Mashing Texts and Just in Time Research

Screen Shot from PowerPointWith colleagues Stéfan Sinclair, Alexandre Sevigny and Susan Brown, I recently got a SSHRC Research and Development Initiative grant for a project Mashing Texts. This project will look at “mashing” open tools to test ideas for text research environments. Here is Powerpoint File that shows the first prototype for a social text environment based on Flickr.

From the application:

The increasing availability of scholarly electronic texts on the internet makes it possible for researchers to create “mashups” or combinations of streams of texts from different sources for purposes of scholarly editing, sociolinguistic study, and literary, historical, or conceptual analysis. Mashing, in net culture, is reusing or recombining content from the web for purposes of critique or creating a new work. Web 2.0 phenomena like Flickr and FaceBook provide public interfaces that encourage this recombination (see “Mashup” article and Why not recombine the wealth of electronic texts on the web for research? Although such popular social networking applications as mashups seem distant from the needs of humanities scholars, in many ways so-called mashups or repurposing of digital content simply extend the crucial principle developed in humanities computing for the development of rich text markup languages: that content and presentation should be separable, so that the content can be put to various and often unanticipated uses.

Mashing Texts will prototype a recombinant research environment for document management, large-scale linguistic research, and cultural analysis. Mashing Texts proposes to adapt the document repository model developed for the Text Analysis Portal for Research (TAPoR) project so that a research team interested in recombinant documents can experiment with research methods suited to creating, managing and studying large collections of textual evidence for humanities research. The TAPoR project built text analysis infrastructure suited to analysis of individual texts. Mashing Texts will prototype the other side of the equation ��� the rapid creation of large-scale collections of evidence. It will do this by connecting available off-the-shelf open-source tools to the TAPoR repository so that the team can experiment with research using large-scale text methods.