Group 4 Agents and issues

Data visualizers

  • Interested in quantity
  • More data the better
  • Metadata about conditions under which data was produced (they could clean up but want to know how transparency
  • Ultimately their project is different–their projects will have life of their own
  • The output might stand on its own, how could it connect back?  Publicity yet, but other links back might be logistically hard.  Potential for fresh view on source; might inspire or inform revisiting the data.  
  • Prompt new visitors

Web developers

  • Infrastructure is core interest; probably less interested in content
  • If built on open source tools, then that culture (sharing and improving code)
  • Cater for communities, but challenge of sustainability
  • Bridging the gap between experts and community/users
  • Bridging the gap between experts and web developers  (communication issues between developers and digital humanists needs to be smooth); DH community needs to frame needs clearly


Expert in semantic technologies

  • Data quality and transparency issues are important; might have stricter view of wanting to start with cleaner data
  • Output might require compliance with Semantic web (or RDF?)

Dialect speakers

  • Experts in their own (almost like there is a hierarchy)
  • Fostering community
  • Starting from a specific identity
  • Might require more tailored tool  (handle different scripts? Older spellings)


Digital natives, millennials

  • Different expectations about usability
  • Might be more selective choosing content/project that is meaningful
  • Different user patterns
  • Potentially different user patterns
  • (Audience has different needs)


Small archives

  • Benefit streamlined technological infrastructure  (perhaps “off-the-shelf”)
  • Need clearly stated best practices
  • Visibility
  • Staff time is very, very limited (maybe not as much opportunity for dialog with volunteers)

Whole community

  • Opportunities for team building (or acknowledging/
  • Rewards/status levels
  • Feature accomplishments of individuals to whole community
  • Need to respect boundaries of volunteers (find out if they are comfortable being in spotlight)

Group 1 | The Benefits for Researcher, Audience, Cultural Institutions, Web, and Research Infrastructures


  • Role: One who conducts scholarly research according to a certain methodology  i.e. within an archive, library
  • Role: One who has an informed background on a particular academic topic
  • Benefit: Knowledge exchange with other scholars from various academic backgrounds (interdisciplinary).


  • This term is rather too broad to identify specific benefits and roles. For example, researchers, students, funding bodies, etc. can also fall under this category,

Cultural Institutions (i.e. GLAM)

  • Role: holders of a (digitized) collection of cultural material (intangible and tangible)
  • Benefits:
    • closer relationship to the museum public (users)/community: referring to the user as an active interpreter, co-creator/co-curator
    • going beyond their physical location  
    • Community-building, generating stronger base of supports for your cultural institution


  • Role: a carrier of knowledge and communication
  • However, this term is too broad to identify a more specific role and benefit

Research Infrastructures

  • Role: facilitate knowledge exchange among scholars and create a community of scholar
  • Benefits:
    • A unified platform where users can exchange their knowledge
    • Community-building
    • Dissemination of best practices, software, etc. for the benefit of the community
    • Avoid doubling of research
    • Encourages the further use/sustainability of projects

Group 2 | The Benefits for Funding Bodies , Content Owners, Schools, Institutions and Volunteers

  • Funding bodies
    • Projects that gain participation from the public are also projects that attract publicity  – and therefore funding bodies
    • Centenaries  / anniversaries provide media coverage
  • Content/story owners/originators
    • Benefit from the anniversary program, or access to materials previously unavailable – eg. census data,  government records, gives voice to those who previously were unheard
    • Resources – gives a global platform to story owners
  • Collecting institutions
    • Online research resources based on their holdings
    • Access –
    • Scholarly communication


    • JR – volunteers benefit from personal investment in the topic
    • Sense of accomplishment
    • There is a sense of ownership in the understanding of history
      • Discovery Process
      • Empowerment
      • Direct contact with primary sources
    • Adam –
    • NR – Volunteers act as their own curator?
      • Competition
    • New skills


Benefits of ParEng in DH

The ideas listed for benefits consist of the following:

  • Content refreshment + renewal
  • Lots of fun
  • Reinforcement of the importance of the humanities in the public sphere
  • User engagement
  • Politically important: justify funding for the humanities
  • Audience development
  • Unexpected discoveries
  • It’s fun ! (or it should be !)
  • Networking beyond the “traditional” scientific community
  • Wider reach of collections
  • Social literacy of researchers
  • Scientific literacy of participants / citizens
  • Corrections between institutions and volunteers
  • Exciting to bring research to new audiences
  • Encounters with primary sources (education  across age groups (adults, too)
  • Immersion in own culture
  • Discovering less known
  • More quickly and  wider spreading of information
  • Important to provide opportunities for the public to use their creative capital
  • Spreading collaborative models and potential to tie together “our” diverse content in a meaningful way
  • Providing tools to help people create or explore their own meanings (empower public discovery)
  • Community Building
  • Create new vocation for science
  • Involve our peers (academies, teachers, archivists, etc.) in longer research projects
  • Value for money: funders, does public engagement help or hinder?

Group 3 | Benefits & Agents

Software development companies 

  • Access to new data
  • New working opportunities
  • PR
  • Ideas from experimental projects in CH and academia

Aggregating Institutions

  • Reusability of data
  • Collecting structured data
  • Fosters partnerships
  • Shared standards
  • Sharable policies and Procedures


  • Working with peers but also stakeholders
  • Using a medium they are (apparently) comfortable with
  • Valuing humanities
  • Learning from primary sources (also being critical of sources)
  • Learning methodological approaches
  • Cross disciplinary learning

Disadvantages Communities 

  • Universal design + accessibility
  • Being represented
  • Participating in their own representations (agency)
  • Social justice
  • Financial implications of access (economically disadvantaged)

Institutional mediators

  • Self organised content creation
  • Contact with new leaders
  • Space for encouraging dialogue

Agents working within a participatory engagement environment

  • Researchers
  • Audience
  • Cultural institutions (GLAM, etc)
  • Web
  • Research infrastructures (DARIAH, CLARIN, etc)
  • Funding bodies
  • Content/story owners/originators
  • School, educational institutes
  • Collecting institutions
  • Volunteers
  • Software development companies and organizations
  • Aggregating institutions
  • Students
  • Disadvantaged communities
  • Instiutional mediators and encouragers
  • Data visualizers
  • Web developers
  • Expert in semantic technologies
  • Dialect speakers
  • Digital natives, millennials
  • Small archives
  • Whole community