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September 8, 2021

Call for Papers for Computational analysis skills for large-scale humanities data

James Baker and Anna-Maria Sichani

The Programming Historian invites proposals of new tutorials dealing with computational analysis of large-scale digital collections, as a part of a special series developed in partnership with the National Archives and Jisc.

O Programming Historian convida à apresentação de novos tutoriais relacionados com a análise computacional de coleções digitais em grande escala, como parte de uma série especial desenvolvida em parceria com os National Archives e o Jisc.

Le Programming Historian lance un appel à contributions pour de nouveaux tutoriels qui traitent de l’analyse computationnelle de grands corpus de collections numériques, dans le cadre d’une série spéciale développée en partenariat avec les Archives nationales du Rayaume-Uni (The National Archives) et l’organisation Jisc.

Programming Historian los invita a presentar propuestas para lecciones nuevas relacionadas con el análisis computacional de colecciones digitales a gran escala, como parte de la serie especial desarrollada en colaboración con los National Archives y Jisc.

Scholarly research has changed thanks to the proliferation of digital collections and the rapid emergence of computational methodologies and tools.

Awareness of digital methods is growing within the humanities. However, there is more work to be done to bring together scholars and cultural heritage organisations, especially with regards to aligning the skills of researchers with the size and characteristics of digital collections.

To address these challenges, The National Archives (a leading national archive), Jisc (an established provider of digital services for higher education), and the Programming Historian (a publisher of multilingual tutorials that support humanists in learning digital tools and methods) have formed a partnership that aims to publish a series of articles to aid humanities researchers wishing to use digital tools and methods in their analysis of large-scale digital collections.

As a result of this partnership we are delighted to invite authors to submit proposals for article-length tutorials on the computational analysis of large-scale digital collections. We anticipate that proposed articles will seek to achieve one or more of the following:

Examples of the kind of large-scale collections that would be in scope are digitised texts, email archives, social media data, web archives, bibliographic datasets, image collections, and catalogue data. This is not exhaustive, however, and no type of large-scale research collection is a priori excluded.

The deadline for submitting proposals is Friday 8th October 2021. Proposals can be for articles to be written in any language currently supported by the Programming Historian (English, Spanish, French, Portuguese). Proposals will be reviewed by a panel convened by the Programming Historian team. The panel will recommend those proposals most suitable to go forward for publication. Authors of both successful and unsuccessful proposals will be notified circa Monday 25th October 2021.

We aim to select up to 7 original articles to go forward for publication. Authors whose proposals are accepted to go forward for publication will receive an honorarium of £500. Articles selected to go forward for publication must be submitted by January 24th 2022 using the Programming Historian publication workflow (see the Programming Historian Author Guidelines, available in four languages). Publication of articles is subject to peer review. All published articles will be published under a CC-BY license. All published articles will be translated into a second language by a translator.

To submit a proposal, email [email protected] with the following details (which need be no longer than 1-2 pages):

## About You
1. Your name
2. Your primary email address

## Tutorial Metadata
3. Submission Language (delete as appropriate) English / Español / Français / Portuguese
4. Proposed Tutorial Title
5. Tutorial Abstract (3-4 sentences)
6. Case Study Description (details about your historical example or problem)
7. Learning Outcomes (between 2 and 3)
8. Research Phase most relevant to your tutorial (delete as appropriate) Acquire / Transform / Analyze / Present / Sustain
9. Research Area most relevant to your tutorial (delete as appropriate) APIs / python / data management / data manipulation / distant reading / set up / linked open data / mapping / network analysis / web scraping / digital publishing / other
10. Primary dataset(s) or research collections(s) on which the proposed tutorial is based, including current access and licensing conditions (see Note below)
11. Intended Submission Date [which should be no later than January 24th 2022]
12. Tutorial will use open technology and data at no cost to the reader Yes / No
13. Any other comments

Prospective authors are encouraged to consult the Programming Historian Author Guidelines and articles already published by the Programming Historian to get a sense of what makes a good Programming Historian article. There will be an author event on Thursday 23rd September 2021 at 14:00 BST (click here to book your place using Eventbrite) at which questions/queries can be raised. If you are unable to attend the event, questions/queries can also be directed to [email protected]

Note: Two of the project partners - The National Archives and Jisc - are major providers of large-scale digital collections, and enhanced support would be available to authors who elected to base their article on one or more of these (some of which are listed below). However, authors are not required to base their proposed articles around datasets provided by The National Archives or Jisc, and the selection of proposals to go forward for publication will not favour articles that use these particular datasets.

The project would particularly welcome lessons which engage with web archives or large email corpuses, since these are currently particularly difficult for researchers to work with. Datasets available from The National Archives and Jisc include:

Other useful sources of data include:

This call for papers is supported by the project ‘Programming Historian publications: developing computational skills for digital collections’, a partnership between Jisc, the Programming Historian, and The National Archives. For more information on the partnership see the partnership announcement.

Logo images of JISC, the UK National Archives and Programming Historian

About the authors

James Baker is a Senior Lecturer in Digital History and Archives at the University of Sussex and a historian of interactions between people and things. ORCID id icon

Anna-Maria Sichani is a literary and cultural historian and a Digital Humanist. She is currently a Research Fellow in Media History at the University of Sussex.