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Tool Summit Conclusions

From ToolCenter

This is not an existing tools project but rather it is part of a proposal for a tools project arising from the Digital Tools Summit at the University of Virginia. For more on the Summit see or notes at

Tool Summit Conclusions

The Tool Summit ended with four directions for tool development. Some of our general conclusions that were:

1. The development of tools for the interpretation of digital evidence in the humanities is one of the major challenges facing humanities computing. There is a critical mass of evidence from electronic texts to geospatial data that is being made available to scholars; we now need the tools to analyze this evidence.

2. Computer-assisted analysis can be seen as a set of practices for asking questions of evidence. The availability of digitized evidence allows us to ask new types of questions, to ask questions of new aggregations of evidence, and to reflect on the interpretative practices of the arts and humanities. With new tools for asking questions and a culture of reflecting on computer-assisted interpretation we expect significant innovation to take place in the humanities.

3. The development of tools for the interpretation of digital evidence is itself research in the arts and humanities. Tools are a form of transformative research as tools can encode innovative interpretative theories and practices. The development of transformative tools should be encouraged and recognized as applied research where that development is conducted in a reflective fashion.

4. We therefore believe that now is the time for an international effort to develop new tools and transformative interpretative practices. If this effort is inclusive, is reflective, and is supported adequately it will be transformative, enhancing the way the arts and humanities are taught and studied.

The Tool Summit developed 4 ideas or hypostheses of tools that could be transformative.

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