1st Workshop on Humanities in the Semantic Web - WHiSe

Co-located with the 13th Extended Semantic Web Conference (ESWC 2016) - Heraklion, Crete, Greece, May 29, 2016

  • Update 17-06-2016: The workshop proceedings are now available.
  • Update 15-04-2016: The workshop program is now available. See you in Crete on the 29th!

WHiSe is a symposium aimed at strengthening communication between scholars in the Digital Humanities and Semantic Web communities and discussing unthought-of opportunities arising from the research problems of the former. Its best-of-both-worlds format will accommodate the practices of scholarly dialogue in both fields by inviting visions, real systems and debate.

WHiSe is proudly co-located with the 13th Extended Semantic Web Conference (ESWC)

Call for papers [plain text version]

There are a number of specialised fields of research in the Humanities that have recorded success stories of adoption of technologies in the Semantic Web. Digital collections, cultural heritage aggregators, digital libraries, gazetteers, thesauri and digital maps of the past have all demonstrated to lend themselves to putting applications of Linked Data and Web ontologies to good use.

It is therefore important to reflect on the extent to which the Semantic Web community - its vision, its technological offer and the large volumes of data it generates - are serving the needs of historians, philologists, cultural critics, musicologists and other humanists that generally cannot rely on structured data generated en masse through social networks or online media platforms.
Is the race for Big Data mining cutting off these scholarly categories?
Are there research challenges of interest that humanists have not considered due to perceptions that Linked Data is either another way to represent digital collections, or an arcane technical science whose results are as opaque as its procedures?
What problems do Humanities users have in interacting with Semantic Web content and applications?
And how can they help Semantic Web researchers support modes of inquiry beyond the constraints of rationalism and technical solutionism?

WHiSe 2016 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 (short papers), as well as proposals for demo or poster showcases during the workshop. Topics on which potential submitters are invited to contribute include, but are not limited to:

  • Semantic applications and systems in the Humanities and cultural heritage
  • Novel approaches enabling the use of Semantic Web technologies in Digital Humanities
  • Definition and alignment of controlled vocabularies in the Humanities
  • Relationship between markup languages and ontologies in the Humanities
  • Representation and reasoning with Space and Time in the context of Digital Humanities
  • Quality issues with semantic (linked) databases in the Humanities domain
  • Addressing incompleteness and fuzziness in historical data
  • Interlinking historical datasets or other Humanities data with data from other domains
  • Usability of interfaces to Linked Data for Humanities Data and interaction patterns
  • Methodological aspects and interactions between the Semantic Web and Humanities research communities
  • Studies of users and their needs/constraints (as opposed to ‘toy’ problems)
  • Position papers on past, present and future of semantic technologies in the Humanities
  • Concrete use cases of working multi-lateral connectivity or the use of semantic data ‘in the wild’

Submissions in all the categories mentioned above (full, short, poster/demo 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, however workshop chairs will award one best paper to be published as part of the proceedings of the ESWC 2016 conference.

Submission Instructions

All papers must represent original and unpublished work that is not currently under review. Papers will be evaluated according to their significance, originality, technical content, style, clarity, and relevance to the workshop.

We welcome the following types of contributions:

  • Full papers (up to 12 pages)
  • Short papers (up to 6 pages)
  • Poster or Demo papers (up to 4 pages)

All submissions must be PDF documents written in English and formatted according to LNCS instructions for authors.

Papers are to be submitted through the Easychair Conference Management System. Page limits are inclusive of references and appendices, if any.

Important Dates

  • Submission deadline: Tuesday, March 1 Friday, March 4 [EXTENDED]
  • Notification to authors: Friday, April 1 Tuesday, April 5
  • Camera-ready due on: Friday, April 15 Monday, April 18
  • Workshop day: Sunday, May 29, 2016


9:30 − 9:40 Welcome and introduction
9:40 − 10:30 Chair: Leif Isaksen
  • Mikko Koho, Eero Hyvönen, Erkki Heino, Jouni Tuominen, Petri Leskinen and Eetu Mäkelä. Linked Death - Representing, publishing, and using Second World War death records as Linked Open Data.
  • Al Koudous Idrissou, Ali Khalili, Rinke Hoekstra and Peter van den Besselaar. Managing metadata for science, technology and innovation studies: The RISIS case.
  • Maurizio Lana and Timothy Tambassi. GO! - An ontology for the geographical knowledge contained in classical Latin texts.
10:30 − 11:00 Coffee break
11:00 − 11:30 Chair: Alessandro Adamou
  • Uldis Bojars. Case study: Towards a linked digital collection of Latvian Cultural Heritage.
  • Tommaso Di Noia, Azzurra Ragone, Andrea Maurino, Marina Mongiello, Maria P. Marzocca, Giuseppe Cultrera and Mauro P. Bruno. Linking data in digital libraries: the case of Puglia Digital Library.
11:30 − 12:30 Round Table session #1 − Models and Data acquisition processes.

Chair: Alessandro Adamou

12:30 − 14:00 Lunch break
AFTERNOON SESSION: Methodologies and ecosystems
14:00 − 14:50 Chair: Leif Isaksen
  • Eero Hyvönen, Esko Ikkala and Jouni Tuominen. Linked Data brokering service for historical places and maps.
  • Max Grüntgens and Torsten Schrade. Data repositories in the Humanities and the Semantic Web: modelling, linking, visualising.
14:50 − 15:30 Chair: Alessandro Adamou
  • Efstratios Kontopoulos, Marina Riga, Panagiotis Mitzias, Stelios Andreadis, Thanos Stavropoulos, Nikolaos Lagos, Jean-Yves Vion-Dury, Georgios Meditskos, Patricia Falcão, Pip Laurenson and Yiannis Kompatsiaris. Ontology-based representation of context of use in digital preservation.
  • Terhi Nurmikko-Fuller and Kevin R. Page. A linked research network that is transforming musicology.
15:30 − 16:00 Coffee break
16:00 − 16:40 Chair: Leif Isaksen
  • David De Roure, Pip Willcox and Alfie Abdul-Rahman. On the description of process in Digital Scholarship.
  • Rinke Hoekstra, Albert Meroño-Peñuela, Kathrin Dentler, Auke Rijpma, Richard Zijdeman and Ivo Zandhuis. An ecosystem for Linked Humanities Data.
16:40 − 17:40 Round Table session #2 − Linked Data Ecologies: linking and reusing.

Chair: Leif Isaksen

17:40 − 18:00 Closing discussion


Organizing Committee

Contact email: whise2016@easychair.org

Program Committee

  • Carlo Allocca, The Open University
  • Elton Barker, The Open University
  • Francesca Benatti, The Open University
  • Gabriel Bodard, King’s College
  • Kai-Christian Bruhn, mainzed
  • Benjamin Fields, Goldsmiths University of London
  • Nick Gibbins, University of Southampton
  • Asunción Gómez-Pérez, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid
  • Elena González-Blanco, Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia
  • Jorge Gracia, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid
  • Ethan Gruber, American Numismatic Society
  • Eero Hyvönen, Aalto University
  • Rinke Hoekstra, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
  • Laura Hollink, Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica
  • Lorna Hughes, University of Glasgow
  • Antoine Isaac, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
  • Angeliki Lymberopoulou, The Open University
  • Elena Montiel, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid
  • Paul Mulholland, The Open University
  • Dominic Oldman, British Museum
  • Kevin Page, University of Oxford
  • Silvio Peroni, Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna
  • Mia Ridge, The British Library
  • Rainer Simon, Austrian Institute of Technology
  • Ilaria Tiddi, The Open University
  • Daniel Vila-Suero, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid


The proceedings of WHiSe 2016 are published by the workshop chairs and made available online as Volume 1608 of CEUR-ws workshop proceedings [zip] [BibTeX].

For the paper on the GO! ontologies, please refer to the Proceedings of the SW4SH 2016 Workshop.