CHIA’s program of research focuses on the many aspects of developing a world-historical data resource.
In Stage 2 of the project (2014 – 2018), research and analysis focus especially on the issue
of global-historical inequality.
The Data Hoover project combines surveys of scholars’ holdings of historical datasets with assisting researchers in submitting data to CHIA.
Infrastructure development has been the primary focus of CHIA since 2012 with major advances in data ingest, documentation, archiving, and in collaboration among multiple institutions.
- a. Data Archive – implementation of the World-Historical Dataverse, a public archive of documented historical datasets, with attention to data curation and preservation, in collaboration with the Harvard Dataverse and the Institute for Quantitative Social Science.
- b. Merging data – development of the Col*Fusion infrastructure for linking and merging datasets through algorithms comparing and connecting files. Merged datasets form the core element of the Human System Data Resource.
- c. Collaborative infrastructure – developing practices for sustaining collaborative work among researchers of various disciplines, locations, and institutions. This self-study research is conducted by the CHIA staff and Steering Committee.
World-historical data require documentation in at least four dimensions: space, time, topic, and scale (or degree of aggregation from local to global). In each case, CHIA is to identify a “spine” of basic ontological elements, to be linked to the more specific ontologies already in existence.
- a. Spatial: World-Historical Gazetteer project, funded by National Endowment for the Humanities
- b. Temporal: Substantial work in this area has been conducted by Karl Grossner of Stanford University.
- c. Topical: Principles for a general ontology of world-historical topics are being developed by Tonia Sutherland.
- d. Scalar: For the varying scales of aggregation (spatial, temporal, topical), it is necessary to develop a categorization of various scales, in order to be able to trace and analyze the interactions of dynamics at various scales with each other. Initial conceptualization of this work has begun.
Development of criteria and procedures for systematic documentation of widely varying historical datasets.
- a. Level 1 – This level of documentation advances from heterogeneous description of ingested files
to meeting CHIA’s basic documentation standards. It documents 15 specific aspects of files as a condition
of their inclusion in the World-Historical Dataverse.
- b. Level 2 – This level of documentation implements CHIA’s advanced documentation standard
within HSDR. The Level 2 standard incorporates ontologies on space, time and topic. It will permit
advances in merging of datasets.
Analyzing data across a wide range of human experience, at various scales, requires linking the various
disciplinary theories in order to link the data they explore. CHIA has begun work on processes of stimulating
and critiquing discourse linking theories in social sciences, natural sciences, and humanities.
|INFRASTRUCTURE ACTIVITY||LEAD RESEARCHER AND CAMPUS|
|Col*fusion (NSF)||Vladimir Zadorozhny, Pitt|
|Data Hoover (NSF)||Ruth Mostern, UC-Merced|
|Dataverse Network (NSF)||Merce Crosas, Harvard|
|Digital Scholarship||Brian Beaton, Pitt|
|Gazetteer||Humphrey Southall, Portsmouth|
|Visualization||Alison Langmead, Pitt|
|XSEDE||Vladimir Zadorozhny, Pitt|
|Project Coordination (NSF)||Patrick Manning, Pitt|
|DATA-COLLECTION ACTIVITY||LEAD RESEARCHER AND CAMPUS|
|African Population Data||Patrick Manning, Pitt|
|Asian Data (NSF)||Siddharth Chandra, Michigan State|
|CLIO (NSF)||John Gerring, Boston U.|
|Disease-Climate-Demography||Daniel Bain, Wilbert van Panhuis, Pitt|
|Labor Relations||Ulbe Bosma, IISH|
|Migration Data||Ulbe Bosma, IISH|
|Prototype Archive-Data (NSF)||Chelsea Mafrica, Pitt|
|Silver Data||Patrick Manning, Pitt|