The RSE Turn in Digital Humanities at DARIAH Annual Event


DARIAH Annual Event

Jun 20 11:30 am – 1:00 pm
Lisbon, Portugal
Lisbon, Portugal

The DARIAH Annual Event 2024, on the topic of Workflows: Digital Methods for Reproducible Research Practices in the Arts and Humanities, will take place from June 18–21 in Lisbon, Portugal (times are in Western European Summer Time).

CDH Executive Director Natalia Ermolaev will chair a session on the RSE Turn in Digital Humanities on Thursday, June 20, at 11:30 a.m. WEST. The panel also features CDH Project Manager Mary Naydan, Lead RSE Rebecca Sutton Koeser, and Assistant Director Jeri Wieringa, among others.

The term ‘Research Software Engineering’ (RSE) has been in use for just over a decade to describe the professional practice of creating and sustaining high-quality, reusable software for research applications. RSE teams at academic and other research institutions are expanding rapidly, and are considered integral for the success of today’s cutting-edge computational research.

Though much of the RSE community is oriented toward the STEM fields, there has been a growing adoption of the RSE framework – its roles, terminology, workflows, processes – in the arts and humanities domain. Beginning with Kings Digital Lab (KDL) in 2016, the use of ‘RSE’ to describe technical profiles and work has been steadily increasing among digital humanities individuals, centers and research groups. This panel brings together scholars and professionals from a sampling of DH initiatives that have adopted the RSE framework for their staffing and practices to discuss its various impacts, benefits, and challenges for the digital humanities.

Each group on the panel will focus on one relevant workflow related to their RSE activities as a way of illustrating broader methodological, technical, infrastructural or conceptual themes. Topics covered may include: how do roles, workflows, processes, collaborations, outputs change when our technology-based research is cast as ‘Research Software Engineering’? How do the principles and practices of the larger RSE profession align with, support or enhance software development for arts and humanities research? How are other DH development approaches or research cultures distinctive or different? What changes has the adoption of RSEs meant for the various infrastructures (technical, institutional, social, financial) of the DH group or center? How has this change enabled (or prevented) new partnerships and collaborations, both internal and external? What new possibilities can the RSE framework afford for the future of computational humanities research and the DH community?

Panel participants will speak from various types of research teams and institutions, and from perspectives that range from earliest adopters to relative newcomers to the RSE framework. For audience context, we will begin with a general overview of the origins and current state of the global RSE community. We will provide a list of readings and resources to assist DH groups and individuals interested in implementing the RSE framework at their own institutions.