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ASIST 2012 Annual Meeting 
Baltimore, MD, October 26-30, 2012

Annotation as a New Paradigm in Research Archiving
Dirk Roorda and Charles van den Heuvel

Monday, 3:30pm


We outline a paradigm to preserve results of digital scholarship, whether they are query results, feature values or topic assignments. This paradigm is characterized by using annotations as multifunctional carriers and making them portable. The testing ground we have chosen are two significant enterprises, one in the history of science, and one in Hebrew scholarship.

The first one focuses on the results of a project where a Dutch consortium of universities, research institutes and cultural heritage institutions experimented for 4 years with language techniques and topic modeling methods with the aim to analyze the emergence of scholarly debates. The data: a complex set of about 20,000 letters.

The second one is a multi-year efforts to express the linguistic features of the Hebrew bible in a text database, which is still growing in detail and sophistication. Versions of this database are packaged in commercial bible study software packages.

We state that the results of these forms of scholarship require new knowledge management and archive practices. Only when researchers can build efficiently on each other's (intermediate) results, they can hope to achieve the aggregations of quality data by which new questions can be answered, and hidden patterns visualized. Annotations are a promising vehicle for preserving and reusing research results.