Text+ User Story

Linked Data and graph technologies in textual scholarship

Aline Deicke, Andreas Kuczera (Academy of Sciences and Literature, Mainz)

DFG subject areas: 102 History, 103 Fine Arts, Music, Theatre and Media Studies105 Literary Studies106 Social and Cultural Anthropology, Non-European Cultures, Jewish Studies and Religious Studies, 107 Theology, 108 Philosophy

Text+ data domain: Editions

Motivation

This User Story is linked to the research data submission “The Socinian Correspondence” and „The Book of Letters of Hildegard of Bingen“ 

Today’s digital scholarly editions mostly use the TEI-standard in combination with XML as it is a “well-documented format for archival long-term preservation which covers a large number of textual phenomena in general ways”. But research data in general and the data of digital critical digital scholarly editions specifically are highly connected and are not easy to model within the hierarchy inherent in XML. Cummings (2018) even states that “[the] difficulty [XML has] with overlapping hierarchies is not, in itself, strictly a myth”. This challenge becomes even more complex if we include multiple perspectives of different researchers on the transcription and edition of the text. For these reasons, we need new network- and graph-based approaches for modelling text and the contextual information around it. 

Objectives 

Text+’s technic stacks should be open for new technological approaches. Text-as-Graph (TAG) models are more flexible concerning connectability to other (Linked Open Data) resources. Storing texts and other contextual information like layout or semantic annotations, they ensure that all data remains addressable even when storing contradicting information.  

Solution 

In Text+ it should be possible to store textual and related informations in a provenance knowledge graph. 

Challenges 

Rather than being a risk, using graph technologies could be an important step forward for the digital humanities. 

Review by community 

The further development can be accompanied by the AG Graphentechnologien and their members to get into a feedback loop.