Call for Papers: Workshop on Semantic Web for Scientific Heritage

Call for Papers: Workshop on Semantic Web for Scientific Heritage (SW4SH)

The first Workshop on Semantic Web for Scientific Heritage will be held in conjunction with the 12th ESWC 2015 Conference on June 1, in Portoroz, Slovenia and will provide a leading international and interdisciplinary forum for disseminating the latest research in the field of Semantic Web for the study of pre-modern scientific texts and of the history of the ideas and their transmission.

Classicists and historians are interested in developing textual databases, in order to gather and explore large amounts of primary source materials. For a long time, they mainly focused on text digitization and markup. They only recently decided to try to explore the possibility of transferring some analytical processes they previously thought incompatible with automation to knowledge engineering systems, thus taking advantage of the growing set of tools and techniques based on the languages and standards of the semantic Web, such as linked data, ontologies, and automated reasoning. On the other hand, Semantic Web researchers are willing to take up more ambitious challenges than those arising in the native context of the Web in terms of anthropological complexity, addressing meta-semantic problems of flexible, pluralist or evolutionary ontologies, sources heterogeneity, hermeneutic and rhetoric dimensions. Thus the opportunity for a fruitful encounter of knowledge engineers with computer-savvy historians and classicists has come. This encounter may be inscribed within the more general context of digital humanities, a research area at the intersection of computing and the humanities disciplines which is gaining an ever-increasing momentum and where the Linked Open Data is playing an increasingly prominent role.

The purpose of the workshop is to provide a forum for discussion about the methodological approaches to the specificity of annotating “scientific” texts (in the wide sense of the term, including disciplines such as history, architecture, or rhetoric), and to support a collaborative reflection, on possible guidelines or specific models for building historical ontologies. The iconographic data, which are also relevant in history of science and arise similar problematic could be addressed as well and offer suggestive insights for a global methodology for diverse media. A key goal of the workshop, focusing on research issues related to pre-modern scientific texts, is to emphasize, through precise projects and up-to-date investigation in digital humanities, the benefit of a multidisciplinary research to create and operate on relevantly structured data. One of the main interests of the very topic of pre-modern historical data management lies in historical semantics, and the opportunity to jointly consider how to identify and express lexical, theoretical and material evolutions. Dealing with historical texts, a major problem is indeed to handle the discrepancy of the historical terminology compared to the modern one, and, in the case of massive, diachronic data, to take into account the contextual and theoretical meaning of words and sentences and their semantics. Papers on ancient and medieval biological science and zoology are particularly welcome.

More information can be found on the attached PDF.