An Exploratory Examination of Digital Humanities Scholar Research Practices

By Mingming Zhou.

Published by The International Journal of Books, Publishing, and Libraries

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: March 11, 2016 $US5.00

The explosion of digital databases and search engines offers ample opportunities for researchers to access more updated sources and to probe new research questions. Given the fact that humanities scholars are performing their research practices increasingly online, the need for a better understanding of the research practices of scholars in the humanities emerges as a prerequisite for the development of effective digital research infrastructures. This study aims to supplement the broad picture of how digital archives are searched. Online search log data were collected on-the-fly from humanities scholars in Macau. Their search behavior including search queries, highlights, and annotations to texts was analyzed with data mining algorithms to detect their actual search behavior pattern. In addition, hardcopy survey and individual interviews were conducted to make greater sense of their search behavior. The outcomes of the analysis of their research practices can be used in determining user requirements for digital infrastructures to serve the respective research communities.

Keywords: Humanities Researcher, Digital Search, Computer Trace

The International Journal of the Book, Volume 14, Issue 2, June 2016, pp.1-8. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: March 11, 2016 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 697.586KB)).

Dr. Mingming Zhou

Assistant Professor, Faculty of Education, University of Macau, Macau, China