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Special Collection

Computational Humanities Research

Collection launched: 22 Jan 2021

Research in computational and quantitative approaches to humanities data is a fast growing interdisciplinary area. The first Computational Humanities Research workshop (CHR2020) took place online from 18 to 20 November 2020, organized by the DHLab of the KNAW Humanities Cluster in Amsterdam and The Alan Turing Institute. Although most research presented had a strong data-driven component, the focus of the workshop was primarily on methods, techniques, and computational analyses in humanities research. Thus, the challenges of the underlying humanities data for computational research remained relatively underexposed, but are at least as important. This special collection aims to highlight the challenges of humanities data for computational research. This special collection of the Journal of Open Humanities Data is open to both authors who presented at the CHR2020 workshop and intend to submit a paper highlighting the aspect of humanities data and to new authors.

For this special collection we invite submissions of two varieties:

  1. Short data papers contain a concise description of a computational humanities research object with high reuse potential. These are short (1000 words) highly structured narratives that conform to the data paper template. A data paper does not replace a traditional research article, but rather complements it.
     CHR2020 authors: If you have already published a paper in the CHR2020 proceedings and your research includes the creation of a dataset with potential for reuse, you are welcome to submit a short data paper that complements your CHR2020 proceedings paper.
     New authors: If you are a new author and have created a dataset relevant to computational humanities research, you are invited to submit a paper in this category.
  2. Full-length research papers discuss and illustrate methods, challenges, and limitations in the creation, collection, management, access, processing, or analysis of data in computational humanities research. These are intended to be longer narratives (between 3000 and 6000 words + references), which give authors the ability to contribute to a broader discussion.
     CHR2020 authors: If you have already published a paper in the CHR2020 proceedings, you are welcome to submit a paper in this category focussing on the specific features and challenges of the humanities datasets used in your research.
     New authors: If you are a new author you are welcome to submit a paper in this category focussing on the specific features and challenges of the humanities datasets.

Topics of focus are the features and challenges of humanities data for computational research, including scale and size, sampling and representativeness, data complexity, multidimensionality, multimodality, diachrony, as well as the challenges of preparing data for computational humanities inquiries.

Humanities subjects of interest to JOHD include, but are not limited to Art History, Classics, History, Linguistics, Literature, Modern Languages, Music and musicology, Philosophy, Religious Studies, etc. Research that crosses one or more of these traditional disciplinary boundaries is highly encouraged.

The deadline for submissions to this special issue is 1 March 2021. Manuscripts will be sent for double-blind peer review after editorial consideration, and accepted papers will be published online in the journal’s special collection. Please follow the submission guidelines to submit your manuscript.

Note: there are Publication Fees for accepted papers. Publication Fees are scheduled to increase from 2nd March 2021. 

If you have any questions, feel free to contact the editors at

About the journal

The Journal of Open Humanities Data (JOHD) is a growing open-access peer-reviewed academic journal specifically dedicated to publications describing humanities research objects, software, and methods with high potential for reuse. These might include curated resources like (annotated) linguistic corpora, ontologies, and lexicons, as well as databases, maps, atlases, linked data objects, and other data sets created with qualitative, quantitative, or computational methods.

JOHD provides immediate open access to its content on the principle that making research freely available to the public supports a greater global exchange of knowledge. Authors remain the copyright holders and grant third parties the right to use, reproduce, and share the article according to the Creative Commons license agreement. Authors are encouraged to publish their data in recommended repositories.

About the Guest Editors

Folgert Karsdorp is a researcher at the Meertens Institute of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences in Amsterdam. His research focuses on quantitative approaches to cultural transmission and cultural evolution. He recently published a textbook on quantitative data analysis in the humanities, called Humanities Data Analysis: Case Studies with Python (Princeton University Press, 2021).

Melvin Wevers is an Assistant Professor in Urban History and Digital Methods at the University of Amsterdam. His research interests include the philosophy of history, historical methods, and the study of cultural-historical phenomena using computational means. He has a specific research interest in the evolution of ideas, values, and practices in advertising discourse.

Adina Nerghes is a Postdoctoral Researcher at Wageningen University & Research. Her research focuses on language use in various social contexts and emerging social structures. She has investigated the refugee crisis debates in social media, strategies of health consumers and their interactions in the social media space, and discourses of newspapers, central banks, and the European Parliament.