May 27, 2011

The Digging Into Data Challenge and List of Online Data Repositories for Humanities and Social Sciences

I came across the Digging Into Data Challenge website today and thought it might be of interest to IMT readers.  Below is a description of the project, a few related links, and an abbreviated list of links to a wide range of data repositories on the web.  

Digging Banner
"Welcome to the second round of the Digging into Data Challenge. During the first round, in 2009, nearly 90 international research teams competed in the challenge. Ultimately, eight remarkable projects were awarded grants."
"In 2011, the Digging into Data Challenge has returned for a second round, this time much larger, with sponsorship from eight international research funders, representing Canada, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and the United States."
"What is the "challenge" we speak of?  The idea behind the Digging into Data Challenge is to address how "big data" changes the research landscape for the humanities and social sciences. Now that we have massive databases of materials used by scholars in the humanities and social sciences -- ranging from digitized books, newspapers, and music to transactional data like web searches, sensor data or cell phone records -- what new, computationally-based research methods might we apply? As the world becomes increasingly digital, new techniques will be needed to search, analyze, and understand these everyday materials. Digging into Data challenges the research community to help create the new research infrastructure for 21st century scholarship." 
"Applicants will form international teams from at least two of the participating countries.  Winning teams will receive grants from two or more of the funding agencies and, two years later, will be invited to show off their work at a special conference sponsored by the eight funders."

"Let's get digging."

Digging into Data Challenge Second Year Request for Proposals
Press Release    Round Two: Digging Into Data Challenge: Social and computational scientist asked to design methods and tools for analyzing large data sets (National Science Foundation)

Times Higher Education, April 28, 2011, "Research intelligence - Let's dig a little deeper"
The New York Times, November 16, 2010, "Digital Keys for Unlocking the Humanities’ Riches"
The Globe and Mail, June 18, 2010, "Supercomputers seek to ‘model humanity’"

Be sure to visit the Digging Into Data Challenge data repository page.  Each repository is annotated in detail and includes links and in some cases, APIs. The page is updated regularly, and at the time of this post, was updated on May 26, 2011. For your convenience, here's the abbreviated version of the Digging Into Data Challenge list of repositories: 

The Archaeology Data Services (ADS)

Biodiversity Heritage Library

The Centre for Contemporary Canadian Art Canadian Art Database Project

Chronicling America, Library of Congress, National Digital Newspaper Program


Digital Library for Earth System Education (DLESE)

Early Canadiana Online

English Broadside Ballad Archive

Great War Primary Documents Archive

Harvard Time Series Center (TSC)


The History Data Service (HDS)

Internet Archive

Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research

JISC MediaHub


Marriott LibraryUniversity of Utah

NASA ADS: Smithsonian/NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

National Archives, London

The National Library of Wales

National Science Digital Library (NSDL)

National Technical Information Service (NTIS)

Nebraska Digital Newspaper Project

New York Public Library

The New York Times Article Search API

Opening History

PhilPapers (philosophy)

Project MUSE

PSLC DataShop (Pittsburg Science of Learning Center)

Scholarly Database at the Cyberinfrastructure for Network Science Center, Indiana University

ScholarSpace at the University of Hawai'i at Manoa

Statistical Accounts of Scotland

University of Florida Digital Library Center

University of North Texas

Just a thought....
I'd be interested in learning if any of the researchers involved in the Digging Into Data Challenge plan to work on an interactive, multidimensional, multimedia timeline to support collaborative data sharing and analysis.  

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