The Virtual Knowledge Studio

  • to contribute to the design and conceptualisation of novel scholarly practices in the humanities and social sciences
  • to support scholars in their experimental play with new ways of doing research and emerging forms of collaboration and communication
  • to facilitate the travel of new methods, practices, resources and techniques across different disciplines
  • to contribute to a better understanding of the dynamics of knowledge creation.

The humanities and social sciences are no backwater with respect to e-research. This is demonstrated by a host of new initiatives in the areas of digitisation, Web based repositories and archives, digital libraries, and collaboratories, in the Netherlands as well as abroad. A number of fields have undergone radical transformations through the use of novel analytical techniques and related shifts in research paradigms.

Yet, a systematic and critical interrogation of the potential of e-research paradigms and methodologies for the humanities and social sciences is hampered by disciplinary boundaries between fields, by a relative lack of resources and research infrastructures, and by the dominance of particular computational approaches in the world of e-science. The Studio will address these problems by:

  • demonstrating and exploring the potential of additional, non-computational as well as computational, ways of doing e-research
  • making disciplinary boundaries more permeable for new scholarly practices
  • pooling resources that are available to the scholarly communities in the Netherlands and abroad.

Because the research projects in the Studio will not be developed for but with scholars in the humanities and social sciences, we expect that the lessons learned in this research programme will have a lasting effect on academia in the Netherlands. Each research project will result in contributions to the pool of research resources in the form of:

  • scientific and technical publications
  • research methodologies and techniques 
  • software tools 
  • organisational protocols 
  • or best practice manuals
  • and freely downloadable data and tools.

The Studio maintains two forms of long-term collaborative relationships with researchers in the humanities and social sciences: partnerships and collaboratories. These are supported by a suite of Studio web sites, which will develop into a portal on e-research in the humanities and social sciences. The Studio will organise a yearly Summerschool, seminars and workshops to involve new generations of researchers and students (PhD and Research Masters).