HASS DEVL November Update

HASS DEVL November Update
November 29, 2018 Lauren Attana

Tailored research tools for the HASS community.

November’s Tinker Update

Welcome to the final HASS DEVL update for 2018!

In recent weeks we have delivered the HASS Digital Champions Train the Trainer program. This two day workshop took place at the University of Melbourne on October 31 and November 1, and brought together twelve excellent Champions from around the country. The workshop was well received, with participants making excellent new connections, and inspired to include material from that workshop in their teaching programs. Materials from that workshop will be made available on the tinker.edu.au website during December.

We are approaching the final Digital Humanities Pathways event for 2018, taking place on 7 December at University of Sydney as part of DH Downunder. Places are filling fast.

The threads of activity are being drawn together around the Tinker workbench, with new connections presently being built to give access to the AURIN developed geocoding chooser, Tinker Studio, allowing data access and collaboration tools, and the integration of Voyant with Alveo. Project materials are also being shared through tinker.edu.au. Further user testing is being planned in early 2019, contact us if you are interest in being a user tester.

December 2018 brings us to the end of the first year of the Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences Data Enhanced Virtual Laboratory, which is an opportune time to review the year, and consider our approach to 2019. Please find an overview of the first twelve months of the HASS DEVL below, and join us again in 2019 for the next stage of this project.

The project team wishes you a happy and safe Christmas break!


Alexis Tindall

2018 in Review


attended our Digital Humanities Pathways Forums during 2018.


have been recruited to deliver the skills and training needs for Digital Humanities Researchers. 


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Hello Tinker
Digital Humanities Forums
Dr Tyne Sumner presenting to our Digital Humanities Champions
The HASS DEVL project team
Digital Humanities Champions Workshop

Communication and Engagement Activities

  • Delivered Digital Humanities Pathways events in Perth, Hobart, Melbourne, Brisbane and Sydney will finish the series on 7 December. 350 people have attended these events during 2018, joining 79 speakers, who showcased projects, participated in discussions around the future of of digital humanities, and considered the big challenges in research infrastructure support for the HASS community. Speakers during 2018 included everything from undergraduate computer scientists, to poets, to directors of major cultural collecting institutions and everything in between
  • Co-organised the fourth biennial Digital Humanities Australasia conference, which took place in Adelaide from 25 to 28 September. The conference brought together six keynotes and a host of other speakers, panels and workshops, and was attended by 197 researchers, students, librarians, and eResearch professionals
  • The Tinker eNewsletter was circulated monthly to 682 subscribers, subscription growing steadily through 2018
  • Consultation with researchers around transcription, text analysis and georeferencing practices, data curation framework and their research infrastructure needs. User testing is presently underway at the University of Melbourne
  • Workshops and Birds of a Feather sessions were delivered at Digital Humanities Australasia, eResearch Australasia, Australian Historical Association conferences, as well as presentations at other researcher gatherings in order to inform and connect with relevant communities
  • Investigation into georeferencing activities by humanities, arts and social sciences researchers, formed through literature review, consultation and interviews, generating recommendations that informed tools development and framing material

Workbench Environment

  • Establishment of Tinker, an online environment designed for the discovery and exploration of digital methods, tools, data, and training for researchers in the Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences (HASS). This flexible, modular environment creates links to text analysis, transcription and geocoding tools, shares materials to help researchers approach those tools and methods, and creates spaces for collaboration and sharing
  • Re-configuration of the EcoCloud app environment for use by the HASS community, enabling data sharing, storage and shared use of collaborative tools such as Jupyter notebooks, github
  • Development of a geocoder chooser: strengthening HASS research activities by supporting informed consideration of geocoding tools
  • Delivery of reference datasets in a text analysis environment
  • Hosted Voyant analysis environment, increasing  the discoverability and up-skilling capacity of Voyant for users of the Tinker website
  • Access to From the Page transcription tools for researchers
  • Development of recipes demonstrating digital research methods and tools, creating user pathways and entry points for researchers new to these research methods

Data Curation Activities

  • Migration of data from the 1991, 1986, 1981 censuses from the Australian Data Archive to make it accessible through the AURIN portal – enabling spatial analysis, and building a reproducible pipeline between these two national data platforms
  • Data curation of two Trove textual datasets – the Australian Government Gazettes and the Australian Aborigines Advocate, making them available as described datasets for easy re-use. These activities were promoted at Digital Humanities Australasia 2018
  • Named Entity Recognition analysis of the Australian Aborigines Advocate, with further geospatial encoding done using AURIN. Process documented in Jupyter notebooks now available through the Tinker website
  • Development of a data curation framework: a structure guiding documentation and capture of data curation decisions and methods, for use by GLAM and other data custodians to inform researchers and others interested in conducting data-driven research
  • Delivery of a researcher-focussed primer informed by the data curation framework, generated through consultations with researchers in Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide

Skills and Training

  • Recruitment of 12 HASS Digital Champions, and delivery of two day ‘Train the trainer’ workshop in Melbourne on October 31st and November 1st
  • Delivery of training materials from the Champions workshop online through the Tinker workbench.
  • Delivery of HASS focussed researcher workshops at ResBaz Brisbane and Sydney
  • Development of 10 HASS Data Things, a HASS specific adaptation of the ARDC 23 Data Things resource, advocating responsible data-driven research, uptake of FAIR data principles and improved data management


Credit and thanks are due to the HASS DEVL project team for their delivery of the first twelve months of this virtual laboratory. Team members are listed below:

  • Steve Cassidy, Alveo
  • Greg D’Arcy, Social and Cultural Informatics Platform, University of Melbourne
  • Serryn Eagleson, AURIN
  • Julia Hickie, Trove, National Library of Australia
  • Tom Honeyman, ARDC
  • Sara King, eRSA
  • Steve McEachern, Australian Data Archive
  • Ben McRae, Griffith University Library
  • Sarah Nisbet, Bioplatforms Australia (previously eRSA)
  • Michael Rigby, AURIN
  • Nick Rossow, Griffith University
  • Liz Stokes, ARDC
  • Tyne Daile Sumner, Research Platform Services, University of Melbourne
  • Alexis Tindall, eRSA
  • Peter Tonoli, Social and Cultural Informatics Platform, University of Melbourne
  • Nigel Ward, QCIF
  • Lyle Winton, Social and Cultural Informatics Platform, University of Melbourne
  • Malcolm Wolski, Griffith University
  • Paul Wong, ARDC

This project team was also supported by an excellent Steering Committee and strong Technical Advisory Group, who also deserve our appreciation.


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