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Enhancing Humanities


The Arts and Humaities have often been modelled as technophobic or even resistant to technical developments. But this view shows to be overly simplistic as recent advances in development in Virtual Research Environment for e-humanities draw a differnt picture. In fact, new computer tolls have already stimulated a broad discussion in large parts of the humanities field on how to adopt these into new methodologies and research practices. In Germany these activities are exemplified by a number of recent e-humanities-inititives on national and European levels. These projects were alredy successful in establishing functional infrastructures for humanities researchers and can therefore be regarded as hallmarks for future research on e-science. E-humanities-projects have arisen from a variety of perspectives, including virtual collaboration, publication and infrastructure development.

Hovever, as the technical development of these tools, services and infrastructure is becoming more and more sophisticated, there are still huge questions to be answered regarding the sustainability of e-science infrastructures. A current major problem here is the limited adoption by the humanities researchers themselves. The acceptance of new tools and infrastructures keeps low, as long as these do not fit into everyday research practice. Therefore, one of the central questions in the e-science filed, apart from questions of sustainability and institutional organizations of infrastructures, is how these new tools can find better acceptance and actual deployment in the diverse field of arts and Humanities.