Paper #39

Epistemic and Ontological Analysis of the Concept of Digital Humanities in Wikipedia Knowledge Base

Marcin Roszkowski, Faculty of Journalism, Information and Book Studies. University of Warsaw, Poland


The aim of this paper is to investigate the epistemic and ontological status of the concept of digital humanities in Wikipedia by the means of the analysis of structured information recorded both in Wikipedia and its semantic versions – Wikidata and DBpedia. The concept of digital humanities, although situated in the humanities, is relatively new and itself has fuzzy boundaries and many interdisciplinary interpretations. Wikipedia has been a subject of many studies in the field of library and information science, both from a user- and system-oriented perspectives. There is an ongoing discussion about its credibility and verifiability but Wikipedia has become an important element in the landscape of scholarly communication and social knowledge acquisition on the Web. We can investigate Wikipedia content as an effort of communities of practice which members share common guidelines for knowledge base construction, which falls into the category of the epistemology of testimony. Having in mind that perspective, the paper presents the community effort for the conceptualization of digital humanities in Wikipedia category system. The first goal of this study is to locate the concept of digital humanities in Wikipedia. Using Wikidata as a major information management platform for all Wikipedia editions, we can investigate the presence of the concept of digital humanities in language editions of Wikipedia and extract all structured information about that concept. The second goal of this paper is to locate concept of digital humanities in Wikipedia category system and investigate different perspectives for knowledge organization based on that example. The third goal of this study is based on what is known about digital humanities in Wikipedia. The subject of the analysis are all articles that fall into the category of digital humanities and their ontological status. The latter will be examined by the means of DBpedia ontology which is being used for Wikipedia entities formal categorization.

Keywords: Wikipedia, Wikidata, DBpedia, Digital Humanities, Knowledge Organization Systems