New videos show how researchers use Virtual Research Environments

Press release

New videos show how researchers use advanced technology

New videos showing how JISC is helping researchers achieve faster, better
and different research through virtual research environments have just been

The videos feature projects from JISC’s virtual research environment (VRE)
programme, which is trying to find ways to connect people and speed up
research processes across disciplines. These include astronomy, physics,
electronics, chemistry and the study of ancient documents.

Continue reading “New videos show how researchers use Virtual Research Environments”

TILE project blog and website launched

TILE: Text-Image Linking Environment is pleased to announce the launch of its public blog and informational site:

Our first blog posting includes a description of anticipated TILE functionality.

Upcoming posts will include an invitation to participate in user testing, as well as announcements of software as it becomes available.

Visit often, or subscribe to the RSS feed for the latest news on TILE.

TILE is a collaborative project among the Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities (MITH), Digital Humanities Observatory (DHO), and Indiana University Bloomington, funded through a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities Preservation and Access: Humanities Collections and Resources program (research and development focus). Over two years TILE will develop a new web-based, modular, collaborative image markup tool for both manual and semi-automated linking between encoded text and image of text, and image annotation.

The project is unusual in digital humanities tools development in that it is being designed from the start to support a wide variety of use cases. Several projects from the University of Indiana Bloomington, The University of Oregon and Harvard’s Center for Hellenic Studies are initial testbeds. In the second year of the project, TILE will turn to the user community for testing. If you are interested in participating, or in learning more about the project, please contact us at  (thanks to Dot P for the link)



Leaping Hurdles: Planning IT Provision for Researchers

I recently attended a workshop sponsored by the Joint information Systems Committee (JISC) that presented some of the findings from the JISC funded community engagement and virtual research environments (VRE) projects. The three community engagement projects presented were the engage project (engaging researchers with e-infrastructure), the e-uptake project (enabling uptake of e-Infrastructure Services), and the eius project (e-Infrastructure Use Cases and Service Usage Models).

And the Virtual Research Environments (VREs) presented were MyExperiment (sharing scientific workflows), the VERA project (Virtual Environments for Research in Archaeology) and the BVREH Project (Building a Virtual Research Environment for the Humanities).

Rob Proctor presented the findings from the e-uptake project, one of the community engagement projects concerned with understanding the barriers to researchers applying new e-infrastructures within their work practices. One of the aims of the project was to identify recurring and wide spread barriers rather than localised and contingent barriers. The people interviewed for the study were primarily researchers but alos intermediaries who provide support services.
Continue reading “Leaping Hurdles: Planning IT Provision for Researchers”

Digital boost for work of arts

An article in the Times Higher Education supplement about the Arts and Humanities e Science support Centre (AHESSC) here at King’s College in London.

Imagine the research possibilities of being able to view three-dimensional scans of museum objects, write dance moves electronically or study ancient documents that were previously considered too damaged to decipher.

E-tools are being developed to allow researchers to do these things, aiding scholarly work in subjects that are not usually associated with such technology, such as museum curation, dance, archaeology and music. The tools are also opening new possibilities for researchers who want to process a large amount of data or share resources more widely (link).

Digital Humanities Observatory (DHO) wins NEH Grant


(The new Digital Humanities Observatory in Dublin has some innovative projects. This new ‘VRE’ (Virtual Research Environment) collaborative-style of project may be of interest to viewers).

A collaborative project between the Digital Humanities Observatory, the Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities (MITH), and Indiana University Bloomington has been selected to receive a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities Preservation and Access: Humanities Collections and Resources program (research and development focus). The project, Text-Image Linking Environment (TILE) will over two years develop a new web-based, modular, collaborative image markup tool for both manual and semi-automated linking between encoded text and image of text, and image annotation. Dot Porter, DHO’s Metadata Manager, will lead the team at the DHO.

Continue reading “Digital Humanities Observatory (DHO) wins NEH Grant”

The Internet as Playground and Factory


(This conference about Labour online may be of interest.  From my rudimentary understanding ‘free’ labour online is a fairly contentious issue as online labour may be pooled by large commercial interests and used to accumulate profit without distributing the fruits of this labour to users).

Dear all,

You can now join the discussion about topics of user “labor” related to the conference “The Internet as Playground and Factory.”


Join the list and introduce yourself:

Follow the conference on Twitter:

A few questions from the introduction:

* Is it possible to acknowledge the moments of ruthless exploitation while not eradicating optimism, inspiration, and the many instances of individual financial and political empowerment?

* What is labor and where is value produced?

* Are strategies of refusal an effective response to the expropriation of value from interacting users?

* How is the global crisis of capitalism linked to the speculative performances of the digital economy?

* What can we learn from the “cyber sweatshops” class-action lawsuit against AOL under the Fair Labor Standards Act in the early 1990s?

* How does this invisible interaction labor affect our bodies? What were key steps in the history of interaction design that managed to mobilize and structure the social participation of bodies and psyches in order to capture value?

* Most interaction labor, regardless whether it is driven by monetary motivations or not, is taking place on corporate platforms. Where does that leave hopeful projections of a future of non-market peer production?

Trebor Scholz
— iDC

New Group: Social Software in the Digital Humanities

(This new group on may be of interest to punters.  It is primarily focussed upon ‘social software’ theory, techniques, and applications within the Digital Humanities.  As it is a new group, we are more than open about its skippering within the choppy Web 2 sea).

The aim of this group is to critically discuss and share thoughts about the use of social software applications, techniques, and principles within the Digital Humanities. Join this group here…

For the purpose of this group, the Digital Humanities is defied as the application of computational methods and associated tools to address specific humanities research problems. Distinct from general computing approaches, the banner term ‘Digital Humanities’ is an ‘attitude towards computing’ that is embedded within the research concerns of the disciplines and sub-fields that make up the humanities. The methods employed in the field may be used to uncover new knowledge about corpora or to visualise research data in such a way as to uncover additional insights and meaning. Succinctly the Digital Humanities (or Humanities Computing) is about structuring, analysing and communicating humanistic knowledge in a critical way using computing technology.

And as in many fields, the social and participatory architectural frameworks associated with ‘social software’ is increasing a part of the Digital Humanities. Social software is usually web-based and is a way for researchers to share data and research-labour that comprises of a series of debates about tool, socio-technical design, and concept choice. Social software may be one way to open up new styles of collaboration in the Digital Humanities between software developers, humanists, and audiences. Join in the conversation!

*Suggested topics may include*:

*Collaborative labour arrangements for researchers (collaborative work functions)

*Maintaining on-line communities

*APIs, web services, and mash-ups

*Trends in the blogosphere

*New Social Software Applications

*Community annotation and tagging

*Computer mediated communication

*Service oriented architecture

*Governance (bottom-up or top Down)

*Work-flow analysis

*Designing Research Deliberation


(This images; utilising a matrix approach to critically understanding Web 2.0 design can be found at the medienpaedagogik blog at: )