieldwork study as focal issues in contemporary digital humanities scholarship: epistemological and methodological issues brought by the use of digital resources in humanities research; challenges in developing tools, data and infrastructure for humanities research; educational issues; the future of digital humanities scholarship.

Clifford Tatum (VKS Fellow Digital Scholarship)
Have We Ever Been Open?
Increasing use of digital media in scholarly practice affords higher degrees of openness than were possible with past communication technologies. Increased openness of knowledge is understood to increase creativity and innovation, and it is intended to democratize both the benefits and process of new knowledge. However, in spite of the technological capacity for openness and the normative value of communal sharing in science[1], adoption of open practices is quite limited in science and scholarship. Recent research on the adoption of digital media, Web 2.0 applications in particular, illustrate reluctance among scholars due in part to the dynamics of the academic reward system [2] [3]. Publication in traditional journal and book formats with measurable citation-based impact remains the currency of the academic reputation. At the same time there are numerous initiatives and vast institutional investments aimed at exploiting digital technologies for the purpose of making science and scholarship more open. As we push for more ways of using technology to open scholarship, how open should we be? Have we ever been open? In this presentation, I use explore conceptions of openness and closeness in recent scholarship and through instances of open practice.
[1] Merton, Robert K., and Norman W. Storer. 1979. The Sociology of Science. Chicago: University of Chicago Press
[2] Procter, Rob et al. 2010a. “Adoption and Use of Web 2.0 in Scholarly Communications.” Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences 368(1926): 4039 -4056.
[3] Harley, Diane et al. 2010. Assessing the Future Landscape of Scholarly Communication: An Exploration of Faculty Values and Needs in Seven Disciplines. Center for Studies in Higher Education, UC Berkeley.

25 November
C. Levallois, (Erasmus University; VKS Erasmus Studio), A. Smidtsm (Erasmus Univ.), & P. Wouters (Erasmus Univ.; VKS)
Neuromarketing: An e-Story
Trying to capture the meaning of neuromarketing can seem like an endless mirror labyrinth. Perceptions of the field are markedly different, depending on which community of stakeholders one turns to. Academics, business practitioners inside and outside the industry of neuromarketing, the media, consumer groups, government representatives and regulators all contribute to shaping the plural identity of the field. This study will establish a preliminary ground to make sense of neuromarketing, by mapping fundamental trends in the field from its origins. Our starting point is a multi-language database built by the Erasmus Centre of Neuroeconomics which comprises the records of all web entries mentioning neuromarketing, from the first apparition of the term to the present. Off-line content is also taken into account with the exhaustive datamining of LexisNexis ® for the same period. Using concepts and tools from computational linguistics, fundamental and yet unanswered research questions will be addressed:
– What are the stakeholders present in the field, and the relations between them? In particular, what is the distribution between academics and business practitioners, and can we observe any trend in this distribution?
– What brands are involved in neuromarketing?
– What are the technologies used in neuromarketing, and is there any relation between the use of these tools and the nature of the relationship between private companies and academic partners?
– What is the mood about neuromarketing, and how did it evolve?
Depending on the insights gained during this analysis, we consider extending this study to the visual representations contained in this database. Visual representations assume a crucial role in neuromarketing: “neuromarketing enables to peer inside brains” is a recurrent motive in the narratives, and the visual translation of this argument can be a valuable supplementary indicator of how neuromarketing’s role and identity is constructed by the groups with an interest in the field.
– What are the technologies used in neuromarketing, and is there any relation between the use of these tools and the nature of the relationship between private companies and academic partners?
– What is the mood about neuromarketing, and how did it evolve?
Depending on the insights gained during this analysis, we consider extending this study to the visual representations contained in this database. Visual representations assume a crucial role in neuromarketing: “neuromarketing enables to peer inside brains” is a recurrent motive in the narratives, and the visual translation of this argument can be a valuable supplementary indicator of how neuromarketing’s role and identity is constructed by the groups with an interest in the field.

18 November
Esteban Romero Frias (VKS Visiting Fellow; University of Granada)
An Analysis of Political Trends based on Web Linking Patterns: The Case of Media and Political parties in Spain
As Internet Politics is becoming more influential, the exploitation of Web hyperlink data has become an effective way to understand political performance on the Web. The purpose of the study is to analyse the ideological positions of the media in relation to political parties in Spain through the analysis of patterns of hyperlinks to the Websites of these organizations. The study applied Web hyperlink analysis method that has been used extensively in information science. Specifically, this study is based on co-link analysis. If page X and page Y both receive links from page Z, then page X and page Y are co-linked. The co-link counts were analysed using multidimensional scaling (MDS), a statistical method, to generate MDS maps that would position media and parties based on their co-link counts. The larger the co-link counts, the closer the two entities will be positioned in the MDS maps. The MDS maps can thus effectively show the relationship among media and political parties.
This research included all major media groups at national level and the main political parties with seats in the Spanish Parliament. Co-link data of these media and political parties were collected from Yahoo!. The results show that the co-link analysis method is effective in visualizing the political trends of the media groups. In the MDS map, media groups are clustered based on their political trends. Left wing groups are positioned closer to the left wing party and the right wing media closer to the right wing party. Findings from the study suggest the possibility of using co-link analysis to gain new insights into the interactions among media and political parties and to profile media according to their ideological positions.
ZIP file with papers in English and PhD thesis (in Spanish and an abridged version in English):
This is a project co-authored by Liwen Vaughan (Faculty of Information and Media Studies, University of Western Ontario, London, Canada)

11 November
TL Taylor (VKS Visiting Fellow, IT University of Copenhagen)
Ethnography as Play
Ethnography is a kindred of play, its near neighbor, and thus it is no surprise how potent a method it has been for game studies thus far. Drawing on several examples from my ethnographic work in massively multiplayer online games, this talk will examine the notion of ethnography as play. Drawing on my own experience of play while researching I will discuss how as an ethnographer I am enlisted into the activity of gaming in ways that are productive for research, but also at times unruly, unpredictable, laden with emotion, and negotiated via the body. Several parallels between the work of ethnography and the work of play will be teased out, including entering the field/game, experimentation and learning, surprise and discovery, and even failure. The intent of this talk is two-fold. On the one hand it seeks to make visible in a concrete way the nature of ethnographic work in game spaces. It additionally will try to open up a discussion about what might be fruitfully gained by framing our research practices through a lens of play.

4 November
Nick Jankowski (VKS Visiting Fellow)
Scholarly Publishing in the Digital Era: Changes, Challenges, Innovations
Publishers, editors, and authors have been exploring ways to utilize the potentials of Web-based publishing for many years, but concern has recently intensified for a variety of reasons: the financial crisis in scholarly publishing, increasing interest in open access venues, institutional and funding agency demands for open repositories, reservations about peer review as suitable procedure for determination of quality. Perhaps most salient in the considerations for change is the growing interest in Web-based formats permitting audience engagement, inclusion of multimedia in the publications, and utilization of full-color and dynamic visualizations – features frequently associated with Web 2.0 and social media. These developments and concerns constitute some of the topics to be addressed during a roundtable of editors and scholars attending the Association of Internet Researchers (AoIR) conference IR 11.0 in Gothenburg, Sweden, in October 2010. This presentation at VKS is a ‘dress rehearsal’ for a lecture to be delivered a week later in Tampere, Finland, which will extend the AoIR discussion through examination of concrete alternatives for established print-oriented scholarly journals interested in making the transition to the Digital Age.

7 October
Annamaria Carusi (VKS Visiting Fellow, Oxford e-Research Centre, University of Oxford)
Epistemic Aspects of Computational Technologies for Research: Science, Social Science and Humanities
Computational techniques are pervasive in current research of all forms, being used for core epistemic activities such as observation, data gathering, processing, analysis, interpretation and theory. These techniques are frequently coupled with web-based infrastructures for research, providing the means of access to data, people and resources and increasingly blurring the boundary between physical and virtual research environments. Initially promoted through dedicated programs in the natural sciences, ‘e-science’ methods and techniques are increasingly encouraged and deployed in the social sciences and humanities, although in fact there is a long history of digital methods in niche areas of the humanities.
The introduction of computational and digital techniques and methods bring about new alignments between researchers of different disciplines and outlooks. In fact, these two aspects – reconfiguring which people are involved in research and reconfiguring which methods are used – are inextricably intertwined in the formation of new interdisciplinary domains of research. There are important epistemic challenges in these web and computationally mediated interdisciplinary domains, relating to accepted criteria of evidence and warrant in distributed and methodologically diverse groups, the use and re-use of digital data, and the epistemic nature of computationally methods such as data mining, computational ontologies, modelling, simulation, data visualisation and others.
An overview of some of these challenges across the disciplines will be followed by a discussion of how to meet these challenges, and to what extent they can be addressed in the process of technology design, development and implementation. In particular I shall focus on a discussion of how sociologically informed methods for requirements gathering and specification can be complemented by drawing on the methods and approaches of the humanities, and how these can be used to inform not only e-humanities but e-science and research more broadly.

30 September
Richard Smiraglia (VKS Fellow)
How Social is Social Tagging?
Within the domain of knowledge organization, social tagging is often examined through the lens of egalitarian indexing. Yet knowledge organization can be postulated as existing on a continuum between classificatory activity and individual or group perception. Studying perception and its role in the identification of concepts therefore is critical. The purpose of this research is to advance our understanding of the role of perception in knowledge organization systems. We briefly review the role of perception in knowledge organization and some preliminary evidence about affective social tagging, which is seen as a form of everyday classification. We consider how Husserlian phenomenology might be useful for analyzing the role of perception in affective social tagging. Then we look at the role of cognitive semantics, and ask the question: “how social is social tagging?” Results of an empirical study of taggers on Delicious.com are reported with regard to both points of view. Results show that the collectivity of terms constitutes less a taxonomy than a social classification; the contributive work of the socially-engaged participants. Cultural norms among the taggers in a fairly well-defined region such as Delicious.com fuel the classificatory activity; alliances among the taggers generate demonstrable social clusters that reflect the resulting divergence of terms within the socially-generated classificatory structures.

Frank Neffke (VKS Erasmus Studio Postdoctoral Researcher)
Skill Relatedness and Firm Diversification
According to the knowledge-based view of the firm, the workforce of a firm is its most important resource and firms often diversify into activities that allow them to leverage human resources. Human capital also represents a main asset for employees and, when switching jobs, individuals can be expected to remain in industries that value the skills they built up in their previous job. Based on this observation, this article develops theoretical arguments and a statistical method that uses cross-industry labor flows to assess the skill-relatedness between industries. It is shown that industries classified in different sectors of the economy can exhibit strong skill-relatedness linkages. Also, industry space – the resulting network that connects industries with overlapping skill-requirements – is highly predictive of diversification moves of firms. Diversification is found to be over 100 times more likely to occur into industries that are skill-related to a firm’s core activity, than into industries that are not. Indeed, the effect of skill-relatedness eclipses the effect of indicators that measure different kinds of relatedness, like value chain linkages and classification-based relatedness. In the presentation, I will show how we developed the measure of skill-relatedness. This skill-relatedness can be used to generate a network of all activities in the economy in which ties represent the degree to which individuals are able to move between them and I will show that this network predicts how firms choose new activities to diversify into. However, this network also gives rise to a number of questions. First, is the relatedness between activities given by nature? Or does it change over time as technological know-how increases? Is it the same for all countries, or is it a social artifact that reflects cultural idiosyncrasies? Is it possible that firms in the same industry experience their core activity to be related to different industries? In other words, can relatedness and industry space be specific to the corporate culture of a firm? If so, how come? EUR Home page.

23 September
Gerrit Bloothooft (IISH, Univ. of Utrecht)
The Presentation of Full Population Onomastic Databases
Recently, full population onomastic data from the civil registration came available for research, and partially for on-line presentation. This concerns the family names of 16 million persons (alive in 2007), and first names of 21 million persons (registered since 1994, including the names of deceased parents). Websites were designed to present the current frequency of the name (and for first names the popularity since 1880), geographic spread across the country, with additional onomastic and etymological information. The launching of the website created a media hype. Within a month about 16 million page views were counted for each website. Reactions were favorably, the site was considered very interesting with self-explanatory navigation.

It took quite an effort to clean the data from civil registration, especially to identify persons that did not have an internal id (because they deceased before the start of the digital civil registration in 1994). Also privacy issues needed very careful attention, we had to decide about the aggregation level of the presented frequencies in a map: it is not allowed to present data that can identify individuals.
A wealth of linguistic and social research questions can be studied with the data. Interactively, this is promoted by an advanced search option, using regular expressions. My own interest now goes to the understanding of the process of fashion in naming and the diffusion of name preferences across social groups, that started in the early twentieth century, for which the popularity distributions are an enormous help.
Another surprise is that Zipf’s law applies on first names, which suggests that naming is a random process, although most parents will not agree. The data also allow for migration studies, because the place of birth and family relations are known for the full population (as far as present in the civil registration): we will present these as an interactive map. A further aim is to extend the current civil registration to a historical civil registration, with a unique identifier for every person that ever lived. The Catch LINKS project (IISG, Meertens Institute, Utrecht University, Leiden University, Genlias community) works into that direction. See further: www.meertens.knaw.nl/nvb (first names), www.meertens.knaw.nl/nfb (family names).

16 September
Almila Akdag, Krzysztof Suchecki, Cheng Gao, Andrea Scharnhorst (VKS Fellows)
Knowledge Representations – Where Library Science and Information Science Meet
One of the aims of the Knowledge Space Lab project is to experiment with different kind of knowledge representations. In particular, we are interested in temporal changes. One of our experiments contains the Universal Decimal Classification, of which we present first results.

9 September
Sally Wyatt, Smiljana Antonijevic, Sarah de Rijcke (VKS Fellows)
Reflections on Recent Conferences: EASST, EASA, CRESC
The VKS Research Meeting on 9 September is devoted to reflections about three recently held conferences attended by several VKS members. Sally Wyatt will introduce discussion of the European Association for the Study of Science and Technology (EASST) conference held in Trento, Italy, 2-4 September; see further EASST site. She will share a video prepared by Clifford Tatum and draw from a second presentation she and Bas van Heur gave at this event. Smiljana Antonijevic will comment on the European Association of Social Anthropologists (EASA) conference that she attended, 24-27 August; see further EASA site. Some of the sessions focused on digital and media anthropology, and she will share those discussion during this VKS Research Meeting. Smiljana and Sarah de Rijcke were also participants the ESRC Centre for Research on Socio-Cultural Change annual conference, ‘The Social Life of Methods’, 31 Aug. – 3 Sept.; see further CRESC site. They will include this event in their contributions to the VKS Research Meeting.

2 September 2010
Charles van den Heuvel (VKS Senior Researcher)
Creating and Recreating Histories: Annotations, Models and Visualizations in Historical Research and Cultural Heritage
This presentation will focus on solutions in research and cultural heritage in which Web 2.0 experiences of lay experts are combined with the expertise of scholars or curators and (semi-) automated tools. The state of affairs of two projects will be discussed in which annotation and visualization tools provide input for (semi-) automated solutions to re-create and to create histories by testing hypotheses and by stimulating serendipity. In the combined Multi Agent Technology Contextualizing Historical-Maps project annotators and computer agents work together to reconstruct lost links between old maps and contextual historical documents. In the Circulation of Knowledge and Learned Practices in the 17th-century Dutch Republic. A Web-based Humanities’ Collaboratory on Correspondences project the focus is on the question how to handle large sets of letters of 17th-century scholars and their correspondents in an automated way in order to analyse, visualize and contextualize the circulation of knowledge production in a wider international context. The emphasis is not just on the dissemination of knowledge but also knowledge appropriation. Topical modelling and visualization based on language resource tools, such as key word extraction and concept extraction are used to recognize critical moments in the evolution of themes of interest and scholarly debates in the Republic of Letters in space and time. Both projects have been presented before, but will get next phases in case STW and computational humanities applications for funding are granted.