3rd Workshop on Humanities in the Semantic Web (WHiSe)

Co-located with the 15th Extended Semantic Web Conference (ESWC 2020) - Heraklion, Crete, Greece, (June 2, 2020, online)

  • Update 07-10-2020: The workshop proceedings are now available.
  • * START TIME POSTPONED 1 HOUR (EOM) * to accomodate the opening ceremony
  • * INVITED KEYNOTE * : Europeana as a Linked Data (Quality) case - Antoine Isaac (Europeana Foundation)
  • * DEADLINE EXTENSION * : Contributions now due Friday, March 13, 2020

The WHiSe workshop series aims at strengthening communication between scholars in the Digital Humanities and Semantic Web communities. In past editions, WHiSe papers presented mature technologies, adoption stories, and contributions to a harmonic ecosystem for Semantic data-intensive technologies in the Humanities. WHiSe III continues the tradition and also explores the potential for novel Semantic Web research questions emerging from the needs of humanists and a reflection on their processes.

WHiSe is proudly co-located with the 15th Extended Semantic Web Conference (ESWC)

June 2nd, 2020

10:00 − 10:20 Welcome and introduction
Session #1: Linked Data and Libraries
10:20 − 12:00 Chair: Albert Meroño-Peñuela
  • Minna Tamper, Petri Leskinen, Jouni Tuominen and Eero Hyvönen. Modeling and Publishing Finnish Person Names as a Linked Open Data Ontology [Full paper]
  • Fabian Hoppe, Tabea Tietz, Danilo Dessì, Nils Meyer, Mirjam Sprau, Mehwish Alam and Harald Sack. The Challenges of German Archival Document Categorization on Insufficient Labeled Data [Short paper]
11:10 − 11:40 Coffee break
  • Mattia Egloff, Alessandro Adamou and Davide Picca. Enabling Ontology-Based Data Access to Project Gutenberg [Full paper]
  • Pejam Hassanzadeh, Eero Hyvönen, Esko Ikkala, Jouni Tuominen, Suzie Thomas, Anna Wessman and Ville Rohiola FindSampo Platform for Reporting and Studying Archaeological Finds Using Citizen Science [Short paper]
12:30 − 13:15 Chair: Enrico Daga
Session #2: Social History
14:00 − 15:30

Chair: Alessandro Adamou

  • Herminio García-González, Elena Albarrán-Fernández, Jose Emilio Labra Gayo and Miguel Calleja-Puerta. Converting Asturian Notaries Public deeds to Linked Data using TEI and ShExML [Short paper]
  • Joe Raad, Rick Mourits, Auke Rijpma, Ruben Schalk, Richard Zijdeman and Albert Meroño-Peñuela. Linking Dutch Civil Certificates [Full paper]
  • Discussion #1: The Semantic Web in Digital Humanities "Ecosystems"
15:30 − 16:00 Coffee break
Session #3: Language
16:00 − 17:00 Chair: Enrico Daga
  • Rachele Sprugnoli, Francesco Mambrini, Giovanni Moretti and Marco Passarotti. Towards the Modeling of Polarity in a Latin Knowledge Base [Full paper]
  • Tabea Tietz, Mehwish Alam, Harald Sack and Marieke van Erp. Challenges of Knowledge Graph Evolution from an NLP Perspective [Short paper]
  • Discussion #2: WHiSe: feedback and community
  • Closing remarks and best paper announcement

Europeana as a Linked Data (Quality) case
Antoine Isaac (Europeana Foundation)

Europeana builds a platform for accessing a wide variety of digitized heritage from European museums, galleries, libraries and archives. This presentation will explain some key points on how Europeana works, with a strong focus on (meta)data issues and Linked Data. This session will for example discuss how Europeana and its Network of data partners try to address matters of data quality in a multilingual context, what this requires both from a data engineering perspective and a community one.

Antoine Isaac is R&D Manager at Europeana Foundation. His work focuses on the representation and enrichment to facilitate interoperability and access of cultural collections and their vocabularies on the web. He has been especially researching the use of Semantic Web and Linked Data technology in culture since his PhD studies at Paris-Sorbonne and the French Institut National de l’Audiovisuel. He has served in several W3C efforts, for example on SKOS, Library Linked Data, Data on the Web Best Practices, Data Exchange. He co-chairs the Technical Working Group of the RightsStatements.org initiative and the Discovery Technical Specification Group at the International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF). He is also a guest researcher at the Web & Media group in the Free University Amsterdam.

Call for papers [plain text version]

The emergence of affordable computational methods for the collection, enhancement and analysis of data generated en masse has helped shape several fields, such as social sciences, into structured research fields. Digital Humanities are enjoying such a transformation to the point that their very boundaries and methodological foundations are being called into question. The quality and relevance of findings obtained from the thorough, human-driven analysis of a few sources, compared to unsupervised large-scale analytics on masses of data, is a fervent ongoing debate; and yet, the latter cannot prescind from a conscious effort in shaping the world to which the analyses need to relate. This has largely taken the form of knowledge modelling efforts, from which many ontologies, controlled vocabularies and conceptual models like CIDOC-CRM, the Europeana Data Model and FRBRoo have arisen. However, other fields traditionally less reliant on machine-readable data have seen the emergence of ‘ecological’ communities with an approach to the Web of Data. Recent examples include Transforming Musicology for music and musicology and Linked Pasts for history and archaeology.

The WHiSe workshop series was conceived from a reflection on the extent to which the Semantic Web community is serving the needs of historians, philologists, cultural critics, musicologists and other humanists that generally:

  • (1) cannot always rely on masses of structured data;
  • (2) deal with vague, fragmentary, uncertain, contradictory and yet still valuable evidence that poses a challenge even to Artificial Intelligence research per se;
  • (3) have good reason to value the systematic investigation of a few sources but intend to push the boundaries by exploring the potential of automated analytical findings on masses of content.

WHiSe also probes for interest in genuinely new Semantic Web research questions inspired by processes in Digital Humanities. It addresses both aspects by promoting dialogue between humanists who employ or are contemplating semantic technologies, and Semantic Web scholars providing accounts of applied research in the Humanities.

WHiSe 2020 welcomes original research contributions crossing Humanities and the Semantic Web. Scholars who have conducted research or developed impactful applications are invited to submit full papers with appropriately evaluated contributions. WHiSe also welcomes vision/position papers on novel challenges or approaches to existing problems as well as demos and preliminary results (short papers). Topics on which potential submitters are invited to contribute include, but are not limited to:

  • Construction and use of Humanities Knowledge Graphs
  • Knowledge base generation from classical texts
  • Linking data within and across gazetteers
  • Semantic enrichment of data from historical records and biographies
  • Ecosystems, infrastructures and process descriptions for linking data in the Humanities
  • Linked Digital Libraries and semantic archives
  • Semantic search in humanities data
  • Social semantics and network analysis of humanities data
  • Ontology adoption in specific domains in the Humanities
  • Computational methods for the prosopography of historical figures
  • Capturing, modelling and reasoning on musical data
  • The role of ontologies and controlled vocabularies in data preservation
  • Contribution of Linked Data to the successful application of machine learning and deep learning methods in Digital Humanities
  • Criticism of Semantic Web standards from the point of view of humanities scholarship
  • Knowledge bottlenecks, practical difficulties and usability of Linked Data and Knowledge technologies by cultural institutions and Humanities scholars
  • Ethical issues in using Semantic Web and Linked Data
  • Utopic / dystopic visions of the Semantic Web of the future

Submissions in all the categories mentioned above (full and short papers) will be peer-reviewed by acknowledged researchers familiar with both scientific communities. Accepted papers will be published as online proceedings courtesy of CEUR-WS.org.

Important Dates

  • Submission deadline: February 28 ... March 9 ... March 13, 2020
  • Notification to authors: April 10, 2020 (was March 27, 2020)
  • Camera-ready due on: May 10, 2020
  • Workshop day: June 2, 2020 (online)

Submission Instructions

We welcome the following types of contributions:

  • Full papers (up to 12 pages)
  • Short papers (up to 6 pages)

All papers will be evaluated according to their significance, originality, technical content, style, clarity, and relevance to the workshop. Short papers may report preliminary results, demos, or discuss a novel problem relevant to the community. Authors of accepted short papers may be required to present their work as a poster.

Every submitted paper must represent original and unpublished work: it must not be under review or accepted elsewhere and there must be a significantly clear element of novelty distinguishing a submitted paper from any other prior publication or current submission.

All submissions must be PDF documents written in English and formatted according to LNCS instructions for authors. Page limits are inclusive of references and appendices, if any. Papers are to be submitted through the Easychair Conference Management System. Please note that paper submissions to WHiSe are not anonymous.

At least one author of each accepted paper must register for the workshop, in order to present the paper there, and to the conference. For further instructions please refer to the ESWC 2020 page (http://2020.eswc-conferences.org/).


Organizing Committee

Contact email: whise2020@easychair.org

Program Committee

  • Alessio Antonini, The Open University
  • Elton Barker, The Open University
  • Daniel Bangert, Göttingen State and University Library
  • Francesca Benatti, The Open University
  • Gabriel Bodard, School of Advanced Study, University of London
  • Victor de Boer, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
  • Rossana Damiano, University of Turin
  • Marilena Daquino, Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna
  • Tim Duguid, University of Glasgow
  • Ethan Gruber, American Numismatic Society
  • Eero Hyvönen, University of Helsinki (HELDIG) and Aalto University
  • Antoine Isaac, Europeana
  • Francesco Mambrini, Università Cattolica
  • John McCrae, National University of Ireland Galway
  • Paul Mulholland, The Open University
  • Patricia Murrieta-Flores, Lancaster University
  • Kevin Page, University of Oxford
  • Silvio Peroni, Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna
  • Davide Picca, University of Lausanne
  • Robert Sanderson, J. Paul Getty Trust
  • Rainer Simon, Austrian Institute of Technology
  • Francesca Tomasi, Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna
  • François Vignale, Université du Maine


The proceedings of WHiSe 2020 are published by the workshop chairs and made available online as Volume 2695 of CEUR-ws workshop proceedings [zip].