According to the KNAW-call, the programme needs to address a dual mission: (i) "to stimulate the development of e-science in the humanities and social sciences", and (ii) "to study the effects of e-science on the practice, activity and quality of research in those fields". The call stipulated that this mission is to be pursued "by an integrated program of cooperative research between the humanities, social sciences and information sciences". A core feature of the Virtual Knowledge Studio is the integration of design and analysis in a close cooperation between social scientists, humanities researchers, information technology experts and information scientists.

The programme is integrated at all levels: its goal and mission, its research projects, its internal peer review, its funding acquisition, its collaboration and publication policies and its data management. This does not mean that disciplinary differences will become invisible. On the contrary, we rather expect that these distinctions will be productive and contribute to that creative tension which is the hallmark of innovative research and scholarship. This integrated approach should thereby provide insight in the way e-research can contribute to new research questions and methods in the humanities and social sciences.

  • 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.

These goals are intimately connected, one cannot be reached without the other. Moreover, they are not only relevant to the humanities and social sciences but to the development of ? and reflection on ? present-day knowledge societies.