NeDiMAH Methods Ontology: NeMO

The NeDiMAH Methods Ontology (NeMO) is a comprehensive ontological model of scholarly practice in the arts and humanities, developed under the work plan of the ESF Research Network NeDiMAH.

NeMO is a CIDOC CRM - compliant ontology which explicitly addresses the interplay of factors of agency (actors and goals), process (activities and methods) and resources (information resources, tools, concepts) manifest in the scholarly process. It builds on the results of extensive empirical studies and modelling of scholarly practices performed by the Digital Curation Unit in projects DARIAHEHRI and Europeana Cloud.

NeMO incorporates existing relevant taxonomies of scholarly methods and tools, such as TaDIRAH, the arts-humanities.net and Oxford taxonomies of ICT methods, DHCommons, CCC-IULA-UPF and DiRT, through appropriate mappings of the concepts defined therein onto a semantic backbone of NeMO concepts. It thus enables combining documentary elements on scholarly practices of different perspectives and using different vocabularies.

The outcome of the project includes the ontology delivered in both document and machine readable forms, and a Web service comprising a database containing the ontology definition and the appropriate functionality to support access to and evolution of the ontology.

In document form, the ontology includes definitions of entities and properties, and examples of occurrence and use in the style of ISO standard 21127 CIDOC CRM, the dominant ontology for documentation in the cultural domain.

In machine readable form, the ontology is defined in RDFS (RDF Schema), in order to support its use in a wide range of applications accessing registries and knowledge bases that contain information about methods and their context of use. Furthermore the taxonomic parts of the ontology comply with SKOS (Simple Knowledge Organization System).

The compliance with standards indicated above caters for syntactic as well as semantic interoperability between future registries and applications employing this methods ontology and other CIDOC CRM – and SKOS – compliant information systems in the arts and humanities and in libraries, museums and archives.

The Web service has been implemented and is hosted by DCU, see nemo.dcu.gr. The Web service offers graphical navigation through the concepts, along with textual definitions, faceted access to the ontology elements, examples, use cases and tabular presentations of mappings from the DH Commons, Oxford ICT and TaDiRAH taxonomies to NeMO. The latter enables combining documentary elements on scholarly practices of different perspectives and using different vocabularies, as well as using NeMO as mediating schema for information integration. Furthermore, limited editorial functions are provided to authorized editors in order to edit and maintain NeMO.

The development of NeMO benefited greatly from the discussions in related workshops and meetings and the generous intellectual contributions of participants. Interested individuals are invited to continue participating, and also to contribute comments through the NeMO site.

Maintenance and further development of NeMO will be carried out by DCU within DARIAH-GR, to be contributed to DARIAH-EU.

Benardou, A., Dallas, C., Angelis, A., Chatzidiakou, N., Constantopoulos, P., Hughes, L., Papachristopoulos, L., Papaki, E. & Pertsas, V. (2015) 'Documenting Research in the Ancient Corinthia Using the NeDiMAH Methods Ontology', Computer Applications in Archaeology (CAA), Sienna, April 2015.

Hughes, L.M., Dallas, C., Constantopoulos, P. (2015) ‘Digital Methods in the Humanities: Understanding and Describing their Use across he Disciplines’, in The New Companion to Digital Humanities, eds. Schreibman, S. and Siemens, R. (Oxford, Blackwells).