Inference and Linking on the Humanist’s Semantic Web


  • John Edward Simpson University of Alberta



Semantic Web, Inferencing, Reasoning, Humanities


The Semantic Web promises that the pools of semantic data it interweaves together will enable people to find information that they could not otherwise find by revealing knowledge not explicitly visible in the distributed source data.  In order for this promise to be fulfilled within the humanities, the Semantic Web data being created must have certain features, but what are they? This article provides some background on Semantic Web inferencing and then argues that there are three things that humanists can do to prepare their data to participant in this sort of inference generation: add more data, reciprocate links across repositories, and add metadata specifically to support inferencing.

Author Biography

John Edward Simpson, University of Alberta

John Simpson is a Post Doctoral Fellow at the University of Alberta, splitting his time between INKE and the Text Mining & Visualization For Literary History Project.  His current work is focused on building semantic web support into both CWRC and the Orlando Project by designing ontologies and building back-end support.  He is co-chair of Global Outlook DH’s Minimal Computing Working Group, Member-at-Large with CSDH-SCHN, and a regular instructor in the philosophy department, often teaching classes looking at the intersection of computers, technology, and culture.