Announcing the Digging into Data Challenge

January 16, 2009

Break out those shovels and pickaxes!  We've got some data to dig!  I'm very pleased to say that today we are announcing a new, international grant competition sponsored by four leading research agencies, the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) from the United Kingdom, the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) from the United States, the National Science Foundation (NSF) from the United States, and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) from Canada. 

Why are these four international funders co-sponsoring this new program? The idea behind the Digging into Data Challenge is to answer the question "what do you do with a million books?"  Or a million pages of newspaper? Or a million photographs of artwork?  That is, how does the notion of scale affect humanities and social science research? Now that scholars have access to huge repositories of digitized data -- far more than they could read in a lifetime -- what does that mean for research? 

This program will bring together researchers from numerous disciplines, including the humanities, computer science, library and information science, and the social sciences.  For more information, please check out the press release and the competition website.