• Fitting Personal Interpretations with the Semantic Web

    John Bradley (see profile) , Michele Pasin
    Digital humanities, Research, Methodology
    Item Type:
    Conference paper
    Conf. Title:
    Digital Humanities 2013
    Conf. Org.:
    University of Nebraska
    Conf. Loc.:
    Lincoln, Nebraska
    Conf. Date:
    16-19 July 2013
    Digital Ontologies for the Humanities, Digital humanities research and methodology
    Permanent URL:
    The emergence of formal ontologies into the World Wide Web has had a significant effect on research in certain fields. In parts of the Life Sciences, for example, key research information has been captured in formal domain ontologies, like those mentioned in the Open Biological and Biomedical Ontologies (OBABO) website. Annotating texts to link to these formal structures we call here "direct semantic annotation”. For traditional humanists, their scholarship does not start out only with predefined formal structures like those at OBABO, but begins with a set of vague notions and insights that emerge more clearly over time in the scholar's mind, and hopefully eventually becomes clear enough to be described in original published work. For most humanists scholarship (a) is normally personal, (b) is meant to produce original ideas that must emerge and then mature over time, and (c) even when the ideas are mature enough for publication, represents a structure that is at least "pre-ontological", and perhaps at best only partly compatible with the clarity of ontological modelling. Pliny provides a model to support this kind of humanities scholarship. It turns out that Pliny's data model, as well as being designed to represent aspects of traditional scholarship, is strongly suggestive of RDF and broader ontological technologies. Further work has been carried out by us to map an interpretation as stored in Pliny into an RDF representation. The resulting paradigm is one that, unlike direct semantic annotation, separates the annotation of the domain literature from the highly formal world of shared domain ontologies by injecting a personal, more informal, and emergent representation interpretative component in-between. In this presentation we suggest that the user is encouraged to turn their clouds of personal interpretation into material that might become more and more compatible with computer ontologies and the semantic web. The work here follows on from NeDiMaH 2012.
    Last Updated:
    2 years ago


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