The Digital Humanities Lab
The CVCE is building an innovative digital research infrastructure for European integration studies (CVCE.eu). It combines humanities research strategies with emerging ICT-based methods and tools for information processing and exploration and for knowledge creation and transfer, including experimental visualisation and collaborative investigation. The CVCE's mission is to develop valuable resources and innovative services and tools for, and in cooperation with, the research, teaching and lifelong learning communities at global level. The centre focuses on the selection, curation, enrichment, analysis, representation and sharing of relevant source material on specific European integration research themes, from a multidimensional and transnational perspective, in a bid to contribute to a deeper understanding of the historical, legal, economic and political dimensions of European integration.
The building of the CVCE.eu research infrastructure involves an interdisciplinary approach combining European integration studies (the EIS Department) with digital technologies (the DH Lab). The centre's team is constantly improving the research infrastructure, particularly by focusing on:
- The development of novel forms of digital publication, including enhanced publications (ePublications);
- The implementation of an enriched metadata model to ensure enhanced ease of use, searchability and semantic linking of resources;
- The development of tools and techniques for the (re)presentation, visualisation and exploration of the centre's ePublications (based on XML-TEI, social network analysis, interactive timelines, etc.);
- The development of tools enabling a personalised approach in accordance with user interests and needs.
The DH Lab recognises the importance of understanding its internal and external users, who include professional researchers, citizen researchers and students from both secondary school and university. This is achieved by means of user-centred design techniques and an AGILE product management approach to ensure the development of useful and usable tools and infrastructure. We use the following human-centred methods to assist development projects: interviews and questionnaires with our users, development of static and interactive wireframes, user stories and prototype testing, and short iterative development cycles to produce useful products.