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Digital Research in Humanities and Social Sciences


Digital Humanities, Digital Social Sciences, and related terms, have proved difficult to define and there are almost as many definitions of these phrases as there are writers on the topic. The title of this guide was chosen with a view to avoid getting involved in debates about definitions but, for those who might be new to this area, there are two definitions below that would not be too controversial.

Digital Humanities

"The digital humanities, also known as humanities computing, is a field of study, research, teaching, and invention, concerned with the intersection of computing and the disciplines of the humanities.... It involves investigation, analysis, synthesis, and presentation of information in electronic form" (Kirschenbaum, 2013, p. 197).

Digital Social Science

"... we define digital methods as the use of online and digital technologies to collect and analyse research data. Our concern is not only with research that explores online phenomena, but also with a broader interest in using digital methods to engage with all aspects of social life" (Roberts et. al., 2015, p. 2).

Kirschenbaum, M, 2010,  'What is digital humanities and what's it doing in English departments?', reprinted in Terras, M, Nyhan, J & Vanhoutte, E 2013, Defining Digital Humanities: A Reader, Taylor & Francis Group, Farnham, UNITED KINGDOM, retrieved October 7, 2020, from <>.
Snee, H, Hine, C, Morey, Y, Roberts, S, & Watson, H 2015, 'Digital methods as mainstream methodology: an introduction' in Roberts, S, Snee, H, Hine, C, Morey, Y & Watson, H 2015, Digital Methods for Social Science: An Interdisciplinary Guide to Research Innovation, Palgrave Macmillan UK, London, UNITED KINGDOM, retrieved October 7, 2020, from <>.