Mission and Values

The key values of the Digital Humanities Research Hub are: inclusiveness, openness, engagement with cultural heritage, and responsible computing.

The Hub aligns with the School’s mission for research promotion and facilitation across the nation. Several of its academic staff are grounded in Humanities disciplines, and some are jointly affiliated with other SAS institutes (including Classical Studies, English, and Modern Languages) and serve to communicate and train in cutting-edge digital methods for their disciplinary constituencies, whilst also maintaining a robust research profile in the DH community. The Hub’s strategy for Digital Humanities research, promotion and facilitation also includes the hosting of visiting fellowships and innovation in postgraduate training and teaching through short courses and workshops; developing research bids; and the organisation of internationally focused events.

Key Values

  1. The Hub seeks to further an inclusive understanding of Digital Humanities that is welcoming to those who are new to the field and open to the different approaches and perspectives they may bring. Central to our activities is a commitment to supporting researchers across the Humanities in developing the knowledge and skills that give them the confidence to contribute to current and future digital research initiatives. While the Hub values the contributions of distinct disciplinary inflections of Digital Humanities, we also foreground profound and critical interdisciplinarity as a constitutive element that reflects the intellectual curiosity and ambitions of the field. Equally, we strive to support and learn from digital research practices and projects that may fall under other names or disciplinary identities, particularly in different national and cultural contexts, but which share research interests and concerns with our own. We further seek to engage with wider publics beyond academia through collaborations with cultural and community partners, with the aim of ensuring our field is responsive to wider societal needs and concerns in relation to uses of and access to digital technologies and resources.
  2. Openness is a core value in Digital Humanities, whose practitioners as far as possible publish in open access venues, conduct their work using open standards and open source tools, produce data in open formats, document methods and recommendations and use sustainable open repositories. While needing to be tempered by practicality, responsibility (to partners and stakeholders) and ethical concerns, the Hub strives to use and promote openness and transparency in all its forms. As such we will be developing digital and scholarly communication initiatives, particularly open access publications, alongside the team at the University of London Press.
  3. The Hub’s key interests include the value of Cultural Heritage, including concern with both material and intangible heritage of the world, from archaeological finds and artefacts to valued cultural practices and traditions (including born-digital cultural heritage). Digital scholarship in Cultural Heritage needs to take account of legal, ethical and sensitive concerns with the materials being studied, reproduced and disseminated, including questions of representation in relation to research and curatorial teams, respect for cultural norms, sensitivities and taboos, and debates around restitution and repatriation of heritage objects. Just because we can (technically or legally) carry out a piece of research or publication, does not mean we can do so without recognising the responsibilities that come with it.
  4. Responsible and low-impact technology is another value that the Hub is promoting, and one that aligns with green computing, minimal computing, and agile / collaborative computing. The Hub is actively developing and supporting low-impact and minimum viable product-oriented solutions for digital research. The Internet consumes a huge amount of resources, ranging from labour, electricity, and infrastructure costs. Data transfer alone requires electricity, which creates carbon emissions — and this contributes to climate change and accessibility issues in the Global South. Low Impact solutions can reduce data transfer by up to 70% in comparison to regular websites by identifying only the most necessary components for communicating research online. Minimal computing also reduces barriers to access, engagement, and critical nuance.
Books Library

Ethics in Digital Humanities

We owe a debt to scholars in Digital Humanities who have written on the subject of values and ethics. Some of our main influences in this area are listed here.

Contact Us

The majority of our projects and initiatives are collaborative, which is how we like to work, so please get in touch!

Email Us