Funding for the Methods Network ended March 31st 2008. The website will be preserved in its current state.

Epistemic Networks and GRID + Web 2.0 for Arts and Humanities

A workshop series organized by Dolores Iorizzo, Imperial College Internet Centre, Imperial College London (30 - 31 January 2008)

(html) Programme
(html) Internet Centre website

Data driven Science has emerged as a new model which enables researchers to move from experimental, theoretical and computational distributed networks to a new paradigm for scientific discovery based on large scale GRID networks (NSF/JISC Digital Repositories Workshop, AZ 2007). Hundreds of thousands of new digital objects are placed in digital repositories and on the web everyday, supporting and enabling research processes not only in science, but in medicine, education, culture and government. It is therefore important to build interoperable infra-structures and web-services that will allow for the exploration, data-mining, semantic integration and experimentation of arts and humanities resources on a large scale.

There is a growing consensus that GRID solutions alone are too heavy, and that coupling it with Web 2.0 allows for the development of a more light-weight service oriented architecture (SOA) that can adapt readily to user needs by using on demand utility computing, such as morphological tools, mash-ups, surf clouds, annotation and automated workflows for composing multiple services. The goal is not just to have fast access to digital resources in the arts and humanities, but to have the capacity to create new digital resources, interrogate data and form hypotheses about its meaning and wider context.

Clearly what needs to emerge is a mixed-model of GRID + Web 2.0 solutions for the arts and humanities which creates an epistemic network that supports a four step iterative process:

  • (i) retrieval
  • (ii) contextualisation
  • (iii) narrative and hypothesis building
  • (iv) creating contextualised digital resources in semantically integrated knowledge networks

What is key here is not just managing new data, but the capacity to share, order, and create knowledge networks from existing resources in a semantically accessible form.

To create epistemic networks in the arts and humanities there are core technologies that must be developed. The aim of this expert AHRC ICT Methods Network Workshop was to focus on developing a strategy for the implementation of these core technologies on an inter-national scale by bringing together GRID computing specialists with researchers from Classics, Literature and History who have been involved in the creation and use of electronic resources. The core technologies explored in this two day work-shop are: (i) infrastructure, (ii) named entity, identity and co-reference services, (iii) morphological services and parallel texts, (iv) epistemic networks and virtual research environments. Participants from UK, US, and European funded projects contributed their expertise to agree upon a common strategy for the development of core infra-structure and web-services for the arts and humanities that will enable the use of GRID technologies for advanced research.

This event followed the conference on Semantic Interoperability for e-Research in the Sciences, Arts and Humanities held at Imperial College on 30 March 2006.

Follow-up seminar: Semantic Interoperability in Medicine, the Sciences, and Cultural Heritage: The CIDOC Conceptual Reference Model as a New Standard for Knowledge Sharing

A follow-up seminar took place on 1 February, 2008 at the Imperial College Internet Centre, Imperial College London. More information...

AHDS Methods Taxonomy Terms

This item has been catalogued using a discipline and methods taxonomy. Learn more here.


  • General


  • Communication and collaboration - Audio interaction - synchronous
  • Communication and collaboration - Audio resource sharing
  • Communication and collaboration - Graphical resource sharing
  • Communication and collaboration - Textual collaborative publishing
  • Communication and collaboration - Textual resource sharing
  • Communication and collaboration - Video resource sharing
  • Data publishing and dissemination - Audio resource sharing
  • Data publishing and dissemination - Graphical resource sharing
  • Data publishing and dissemination - Searching/querying
  • Data publishing and dissemination - Streaming audio
  • Data publishing and dissemination - Streaming video
  • Data publishing and dissemination - Textual resource sharing
  • Data publishing and dissemination - Video resource sharing