HELDIG Digital Humanities Summit 2020

Results of Today – Visions for Tomorrow

Dec 11 (Friday), 2020, 10:00–16:00 (9:00–15:00 CET), Webinar on Zoom

Helsinki Centre for Digital Humanities (HELDIG) was launched by a kick-off symposium in 2016. The first HELDIG Digital Humanities Summit in 2017 provided a snapshot of activities within the centre, in 2018 the conference theme was Infrastructures for Digital Humanities, and in 2019 From Text to Knowledge.

HELDIG’s initial four year phase 2016–2020 funded by the Academy of Finland and University of Helsinki as a profiling action is ending. The goal of HELDIG Summit 2020 is to shed light on where Digital Humanities (DH) and HELDIG in particular stand today, and to point out directions for next steps ahead for research, education, societal impact, and infrastructure bulding.

After opening the Summit, an overview of HELDIG 2016–2020 and its future prospects are presented. After this, HELDIG professors present their works and visions for the future. The afternoon sessions present similar views from professors at the Department of Digital Humanities of the University of Helsinki, work in DH education and infrastructures, and introduce new HELDIG-related centres established. In conclusion, professor Marcia Zeng from the Kent State University, USA, gives a keynote on Semantic Enrichment for Enhancing Historical and Cultural Heritage Data to Support Digital Humanities Research.


The webinar is open and free for everyone to join. Register HERE to get your Zoom link for the webinar.



HELDIG Summit 2020 Opening

Vice-rector, prof. Hanna Snellman

HELDIG in a Turning Point: Results of Today – Visions for Tomorrow

Prof. Eero Hyvönen, director

This presentation will overview experiences in establishing and running the HELDIG centre 2016-2020 as part of the profiling actions funded by the Academy of Finland.

Suomen Akatemian vuonna 2015 käynnistyneen Profi-ohjelman tavoitteena on ollut ”tukea ja nopeuttaa yliopistojen strategioiden mukaista profiloitumista tutkimuksen laadun kehittämiseksi”. Ohjelman avulla on eri yliopistoissa vahvistettu merkittävällä tavalla valittuja kokonaisuuksia, vähennetty tieteenalojen sisäistä pirstaleisuutta sekä edistetty monitieteellistä ja tieteidenvälistä yhteistyötä niin yliopistojen sisällä kuin kansallisella tasolla yliopistojen välillä. Profi-ohjelman 2. vaiheessa vuonna 2016 käynnisti toimintansa Helsingin yliopistossa uusi digitaalisten ihmistieteiden (Digital Humanities, DH) keskus HELDIG – Helsinki Centre for Digital Humanities. Profi2-rahoitusvaiheen päättyessä 31.12.2020 keskuksen toiminta siirtyy osaksi yliopiston normaalia toimintaa. Artikkelissa luon katsauksen kokemuksiin keskuksen toiminnan käynnistämisessä erityisesti humanististen alojen ja tietojenkäsittelytieteen näkökulmasta.

More info: article (in Tieteessä tapahtuu magazine, 2021, forth-coming), personal homepage

Presentation: slides

10:15–12:15 HELDIG Professor Perspectives

Chair: prof. Eero Hyvönen (15 min presentations)
Prof. Minna Ruckenstein (Digital Innovations and Consumer Society)

Algorithmic Culture
Prof. Krista Lagus (Digital Social Science)

Steps towards cocreating good society for all

Presentation: slides
Prof. Michael Mathioudakis (Algorithmic Data Science for SSH Applications)

Data Science with Societal Applications

More info: Research group webpage

Presentation: video, slides
Prof. Riikka Koulu (Legal Research on Digitalization)

Law and digitalisation: Lessons learned from automated decision making
Prof. Daria Gritsenko (Russian Big Data Methodologies)

Digital Russia Studies – a Field with Two Faces

Presentation: video
Prof. Katja Valaskivi (Religion and the Digital World)

Studying Religion in the Digital World – Case of Conspiracy Theories
Prof. Petri Ihantola (Big Data Learning Analytics)

Presentation canceled
Prof. Eetu Mäkelä (Digital Humanities and Global Interaction)

How to do computational research in the humanities and social sciences

More info: Research group webpage

Presentation: video, slides
12:15–13:00 Lunch
13:00–13:45 Other Perspectives to Digital Humanities

Chair: Staff Scientist Jouni Tuominen (15 min presentations)
Prof. Jörg Tiedemann (Language Technology)

The language continuum and multimodality in language technology – achievements and goals in modern NLP and what we do about them in Helsinki

More info: research group homepage

Presentation: video, slides
Prof. Mikko Tolonen (Digital Humanities)

Computational History as a sub-field of Digital Humanities

More info: research group homepage

Presentation: video

Prof. Eero Hyvönen (Semantic Media Technology (HELDIG and Aalto))

Semantic Web in Digital Humanities: Paradigm Shift from Text Publishing to Serendipitous Knowledge Discovery

This vision presentation discusses a shift of focus in research on Cultural Heritage semantic portals, based on Linked Data, and envisions and proposes new directions of research. Three generations of portals are identified: Ten years ago the research focus in semantic portal development was on data harmonization, aggregation, search, and browsing ("first generation systems"). At the moment, the rise of Digital Humanities research has started to shift the focus to providing the user with integrated tools for solving research problems in interactive ways ("second generation systems"). I envision and argue that the next step ahead to "third generation systems" is based on Artificial Intelligence: future portals not only provide tools for the human to solve problems but are used for finding research problems in the first place, for addressing them, and even for solving them automatically under the constraints set by the human researcher. Such systems should preferably be able to explain their reasoning, which is an important aspect in the source critical humanities research tradition. The second and third generation systems set new challenges for both computer scientists and humanities researchers.

More info: video, article (in Semantic Web Journal), personal homepage, research group homepage

Presentation: slides (including links to two videos)

13:45–14:25 Digital Humanities Education and Infrastructures

Chair: Dr. Mikko Koho (10 min presentations)
Department of Digital Humanities

Prof. Martti Vainio

More info: department homepage
Master’s Programme for Digital Humanities

Prof. Mikko Tolonen

More info: programme homepage

Presentation: video
Building DH Infrastructures in Finland: FIN-CLARIAH (and DARIAH-FI)

Prof. Mikko Tolonen

Presentation: video
Linked Open Data Infrastructure for Digital Humanities (LODI4DH)

Staff Scientist Jouni Tuominen

More info: project homepage, personal homepage

Presentation: video, slides
14:25–14:55 New Research Centres Related to HELDIG

(10 min presentations)
Legal Tech Lab

Adjunct Prof. Suvi Sankari

More info: centre homepage
Centre for Social Data Science (CSDS)

Prof. Krista Lagus and Adjunct Prof. Kimmo Vehkalahti

More info: centre homepage
Helsinki Institute for Social Sciences and Humanities (HSSH)

Prof. Hannu Nieminen

More info: centre homepage
14:55–15:00 Coffee Break

Keynote: Semantic Enrichment for Enhancing Historical and Cultural Heritage Data to Support Digital Humanities Research

Prof. Marcia Lei Zeng, Kent State University, USA

With the rapid development of the Digital Humanities (DH) field, demands for historical and cultural heritage data to be used in both big data and smart data projects have sharply increased. Because such data usually cannot be obtained through web crawling or scraping, libraries, archives, and museums (LAMs) and other memory institutions have become valuable resources for this much needed authoritative and high-quality data. Strategies for semantic enrichment represent a major step in enhancing existing LAM data through semantic technologies, resulting in meaningful efforts to maximize the FAIRness of historical and cultural heritage data as well as their value and usefulness across DH projects on the Semantic Web.

This presentation will provide a framework for approaches used in the semantic enrichment of LAM data, including structured data (a brief overview), semi-structured data (more detailed report, with our research findings), and unstructured data (a deeper discussion based on several unique cases).

Marcia Lei Zeng is a Professor of Information Science at Kent State University. She holds a Ph.D. from the School of Computing and Information at the University of Pittsburgh in the United States of America. Her research interests include knowledge organization systems (taxonomies, thesauri, ontologies, etc.), Linked Data, metadata, smart data and big data, database quality control, semantic technologies, and digital humanities. Dr. Zeng has authored over 100 research papers as well as five books. Her research projects have received funding from the NSF, IMLS, OCLC, Fulbright, and other organizations. She has chaired and served on committees, working groups, and executive boards for IFLA, SLA, ASIS&T, NISO, ISO, DCMI, ISKO, and W3C. Currently she is serving as chair of the Digital Humanities Curriculum Committee of the global iSchools organization, and as an Executive Board Member of the International Society for Knowledge Organization (ISKO).

Personal homepage: https://marciazeng.slis.kent.edu/

Presentation: video, slides

Discussion & Conclusions