Analysing an Academic Field through the Lenses of Internet Science: Digital Humanities as a Virtual Community

  • Alkim Almila Akdag Salah
  • Andrea Scharnhorst
  • Sally Wyatt
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 9089)


Digital Humanities (DH) has been depicted as an innovative engine for humanities, as a challenge for Data Science, and as an area where libraries, archives and providers of e-research infrastructures join forces with research pioneers. However DH is defined, one thing is certain: DH is a new community which manifests and identifies itself via the Internet and social media. In this paper we propose to describe DH as a virtual community (VC), and discuss the implications of such an epistemic approach. We start with a (re)inspection of the scholarly discourse about VCs, and the analytic frameworks which have been applied to study them. We discuss the aspects that are highlighted by taking such a stance, and use the guidelines proposed by the FP7 European Network of Excellence in Internet Science (EINS) in our investigation.


Virtual communities Emergence of new scientific fields Network analysis Digital humanities Bibliometrics 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alkim Almila Akdag Salah
    • 1
  • Andrea Scharnhorst
    • 1
  • Sally Wyatt
    • 1
  1. 1.eHumanities Group, Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and SciencesAmsterdamThe Netherlands

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