Eight International Research Funders Announce Round Two of the Digging into Data Challenge

March 16, 2011
 
 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

IMLS Press Contacts
202-653-4632
Natasha Marstiller, nmarstiller@imls.gov
Mamie Bittner, mbittner@imls.gov

Washington, DC—Today, eight international research funders are jointly announcing their participation in round two of the Digging into Data Challenge, a grant competition designed to spur cutting edge research in the humanities and social sciences.

The Digging into Data Challenge asks researchers these questions: How can we use advanced computation to change the nature of our research methods? That is, now that the objects of study for researchers in the humanities and social sciences, including books, survey data, economic data, newspapers, music, and other scholarly and scientific resources are being digitized at a huge scale, how does this change the very nature of our research? How might advanced computation and data analysis techniques help researchers use these materials to ask new questions about and gain new insights into our world?

"IMLS is delighted to be a partner in the Digging into Data Challenge," said IMLS Director Susan Hildreth. "This is a great opportunity for libraries, museums and archives to investigate new uses for the wealth of digital assets now available and to work with scholars in new areas of research made possible by tools for analyzing large-scale digital collections."

The first round of the Digging into Data Challenge sparked enormous interest from the international research community and led to eight cutting-edge projects being funded. There has also been increased media attention to the question of so-called "big data" techniques being used for humanities and social sciences research, including a recent cover article in the journal Science.

Due to the overwhelming popularity of round one, the Digging into Data Challenge is pleased to announce that four additional funders have joined for round two, enabling this competition to have a world-wide reach into many different scholarly and scientific domains.

The eight sponsoring funding bodies include the Arts & Humanities Research Council (United Kingdom), the Economic & Social Research Council (United Kingdom), the Institute of Museum and Library Services (United States), the Joint Information Systems Committee (United Kingdom), the National Endowment for the Humanities (United States), the National Science Foundation (United States), the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (Netherlands), and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (Canada).

Final applications will be due June 16, 2011. Further information about the competition and the application process can be found at www.diggingintodata.org.

About the Institute of Museum and Library Services
The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation's 123,000 libraries and 17,500 museums. The Institute's mission is to create strong libraries and museums that connect people to information and ideas. The Institute works at the national level and in coordination with state and local organizations to sustain heritage, culture, and knowledge; enhance learning and innovation; and support professional development. To learn more about the Institute, please visit www.imls.gov.