We thought it might be a good idea, at the beginning of the project, to attempt to define what we’re talking about in the five digital research areas that will be covered: cloud computing, linked data, semantic data, text mining and visualisation.

These are the definitions that the team has come up with, but there is bound to be room for improvement. If you can suggest improvements we’d love to hear about them in the comments.

Cloud computing storage and processing of data entirely on third-party servers, with no local working or copies.

Linked data exposed data which can be read by machines along with other data in the same format.

Semantic data data marked up, however lightly or heavily, in ways which reflect the semantic content of a text, rather than its structure.

Text mining the derivation of meaningful data from a large body of unstructured data, using automated methods to reveal structure and associations.

Visualisation the visual representation of data in an attempt to show otherwise hidden patterns and relationships.

Welcome to Histore

Welcome to the project blog for Histore – Historians’ Online Research Environments. Histore is run by IHR Digital at the Institute of Historical Research, part of the University of London. The project is funded by JISC.

The central aim of Histore is to help encourage historians to make greater use of online tools in their research, by giving them information to help them choose the most effective tools for particular tasks and enabling them to request relevant additions to their own institutions’ Virtual Research Environments.

The IHR has been monitoring the use made of digital technology by historians since 2003. What we have found is that it is generally lack of awareness of research tools and their benefits that impedes their take-up in the profession, rather than outright hostility.

Histore will have two phases. In the first phase we will publish an audit of what digital tools are currently available, listing their main characteristics and assessing their difficulty level for new users. In the second phase we will select two areas which we feel present the most pressing need for research training and produce two free online research modules introducing these topics.