Congratulations to Aaron Quigley and his colleagues in the Univeristies of Edinburgh and York for their recent grant success with JISC. Their project “Trading Consequences” (Universities of Edinburgh, York and St Andrews) will examine the economic and environmental consequences of commodity trading during the nineteenth century using information extraction techniques to study large corpora of digitized documents. The project will have a global scope while using Canadian natural resource flows as a way of testing the reliability and efficacy of the data produced. The sources for our study will be a large collection of digitised documents from the period in question, and we will use text mining – more specifically, information extraction – to transform unstructured text into structured data. This innovative digital resource will allow historians to discover novel patterns and to explore new hypotheses, both through structured query and through visualisation.
“This is one of 11 projects funded by eight international research organisations from four countries – including JISC, the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and the arts and humanities research council (AHRC) from the UK – the successful 14 teams are mixed groups of researchers from the United Kingdom, Canada, the Netherlands and the United States. The projects will receive grants of over £3m in total to investigate how computational techniques typically applied to the sciences can also be applied to change humanities and social sciences research.”
For now, you can see more on the JISC website “Eight international research funders announce winners of 2011 Digging into Data challenge“.