Moving EMLoT towards the web of data: an approach to the representation of humanities citations based on role theory and formal ontology




The study of how texts quote and reference each other is a fundamental aspect of humanities disciplines at large; more specifically, it is the main goal of textual criticism. Scholars in this field of study aim at the identification of the elements that let them distinguish an original document (e.g., a manuscript) from its subsequent copies, to the purpose of better understanding phenomena such as the history of transmission of a text, or the propagation of an idea across the time and space dimensions. Accordingly, structural elements such as citations and quotations become objects of study in themselves, for they can reveal much more than a simple conceptual reference to a preexisting document.
In this essay we present an approach based on role theory and formal ontology whose purpose is to represent the key concepts in the field of textual transmission history. By characterizing the semantics of concepts such as reference, citation, quotation as they are normally used in this academic discipline, we aim at providing a framework that can enable more precise information integration services in this area, and more generally, in the digital humanities. At the same time, we want to show that the formalization of citations objects in the humanities is more complicated that expected, and that it requires an extension (and possibly a revision) of its correspondent solutions in the scientific world.
Our research derive from the Early Modern London Theatres project (EMLoT), whose goal was to build a database that lets you see what direct use has been made, over the last four centuries, of pre-1642 documents related to professional performance in purpose-built theaters and other permanent structures in the London area. In what follows we present our attempt to express the meaning of EMLoT’s data using a formal ontology, we discuss the methods being used and, more generally, highlight the various difficulties involved in the formal modeling of the domain of textual transmission history. The ontology will serve two purposes: first, it clarifies the meaning of the relevant concepts in this area; second, it poses the basis for further research aimed at facilitating the integration of this dataset with other ones available online.

Full reference:

Michele Pasin, Riichiro Mizoguchi. Moving EMLoT towards the web of data: an approach to the representation of humanities citations based on role theory and formal ontology - New Technologies in Medieval and Renaissance Studies forthcoming (part of the 'Envisioning REED in the Digital Age' collection).


See also:


Dec 2014

Moving Early Modern Theatre Online: The Records of Early English Drama introduces the Early Modern London Theatres Website.
Sally-Beth MacLean, Tanya Hagen, Michele Pasin

New Technologies and Renaissance Studies II, ed. Tassie Gniady and others, Medieval and Renaissance Texts and Studies Series (Iter Academic Press), Dec 2014. Volume 4

Dec 2014

Factoid-based Prosopography and Computer Ontologies: towards an integrated approach.
Michele Pasin, John Bradley

Digital Scholarship in the Humanities, Dec 2014. doi: 10.1093/llc/fqt037


Oct 2013

Moving EMLoT towards the web of data: an approach to the representation of humanities citations based on role theory and formal ontology.
Michele Pasin, Riichiro Mizoguchi

New Technologies in Medieval and Renaissance Studies, (forthcoming). (part of the 'Envisioning REED in the Digital Age' collection)

Sep 2013

Citations and Annotations in Classics: Old Problems and New Perspectives.
Matteo Romanello, Michele Pasin

Collaborative Annotation in Shared Environments: Metadata, vocabularies and techniques in the Digital Humanities (workshop co-located with ACM DocEng 2013 Conference), Florence, Sep 2013.

Aug 2013

Structuring that which cannot be structured: A role for formal models in representing aspects of Medieval Scotland.
John Bradley, Michele Pasin

New Perspectives on Medieval Scotland: 1093-1286, Woodbridge, Suffolk: Boydell and Brewer, Studies in Celtic History Series, Aug 2013.


Jul 2012

Annotation and Ontology in most Humanities research: accommodating a more informal interpretation context.
John Bradley, Michele Pasin

NeDiMaH workshop on ontology based annotation, held in conjunction with Digital Humanities 2012, Hamburg, Germany, Jul 2012.


Oct 2011

Semantic Web Approaches in Digital History: an Introduction.
Michele Pasin

Lecture slides from the Course on digital history, part of the master in Digital Humanities at King's College, London., Oct 2011.

Sep 2011

Prosopography and Computer Ontologies: towards a formal representation of the ‘factoid’ model by means of CIDOC-CRM.
John Bradley, Michele Pasin

Representing Knowledge in the Digital Humanities, Lawrence, Kansas, Sep 2011.

Jun 2011

Browsing highly interconnected humanities databases through multi-result faceted browsers.
Michele Pasin

Digital Humanities 2011 , Stanford, USA, Jun 2011.

Jun 2011

An Ontological View of Canonical Citations.
Matteo Romanello, Michele Pasin

Digital Humanities 2011 , Stanford, USA, Jun 2011.


May 2010

Review of Interontology conference 2010.
Michele Pasin

Humana Mente, Journal of Philosophical Studies, 13, May 2010. Issue 13


Oct 2009

PhiloSURFical: An Ontological Approach To Support Philosophy Learning.
Michele Pasin, Enrico Motta

Semantic Web Technologies for e-Learning, Oct 2009. D. Dicheva, R. Mizoguchi, J. Greer (Eds.), vol. 4 The Future of Learning, IOS Press

Jun 2009

Laying the Conceptual Foundations for Data Integration in the Humanities.
Michele Pasin, Arianna Ciula

Proc. of the Digital Humanities Conference (DH09), Maryland, USA, Jun 2009. pp. 211-215


Jun 2008

Formalizing ʻphilosophicalʼ narratives: the tension between form and content.
Michele Pasin, Simon Buckingham-Shum, Enrico Motta

European Computing and Philosophy Conference (ECAP08), Montpellier, France, Jun 2008.

May 2008

Approach and ontology in PhiloSURFical.
Michele Pasin

COST EU Workshop, Ancona University, May 2008.


Sep 2007

AquaLog: An ontology-driven question answering system for organizational semantic intranets.
Vanessa Lopez, Victoria Uren, Enrico Motta, Michele Pasin

Journal of Web Semantics, Sep 2007. Vol. 5, 2, (72-105), Elsevier


Jun 2006

An ontology for the description and navigation through philosophical resources.
Michele Pasin, Enrico Motta

European Conference on Philosophy and Computing (ECAP-06), Trondheim, Norway, Jun 2006.

Jun 2006

A Task Based Approach to Support Situating Learning for the Semantic Web.
Michele Pasin, Martin Dzbor

International Workshop on Applications of Semantic Web Technologies for E-Learning (SWEL-06), held in conjunction with Adaptive Hypermedia 2006, Dublin, Ireland, Jun 2006.

Jun 2006

Paving the way towards the e-humanities: a Semantic Web approach to support the learning of philosophy .
Michele Pasin, Enrico Motta

Poster paper presented at the 3rd European Semantic Web Conference (ESWC-06), Budva, Montenegro, Jun 2006.


May 2005

AquaLog A Ontology-portable Question Answering interface for the Semantic Web.
Vanessa Lopez, Michele Pasin, Enrico Motta

2nd European Semantic Web Conference (ESWC05), Heraklion, Crete, Greece, May 2005. pp. 546-562


Sep 2003

Theory of Knowledge in the Postfordistic Society.
Michele Pasin, Umberto Margiotta

Undergraduate degree thesis in italian (kindly published as a white-paper by ItConsult SRL), Universita Ca' Foscari, Venice, Italy, Sep 2003.