Research plan and significance

The present research aims to create a standardized model of user interface and data structure for annotated images of various materials in humanities. The model will be a general-purpose platform which will ensure easier accessibility of materials of broader range and scope. Utilizing such a platform will enable sharing materials and research methods beyond a specific research field which will lead to a transition from "implicit knowledge humanities" to "connected humanities", a new model of accessibility of research methods from various fields. The "connected humanities" model can potentially lead to a significant breakthrough in general impact of humanities research.

The research from its initial stages is oriented at creating versatile data and interface structure and is essentially different from the conventional research of digital archives which are limited to a specific type of materials. The following key concepts of the present research illustrate its unique characteristics: "standardization", "multilingualism", "diverse and multiple materials", "international expansion", "interactivity", etc. There are two significant outcomes deriving from the above concepts. The first one is related to the system development and the second is the impact on humanities research.

The former has an important potential of drastically decreasing the costs of system development by creating versatile user interface and data structure. Database system of images of Ancient Egyptian language created in this research was ready for launching within the period of approximately nine weeks. If general distribution based on this database is developed and published, researchers in various fields of humanities will be able to experience its merits.

As for the latter, this outcome will make it possible to create a new research style in humanities. In conventional individualistic research style in humanities the vision and understanding of research methodologies was not very clear. With the results of research being placed at the top of importance scale, the concrete research methods are often not explained and there is no system for sharing and exchanging research methods. To change such state of affairs, the development and sharing of methods for joint research become very important.

The success of the present research will lead to creating a platform for sharing research resources, hence new research will be conducted in accordance with the shared research methods and communication will take place within the shared infrastructures. Moreover, the evaluation of research will be carried out in accordance with common measures. Thus, the significance of the present research is in its contribution to the emergence of the new "connected humanities" which will enable interdisciplinary research and enhance all areas of humanities research.

Subsystems previously developed

  • Ancient Egyptian Hieratic Script Database
  • Modern Japanese Grammar Textbooks Database
  • Sumero-Akkadian Cuneiform Database