DiRT adopts TaDiRAH terms, provides RDF data

The DiRT directory has recently rolled out TaDiRAH terms as the main organizing and browsing framework for the site, and is now making tool profile information available using RDF.

The DiRT directory is widely recognized for providing researchers who are new to using digital tools with an easy way to access those tools using activities (“I want to… analyze data”) rather than an abstract classification system. As part of DiRT’s current development phase, we have worked to align the categories that underlie those activities with a taxonomy shared by other projects and directories within the digital humanities community. DiRT is happy to announce the rollout of the new taxonomy is complete, and the activities on the front page of DiRT now reflect those new categories.

DiRT’s new taxonomy, known as TaDiRAH (Taxonomy of Digital Research Activities in the Humanities), was developed jointly by Jody Perkins and Quinn Dombrowski from the DiRT steering committee, and Luise Borek, Christof Schoch and (originally) Matt Munson from DARIAH-DE, from 2013-2014.

Because we intended that TaDiRAH be flexible enough to accommodate digital humanities projects beyond those belonging to TaDiRAH’s creators, the development process included two rounds of public feedback, where we received over 80 substantive comments (60 in the first round, 20 in the second). For more information about the origins and development of TaDiRAH, see “TaDiRAH: Building Capacity for Integrated Access” in dh+lib, or this DARIAH presentation by Luise Borek (PDF).

The first public release of TaDiRAH was published on Github in May 2014, and a SKOS-compatible version hosted by DARIAH soon followed. Since then, TaDiRAH has been translated into Spanish, and work is currently underway on a Serbian translation.

At the end of 2014, DiRT’s new editorial board undertook the monumental task of updating every tool in the DiRT directory, including assigning TaDiRAH taxonomy terms to each tool. Their work was an essential prerequisite for us to be able to finally replace DiRT’s original ad hoc categories with TaDiRAH.

The front page of DiRT has been updated to display activities connected to the top-level TaDiRAH goals and subsidiary methods. A new option at the bottom of the page allows you to take research objects as the primary search, in order to see all tools applicable to audio, for instance. If you select any activity or research object, you will go to a list of tools that can help with the activity or object you have chosen. The right sidebar on that page displays the full TaDiRAH taxonomy.

TaDiRAH’s increasing adoption by other projects opens up possibilities for connecting the content collected by each of those projects using linked open data. In addition to rolling out TaDiRAH terms for its tools, DiRT is making the information about those tools available through RDFa, as well as providing a SPARQL endpoint for querying DiRT’s data. See DiRT’s RDF documentation for information on the attributes and mappings. 


Note: This is the eighth in a series of announcements about new features and developments for the DiRT directory, which will continue all this week. We've previously covered our affiliation with centerNet, integration with DHCommons, Spanish translation work, tool reviews, export options and API, adding tools using Twitter, and the new tool lists feature. Check back the rest of this week for more "dirt" on DiRT!