This month Colin Allen and I published “InPhO for All: Why APIs Matter” in the Journal of the Chicago Colloquium on Digital Humanities and Computer Science (JDHCS). It’s a short piece setting up the API development narrative for digital humanists. Abstract, citation, and paper link follow.
The unique convergence of humanities scholars, computer scientists, librarians, and information scientists in digital humanities projects highlights the collaborative opportunities such research entails. Unfortunately, the relatively limited human resources committed to many digital humanities projects have led to unwieldy initial implementations and underutilization of semantic web technology, creating a sea of isolated projects without integratable data. Furthermore, the use of standards for one particular purpose may not suit other kinds of scholarly activities, impeding collaboration in the digital humanities. By designing and utilizing an Application Platform Interface (API), projects can reduce these barriers, while simultaneously reducing internal support costs and easing the transition to new development teams. Our experience developing an API for the Indiana Philosophy Ontology (InPhO) Project highlights these benefits.
Jaimie Murdock and Colin Allen. InPhO for All: Why APIs Matter. In Journal of the Chicago Colloquium on Digital Humanities and Computer Science (JDHCS). Evanston, Illinois, 2011. [paper]