Track 13. Uncertainty in Digital Humanities


In the recent years, with the pervasiveness of computers and a great variety of electronic devices connected to the Internet, Digital Humanities (DH) as a research field has experienced a great transformation that has permitted the completion of very ambitious projects with large impact in the society beyond the academia. This has resulted in a major economic impact in the cultural and creative industry. A number of new and powerful ICT have made possible the exploitation of a wealth of data (either digitized or digitally born) that have, on the other hand, changed enormously the practice in DH, and exposed novel challenges that must be faced in order to complete any of the said projects. From the creation to the consumption of digital resources, there are new stakeholders, contexts and tasks to consider. The amount of digital resources produced (or digitized), stored, explored, and analysed in any DH project is immensely vast (specially if we take into account the introduction of linked-data), so the traditional humanities tools have to be either substituted or aided with ancillary tools in the form of interactive visualisations or novel user interfaces.

Furthermore, during the whole lifecycle of any DH project –from the data preparation to the actual analysis or exploration phase–, many decisions have to be made in order to yield the desired results that depend on the uncertainty pertaining to both the datasets and the models behind them.

One result of these many adjustments, adaptations and migrations is that the sources, nature and role of uncertainty in humanities research, and the options researchers have to manage it, are changing. Debates which previously could not be resolved in a satisfactory way can now be argued statistically, but, at the same time, certain rich modes of information input, from the library shelf to the potsherd, have been deprecated in the shadow of their less contextualised digital surrogates. This session will feature a range of perspectives on how humanistic researchers’ relationship to uncertainty has changed in the digital age, how the risks might be managed and the opportunities exploited, and what digital research in other disciplines might learn from the lessons of uncertainty in DH.


Selection, not limited to:

  • Concepts of uncertainty in various disciplines
  • Understanding all the sources of uncertainty that can affect the DH practice
  • Assessing the degree of uncertainty of data sources
  • Quantifying and Measurement of uncertainty in various disciplines
  • Uncertainty, risks and innovation
  • Uncertainty and digital transformation
  • Communication of uncertainty to the user/researcher
  • Uncertainty and teaching, communication of uncertainty to scholars
  • Uncertainty and the media, communication of uncertainty to non-scientists
  • Applications
  • Software and tools for uncertainty management
  • Technologies like semantics, linked data and language processing for data uncertainty
  • (Progressive) Visualisation of uncertainty
  • History of discussion certainty and uncertainty in science

Track Scientific Committee

Eveline Wandl-vogt (Austrian Academy of Sciences, Austria) – Chair

Roberto Therón (University of Salamanca, Spain) – Chair

Jordi Porta (RAE, Autonomous University of Madrid, Spain)

Cristóbal Suárez Guerrero (University of Valencia, Spain)

Marianne Ping Huang (School of Communication and Culture, Aarhus University, Denmark)

Alexandra Angeletaki (Senior Research Librarian at the NTNU University library of Trondheim, Norway)

Victor M. Lopez-Menchero Bendicho  (University of Castilla-La Mancha, Spain)

Roberto Scopigno, (Visual Computing Laboratory,Istituto di Scienza e Tecnologie dell’Informazione, Italy)

Alex 0’Connor (Pivotus Ventures, USA)

Jennifer Edmond (Trinity College Dublin, Ireland)

Cezary Mazurek (Poznan Supercomputing and Networking Center, Poznan, Poland)

Roberto Ranon (University of Udine, Italy)

Alejandro Benito Santos (University of Salamanca, Spain)

Antonio Gabriel Losada Gómez (University of Salamanca, Spain)

Rodrigo Santamaría (University of Salamanca, Spain)

Nirmala Menon (Indian Institute of Technology -IIT, Indore, India)

Jose Luis Preza Diaz (Austrian Academy of Sciences, ACDH, Austria)

Serena Cangiano (SUPSI, Switzerland)

Ruslan Mitkov (University Wolverhampton, UK)

Oliver Grau (Danube University Krems, AT)

Paolo Ciuccarelli (Politechnico Milano, Density Design Research Lab, IT)

Matthew Battles (metaLAB (at) Harvard, US)

Rod Bantjes (Saint Francis Xavier University, Antigosh, CA)