Information Science studies information and communication processes in organizations and between people, by collecting, encoding, organizing, processing, distributing, sharing and presenting information. Information Science at the University of Groningen is specialized in intelligent techniques applied to traditional, weakly structured information bearers.
The focus intelligent techniques and traditional information bearers fits the task of the local group to contribute to humanities by incorporating computer usage. This focus is different from other information science groups which focus on topics like employing databases in organizations.
Different research programmes fit under these intelligent techniques applied to traditional information bearers. An important one is computational linguistics, the study of language from a computational perspective, for example, how much time and memory is required for transforming the word 'walked' to the basic form which can be looked in a dictionary. Of course, language, especially its written form in text, fits the term traditional information bearers very well. Intelligent language processing already enables the first generation of language applications, like automatic processing of e-mail or phone messages, computer-assisted language learning, intelligent search, computer-assisted translation, or multi-lingual documentation management.
In order to support a wide range of applications, paying attention to fundamental technologies is required. We investigate these in a series of projects, for example parsing, or learning algorithms, and the development of annotated corpora which can be used for training and evaluation of such systems (Corea, DCOI en IRME).
Historic-cultural information science applies intelligent techniques for digitizing and processing historic material, like tax archives, and historic maps, where image processing is important. This research is tightly linked to web technology and examines suitable ways for presenting research from the humanities in the web. We also made a popular website about the American history, From Revolution to Reconstruction (and what happened afterwards...). A new project is digitization of the Danish Sonttol Registers.
We also aim at connecting these two main research lines, for example in a project that applies language processing for cultural research, in particular for comparing similarities between language variants, and in a new research line on visualization and diagrammatical communication and reasoning (see also dialectometry.net).
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