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Oulu, 28 June 2008

COST Action no ISO704 'Interedition'
Work Group Meeting (Work Group 1, 'European Dimension'), In accordance with the decision at the MC Kickoff Meeting on the 16th of April, 2008 (Brussels) to plan for a preparatory planning and budgetting meeting in Work Group 1.

  • Additional Information

We planned this meeting to dovetail with the Digital Humanities 2008 Conference in Oulu (Finland). This conference is an excellent occasion for Work Group 1 ('European Dimension') to execute its mission to present this new Action to a wider public and attract new Actions to sign, to attract WG Members and to generally advocate for the Action, as this is the primary conference that attracts a large number of the research community involved in digital scholarly editing which is the primary research audience this Action aims for.

  • MEETING OF WORKGROUP 1 'European Dimension'

Date and time: June 28th, 2008
Meeting place and address: Faculty of Humanities, P.O. Box 1000, 90014 University of Oulu (Finland)
Local organiser: Sakari Katajamäki
Chair: Joris van Zundert

Attendants: Tone Merete Bruvik, Fotis Jannidis, Sakari Katajamäki, Karina van Dalen-Oskam, Edward Vanhoutte, Joris van Zundert (chair)

  • 1. Welcome & appointment of minutes-taker

The Chair welcomes three new members of the group: Sakari Katajamäki (MC member from Finland), Tone Merete Bruvik (sitting in for Daniel Apollon, MC member from Norway), and Karina van Dalen-Oskam (MC member fromThe Netherlands, appointed as leader of Working Group 1). Karina van Dalen-Oskam is appointed as minutes taker.

  • 2. Adoption of agenda

Karina proposes a new item: constitution of Working Group 1.

  • 3. Report and News by the Chair

The Chair announces that money to set up the Interedition website has been granted amounting to 2000 euros.

  • 4. Presentation of proposed Work Plan 2008/2009

Agreement was reached on the following Work plan for all four Working Groups for the year 2008-2009.

    • WORKPLAN 2008 – 2009

WG1 ('European dimension')

  • Establish Website/WIKI
  • General info
  • Contact info
  • MoU-link/COST-link & logo
  • Related Projects
  • Survey results
  • Poll system
  • Section for each Working Group
  • Surveys
  • 'Connecting' (in which projects/networks should we be involved, eg. CenterNet, Bamboo?)

WG2 ('Prototyping')

  • Establish theme for first prototype(s), i.e.:
  • Propose list of themes by mail to partners(?)/MC(?)
  • Poll for theme of first year
  • In October meeting establish functional requirements for prototype(s)
  • Establish plan and planning for STSM's. The idea is to delegate pairs of researchers and programmers to involved institutes/organizations; programmers 'sprint' for (components of) prototypes; the researcher commits to documenting the prototype on a theoretical and practical level (white paper)
  • Implement prototype(s)

WG3 ('Strategic IT recommendations')

  • Evaluate and accumulate results of WG1 surveys
  • Implement additional theoretical research (could we make this more concrete?)
  • Infer conditions (like formats, standards, protocols) to be applied to prototypes and/or derived applications and products

WG4 ('Road map')

  • Provide concerting communications between Working Groups and partners (keep discussion going and website active)
  • Establish content structure of road map document

Remarks per Working Group:

WG1: For the surveys, Edward could contribute data he gathered for the book he is currently working on.
Fotis has reports of surveys in German which might be summarized in English. Other suggestions are the METIS report (Edward); and the JISC website with its survey about humanities software and portals (Fotis). The ADHO website will also have information (http://digitalhumanities.org/). Peter Shillingsburg and some colleagues are also doing a survey (Sakari; contacts are Federico Meschini and Zsuzsanna Varga).
On the WIKI Karina will add links to e.g. CLARIN and DARIAH, with more links to follow.
As to more members of the Interedition group: Tone has several connections in Poland and Eastern Europe; she will provide Karina with more details.
Tone remarks that information about Interedition was difficult to find. This problem will be solved as soon as we get the wiki/website up, which is expected to be in about two weeks time. Tone asks to emphasize in the information about Interedition that we do not only look at the side of the makers of digital text editions but also at the user side: the users of text editions and what they want to do with the texts. Fotis points out that the survey reports he mentioned earlier have taken this into account.

When proposing the theme for the first prototypes the MC will explain what has been done for the collation tool together with Peter Robinson and propose to continue work on that.
When we ask for ideas about other themes, Fotis suggests we: also think about which prototypes would be useful for related projects. He is especially thinking of Bamboo, an American project the project leaders of which might want to spend some of their money on a demonstrator which would be interesting for Interedition as well. The Bamboo project is located at two US universities, financed with a substantial grant of the Mellon foundation, and aims to find out what humanities scholars really want and to make some demonstrators. They are looking for partners in the development of a network for services, which looks very much alike our Action. They will have another workshop in the fall.
It is expected COST will not fund Interedition meetings outside of Europe, and will not reimburse non-europeans.but is not opposed to collaboration. We will have to check whether it would be possible to get funding for just a few trips to get the connections outside Europe on track.
At the meeting in Birmingham which Peter Robinson is now planning, we will plan for prototypes and STSM’s. The goal of the STSM’s is to produce a White Paper on the topic at hand. We will arrive at that goal by doing programming sprints and writing code. Fotis suggested to publish a summary of the White Papers in his yearbook. Short papers, ca. 3 pages, about concepts, methods, etc. This would give the field an idea of the possibilities. The attendants agreed to publish the complete White Papers on the Interedition website and adapt them as far as necessary for Fotis’s yearbook.

everybody who wants to join the discussion about standards etc. is welcome to join Working Group 3. Results of WG3 will be too late to already implement in prototype 1, this this is not seen as a problem. The first discussions will take place at the meeting in October.

No additional remarks.

  • Additional Agenda item: Constitution of Working Group 1

It was decided that the WG-leaders are responsible fot getting their group together, recruiting members. They will have to try to do this in time for the Birmingham meeting. For Working Group 1, European Dimension, the Digital Humanities cconference in Oulu (where this meeting takes place) has already been a good occasion to interest people in Interedition.

  • 5. Adoption of proposed Work Plan to be approved through electronic vote by the MC

Adoption of proposed Work Plan to be approved through electronic vote by the MC All attendants approve of the work plan. The Chair will submit it to the group through e-mail to vote on it.

  • 6. Report on progress of Work Group 1

Website. The Interedition website will be up and running in about two weeks time.
Partners. New partners keep on applying. During the Digital Humanities more interested partners have contacted us. Some from countries already involved (e.g. Finland) and some from countries not yet involved (e.g. Ireland). We will continue these contacts after the congress and look for some more Eastern European involvement through personal connections of the members.
Further PR. The Digital Humanities conference prooved to be a very good starting point. The organizers where very kind in allowing us to send two e-mails to all delegates, informing them about Interedition and about the informativa, informal meeting after the Working Group 1 meeting and this helped very much. It is expected the website will be a very important tool as soon as it is running. WG1 will think of more ways of keeping everybode informed (e.g. the Humanist mailing list).

  • 7. Time and place of next meeting

The next meeting will take place in Birmingham in September or October 2008. Peter Robinson is the organizer.

  • 8. Any Other Business

We have to draw up the rules for who will join a meeting and will be reimbursed. That is to be decided by the MC, but it should be clear which criteria the MC uses. WG leaders are also involved, having to prove that it is necessary for some persons to attend and why.

  • 9. Closing

After closing the meeting, an informative informal meeting took place for which all delegates of the Digital Humanities congress were invited. This meeting attracted a significant amount of interested people (about 30). The Chair, Joris van Zundert, gave the back ground information on Interedition and then questions and suggestions of the audience were taken. The most important parts of the discussion are represented below.

Kurt Gärtner: what are your visions behind digital editions?
Joris van Zundert (chair Interedition): much of this still has to be decided, by the people from the Working Groups. What is sure: web services and protocols to connect web tools to each other; supportability on a national level, interoperable. We have to define the editorial and philological tasks: formalize the task we do. Observe the researchers – the editors and the users of a digital edition.
Espen Ore: there are differences between editing classical, medieval, modern texts.
Fotis Jannidis (Interedition, member of MC for Germany): we will have to find out what is around and decide which aspects are so problematic that only a combined job will help solve it.
Stuart Dunn: what is Interedition’s relation to CLARIN and DARIAH.
Karina van Dalen-Oskam (Interedition, member of MC for The Netherlands): these are mostly linguistical, as far as we have seen up till now, but we are in contact with both projects and will keep each other informed. (Later: CLARIN indeed is linguistical, DARIAH is broader).
Malte Rehbein: What is the aim of the Roadmap? Would this lead to new grant applications?
Joris van Zundert: Indeed; the results of the Action will be the Roadmap and new applications for funding.
Dino Buzzetti: Are you only doing practical work or are you also interested in theoretical discussions about digital texts.
Joris van Zundert: the Working Groups will have to look at how to ‘’bind’’ the editing work to the techniques.
Federico Meschini: So it would be better to speak of methodological in stead of theoretical? Joris van Zundert: that would indeed be a good description.
Fotis Jannidis: We will have to survey what people do, the project divides it into small pieces and finds out what has to be done.
James Cummings: WG3 needs people inderstading the methodology of working on digital editions AND the technical people.
The question was asked: why only digital edidtions? Paper editions are still being made. Shouldn’t they be included?
Joris van Zundert: What we want to do with the COST Action is technical interoperability. And….. paper editions are not interoperable in a technical way.
Malte Rehbein: We have to define what a digital edition is. We have to bring in those who are still not wanting to make digital editions.
Foris Jannidis: this is indeed a very important topic, but it is not a problem we will focus on in Interedition. That is the technical interoperability.
Edward Vanhoutte: We could also look at this from a totally different perspective. Printed editions are ‘’interoperable’’ for decades, but digital editions not yet! There a many different approaches, with many different technical solutions. We will have to create interoperability there.
James Cummings expresses his interest in being part of WG3.
Fotis Jannidis: WG3 could delve into what people expect of collation, that being the first prototype.
Thorsten Vitt: we could start broad, then narrow it down.
James Cummings: Win the easy battles first – low hanging fruit.
Thorsten Vitt: WG2 should perhaps also look at simple interfaces to underlying TEI-XML. One should be able to extract from an html file which displays a part of an edition the corresponding xml-file. This information could be put into the html head section as a meta tag.
Fotis Jannidis: this is an important topic. The same goes for lemmatization.
James Cummings: It would be great to have a website telling what lemma could belong to a word form (lemma suggestion, choices possible).
Fotis Jannidis: we will have to have meetings collecting ideas like that.
Kurt Gärtner: there will be a workshop of the German union of academies, an institution which consists of representatives of all academies of science and humanities in Germany 6-8 october in Mannheim, at he Heidelberg Akademie – could somebody of the Interedition initiative tell something about it?
Fotis Jannidis will be at that meeting. The Interedition group will discuss a contribution.
James Cummings: what could be another type of low hanging fruit: interface related stuff – we always have to learn the color coding of a new digital edition etc.
From the elaborate discussion of this item it is clear that visualization is an important subject; we will have to find out whether the community also agrees on this.
Kurt Gärtner adds the subject of digital dictionaries to the list. The Interedition team could try to contact Hans Walter Gabler about the status of his dictionary on the web.
Tone Merete Bruvik (for a member of the MC from Norway): different cultures have to coexist, but we want to build bridges.
Joris van Zundert: especially technical bridges – different technical choices for the underlying techniques create a bigger divergence (PHP versus Java, for example).
Tone Merete Bruvik: perhaps we need to give involved people homework. And e.g. organize 10 minutes session identifying important topics.
….and the discussion kept going during all the breaks of the rest of the conference!