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Deploying general-purpose virtual research environments for humanities research

Blanke, T. and Candela, L. and Hedges, M. and Priddy, M. and Simeoni, F. (2010) Deploying general-purpose virtual research environments for humanities research. Philosophical Transactions A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences, 368 (1925). pp. 3813-3828.

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Several virtual research environments (VREs) have been developed to address specific tasks or application domains. Building on the experiences and use cases coming out of these projects, this paper addresses the creation of more general-purpose VREs for the humanities, which move beyond specific, focused tasks, and instead provide services and environments that support more general-purpose humanities research activities. Specifically, we are investigating use cases related to the organization and integration of the dispersed and heterogeneous information on which such research is based. These use cases are highly interactive, interpretative and researcher centric, addressing topics such as annotation environments and support for ‘active-reading’ processes and scholarly dialogues. We present the background to our work and the technical approach taken, and report the results obtained so far.