Tiny Data: Building a Community of Practice around Humanities Datasets


Quantitative data, the foundation of scientific research, have been in the foreground of discussions about data creation, curation, and publication pipelines. However, data for humanistic and social scientific inquiries take many forms, including physical and ephemeral primary resources (books, objects, performances, interactions); qualitative, free-form observations; as well as quantitative, structured data and metadata. At the Vanderbilt University Jean and Alexander Heard Library, we started the Tiny Data Working Group (TDWG) in 2016 to tackle some of the humanistic research data creation and curation issues in a constructive, collaborative, and interdisciplinary format. The present paper considers what it means to be FAIR with humanities data, as well as how to build a community of data-literate humanists, based on our experiences with the TDWG.

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