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Visualising the intellectual and social structures of digital humanities using an invisible college model

Gao, Jin; (2021) Visualising the intellectual and social structures of digital humanities using an invisible college model. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London).

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Abstract

This thesis explores the intellectual and social structures of an emerging field, Digital Humanities (DH). After around 70 years of development, DH claims to differentiate itself from the traditional Humanities for its inclusiveness, diversity, and collaboration. However, the ‘big tent’ concept not only limits our understandings of its research structure, but also results in a lack of empirical review and sustainable support. Under this umbrella, whether there are merely fragmented topics, or a consolidated knowledge system is still unknown. This study seeks to answer three research questions: a) Subject: What research topics is the DH subject composed of? b) Scholar: Who has contributed to the development of DH? c) Environment: How diverse are the backgrounds of DH scholars? The Invisible College research model is refined and applied as the methodological framework that produces four visualised networks. As the results show, DH currently contributes more towards the general historical literacy and information science, while longitudinally, it was heavily involved in computational linguistics. Humanistic topics are more popular and central, while technical topics are relatively peripheral and have stronger connections with non-Anglophone communities. DH social networks are at the early stages of development, and the formation is heavily influenced by non-academic and non-intellectual factors, e.g., language, working country, and informal relationships. Although male scholars have dominated the field, female scholars have encouraged more communication and built more collaborations. Despite the growing appeals for more diversity, the level of international collaboration in DH is more extensive than in many other disciplines. These findings can help us gain new understandings on the central and critical questions about DH. To the best of the candidate’s knowledge, this study is the first to investigate the formal and informal structures in DH with a well-grounded research model.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: Visualising the intellectual and social structures of digital humanities using an invisible college model
Event: UCL (University College London)
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © The Author 2021. Original content in this thesis is licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0) Licence (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/). Any third-party copyright material present remains the property of its respective owner(s) and is licensed under its existing terms. Access may initially be restricted at the author’s request.
Keywords: Digital Humanities, Network analysis, Bibliometric analysis, Social network analysis, Twitter
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Arts and Humanities
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Dept of Information Studies
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10123809
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