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 CLIR Report Minimize

CLIR Report IconRead the CLIR reportOne Culture: Computationally Intensive Research in the Humanities and Social Sciences, A Report on the Experiences of First Respondents to the Digging Into Data Challenge 

 Recent Press Minimize

Press releases about the winners of Round Three:


Press releases announcing kickoff of Round Three:


Recent Digging into Data press:

The Conversation, April 3, 2014. "Data mining uncovers 19th century Britain’s fat habit.", March 26, 2014  "Trading archives chart how Britain's taste for tea grew."

The Dish, Stanford University, March 24, 2014. "Stanford team receives grant to support digital analysis of medieval manuscripts."

The Telegraph, March 3, 2014. "Linguistic researchers begin hunt for the next 'selfie'."

UChicago News, February 24, 2014. "National Endowment for the Humanities supports digital project focused on 18th-century intellectual history.", February 13, 2014. "Parliamentary 'big data' project "could transform" political research"

Biodiversity Heritage Library, January 28, 2014. "Mining Biodiversity (MiBIO): innovative computational techniques to mine BHL texts"

School for Advanced Study, University of London, January 22, 2014. "IHR project wins ‘big data’ funding to help historians access 200 years’ worth of international parliamentary proceedings."

University of U of Saskatchewan, January 22, 2014. "UK, Netherlands researchers to dig into archeological data for hidden treasures"

Dalhousie University, January 22, 2014. "Natural history for the digital age"

Concordia University, January 15, 2014, "$200,000 awarded to next-generation media data analysis"

McGill University, January 15, 2014, "Taking on the 'big data' challenge"

The Washington Post, March 10, 2013, "Hardening of the arteries common in ancient mummies."

USA Today, March 10, 2013, "Mummies show signs of heart disease."

Nature, March 11, 2013, "Mummies reveal that clogged arteries plagued the ancient world."

The Washington Post, March 11, 2013, "Even mummies get clogged arteries."

Time, March 11, 2013, "Even Mummies Had Clogged Arteries."

NEH Website, March 12, 2013, "Eat, Drink, and Be Mummy: Digging into Data Uncovers Surprising Health News."

The New York Times, March 12, 2013, "CT Scans Find Vascular Disease in Ancient Mummies."

The Atlantic, March 12, 2013, "Study: Mummies Have Atherosclerosis, Too."

Al-Jazeera, March 12, 2013, "Clogged arteries found in ancient mummies."

BBC News, March 12, 2013, "Heart disease present in ancient mummies."

Los Angeles Times, March 12, 2013, "Signs of heart disease found in far-flung antique mummies."

The Australian, March 12, 2013, "Mummies reveal heart disease is an age-old problem."

Popular Science, October 2, 2013, "How Studying Mummies Could Cure Modern Diseases."

Gizmodo, November 15, 2013, "How Ancient Embalmers Pulled The Brains And Guts Out Of Mummies"

 2013 Application Materials Minimize

Below is the Request for Proposals (RFP) and supplementary materials. All files are in PDF format except where noted.

Main RFP:

RFP Addenda:

Budget Forms:

How to Apply

The Round Three application deadline has now passed (15 May 2013). Thank you to all the teams that applied. 

 Awardees for 2013 Minimize
January 15, 2014—Today, ten international research funders from four countries jointly announced the winners of the third Digging into Data Challenge, a competition to develop new insights, tools and skills in innovative humanities and social science research using large-scale data analysis.
Fourteen teams representing Canada, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and the United States will receive grants to investigate how computational techniques can be applied to “big data”; changing the nature of humanities and social sciences research. Each team represents collaborations among scholars, scientists, and information professionals from leading universities and libraries in Europe and North America.
The first round of the Digging into Data Challenge was held in 2009 and the second in 2011. Previous Digging into Data research projects have received international attention. For the current round, there are ten sponsoring funders and a total of fourteen funded projects.

 Digging Update Fall 2013 Minimize

Slides and project summaries from the 2013 Digging Conference held in Montreal are now available. Please see list of Round 2 Digging projects and click through to any project to see the slides.

 Welcome to the Challenge Minimize
February 5, 2013: Welcome to Round Three
On behalf of ten research funders representing Canada, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and the United States, we invite you to apply for Round Three of the Digging into Data Challenge.
Now going into the third round of the competition, the Digging into Data Challenge has funded a wide variety of projects that explore how computationally intensive research methods can be used to ask new questions about and gain new insights into our world. To encourage innovative research from across the globe, Digging into Data is sponsored by ten international research funding organizations that are working together to focus the attention of the social sciences, humanities, library, archival, information, computer, mathematical, and statistical science communities on large-scale data analysis and its potential applications.
The Digging into Data Challenge aims to address how "big data" changes the research landscape for the humanities and social sciences. Now that we have massive databases of materials available for research in the humanities and the social sciences--ranging from digitized books, newspapers, and music to information generated by Internet-based activities and mobile communications, administrative data from public agencies, and customer databases from private sector organizations-—what new, computationally-based research methods might we apply? As the world becomes increasingly digital, new techniques will be needed to search, analyze, and understand these materials. Digging into Data challenges the research community to help create the new research infrastructure for 21st-century scholarship.
Applicants will form international teams from at least two of the participating countries. Winning teams will receive grants from two or more of the funding agencies and, two years later, will be invited to show off their work at a special conference sponsored by the ten funders.
Let's get digging.

 A Bit of History Minimize

For Round One, the Digging into Data Challenge was sponsored by four research funders (NEH, NSF, SSHRC, Jisc) representing the US, Canada, and UK. Eventually, 8 international projects emerged as winners. Many of these projects were written up in publications such as the New York Times and were the subject of a major research report published by CLIR. All 8 projects presented their work at a conference in Washington, DC in June of 2011. For Round Two, four additional funders joined the DiD ranks (IMLS, AHRC, ESRC, NWO) and the Netherlands joined as a fourth country. At the end of Round Two, 14 projects won awards, chosen by our international peer reviewers. These 14 will present their work at an upcoming conference slated for late 2013. Finally, for Round Three, another two funders have joined DiD (CFI and NSERC), bringing us to a total of ten. DiD also maintains a huge list of digital libraries, archives, and repositories that make their data available to researchers.

 Sponsors Minimize

Funding agency logos

 Contact Minimize

ODH Logo

The Digging into Data Challenge is being administered by the Office of Digital Humanities at the National Endowment for the Humanities. To contact ODH with any kinds of questions, please send us an e-mail.  If you have funder-specific questions, please see the specific contact information found in Main RFP.

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 Repositories Minimize

In advance of the DID Challenge, the funders approached many major repositories of digital materials and asked them to provide contact and technical support information for gaining access to their collections.  This list is constantly being updated, so check back often.  If you are a representative of such a collection and wish to be added to this list, please contact the DID Challenge organizers.

Current List of Data Repositories

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