Antigonish, Nova Scotia, Canada

Introductory digital research tools webinar series for humanities, arts and social sciences researchers

Tuesday, February 14, 2023 - 11:30am to Friday, February 17, 2023 - 4:00pm
Location: Online
Event Type: Seminar

February 14-17th, 2023, the Digital Research Alliance of Canada (Alliance) and the Alliance Federation will be offering an introductory digital research tools webinar series for humanities, arts and social sciences researchers.


These are introductory, beginner-level sessions. No prior experience or knowledge is required.


You may register for as many or as few of the sessions as you wish. Program details and registration links can be found at 


Introduction to the Alliance support for Digital Humanities Research

February 14, 2023, 11:30-11:55 am EST

This is an introduction to the Digital Research Alliance of Canada, and overview of the research support and resources available through the Alliance that are directly applicable to Humanities and Social Sciences researchers. We will give some brief usage cases and the next steps if you are interested in exploring our resources.    



Introduction to Machine Learning

February 14, 2023, 12:00-1:20 pm EST

We hear about it all the time, but what really is machine learning? And what about deep learning? Neural networks? How can any of this help me with my work? And how? Which tools do I need to make use of the transformative advances happening in that field? This workshop will answer these questions in a non-technical manner to give you a high level overview of a discipline that has become crucial in all fields of research.   



Introduction to Voyant

February 14, 2023, 12:00-1:20 pm EST

Voyant Tools is a web-based tool for digital textual analysis. A suite of analysis and visualization tools allows researchers to “see through” texts and gain insight from word frequency, collocated terms, and other metrics. Voyant Tools is unique because it requires no set-up ahead of time and is user-friendly for those without any coding skills. In this workshop, we introduce participants to Voyant, showing how to create your own corpus in Voyant to analyze digital texts. We will walk you through the basics of finding, formatting, and uploading a text to use in Voyant including cleaning your text. We will demonstrate many of Voyant’s capabilities including visualization tools to create word clouds, word frequency trend graphs, and more playful visualizations that allow you to play with your text. We will also discuss the basics of designing a textual analysis project and give you ideas for using Voyant in your own research.



Introduction to the Unix Command Line

February 14, 2023, 1:30-2:50 pm EST

Most introductions to a command line interface are targeted at using the interface as a gateway to some other tool that it doesn’t make sense to access in any other way. This workshop will be different because it will introduce you to using the command line interface to actually do work directly on the command line. Why would anyone want to do this you ask? In many cases the command line is faster and offers abilities that other tools do not, especially when working with raw text files. This will be a hands-on workshop that assumes no previous knowledge. While specific examples will be considered throughout, the point of the workshop will be to highlight possible future applications that participants might be interested in.  



Introduction to OpenRefine

February 14, 2023, 3:00-4:20 pm EST        

This Library Carpentry adapted lesson introduces people working in Humanities, Social Sciences, and library- and information-related roles to working with data in OpenRefine. OpenRefine can be used to standardize and clean data across your file, and is most useful when working with a comma separated values file (csv) or a tab delimited file (tsv). It can help you get an overview of a data set; resolve inconsistencies in a data set; help you split data up into more granular parts; and more. At the conclusion of the lesson you will understand what the OpenRefine software does and how to use the OpenRefine software to work with data files. No previous experience with OpenRefine is required. 



Introduction to programming in Python

February 14, 2023, 3:00-4:20 pm EST

In this very short introduction to Python, we will cover the basics of running Python inside Jupyter notebooks, basic use of variables, lists, dictionaries, talk about defining functions and using external libraries. We will provide Python in the cloud, so there is no need to install it on your own computer for this session.          



Introduction to programming in R

February 14, 2023, 3:00-4:20 pm EST

R is a free and open-source programming language for statistical computing, modelling, and graphics, with an unbeatable collection of statistical packages. It is extremely popular in some academic fields such as statistics, biology, bioinformatics, data mining, data analysis, and linguistics. This introductory course does not assume any prior knowledge: it will take you through the first steps of importing, cleaning, and visualizing your data. Along the way, we will get familiar with R data types, writing functions, and control flow.     



Sensitive Data Project

February 15, 2023, 11:30 am-12:50 pm EST         

This introductory workshop will discuss the progress of the Federated Research Data Repository's (FRDR) Sensitive Data Pilot Project. The goal of this pilot project is to augment the capabilities of FRDR to allow for deposit and sharing of sensitive data, and to support institutions and other repositories with sensitive data sharing and management.  



Research Data Management (RDM) for Humanists

February 15, 2023, 1:00-2:20 pm EST

In this hands-on and discussion-centered workshop we will discuss and identify unique considerations for managing “humanities and social sciences research data”. We will introduce you to the basic lifecycle of data, including your own personal data. We will learn about different formats (proprietary vs. open), software, and metadata for your data. Finally, through discussion, we will think through the question: what state of your data will be most useful for you to share with the community?



Data Management Plan (DMP) Assistant

February 15, 2023, 2:30-3:50 pm EST

This session will serve as a walk-through demonstration of how to use the Data Management Plan (DMP) Assistant tool. A high-level overview of research data management and the role of DMPs will be provided, as well as concrete examples, resources, and best practices in the creation of a data management plan for humanities and social sciences related research.     



Machine Learning for HSS

February 16, 2023, 11:30 am-1:20 pm EST

Machine Learning is without a doubt one of the biggest buzzwords in tech in recent times. No wonder - it is what powers many of the innovations we have all grown to love in this last decade,  from the autocomplete function and the virtual assistant on your phone, to self-parking cars and the recommender system on your favorite streaming service. What many people don’t know is that machine learning is not new. In fact, it can be seen as nothing more than a change of perspective on a much older field that is well known to the HSS community: good old statistics. In this workshop, we will look beyond the computer-science-centric jargon of machine learning and show, with examples, how your existing knowledge of statistics translates into Machine Learning and provides all you need to learn more about this exciting field.



Using Voyant & Spyral

February 16, 2023, 11:30 am-1:20 pm EST / 16 février 2023, 11h30 à 13h20 HNE

In this workshop we provide participants a chance to perform hands-on textual analysis with Voyant Tools, a web-based tool for digital textual analysis. The workshop will also feature Spyral Notebooks, a new companion notebook environment that works in tandem with Voyant Tools. Participants will bring their own corpus of digital texts for analysis and we will walk through using Voyant with your text. We will demonstrate how to use Spyral Notebooks to save, share, and enhance your Voyant analysis.



Web scraping with R

February 16, 2023, 1:30-2:50 pm EST

The internet is a trove of information. A lot of it is publicly available and thus suitable for use in research. Extracting that information and putting it in an organized format for analysis can, however, be extremely tedious. Web scraping tools allow to automate parts of that process and R is a popular language for the task. In this workshop, we will guide you through a simple example using the package rvest.



Authoring dynamic scientific documents with Markdown & Quarto

February 16, 2023, 3:00pm-3:55 pm EST

This workshop will show you how to easily create beautiful scientific documents (html, pdf, websites, books…), complete with formatted text, dynamic code and figures with Quarto - an open-source tool combining the powers of Jupyter or knitr with Pandoc - to turn your text and code blocks into fully dynamic and formatted documents.



Bring your own project!

February 17, 2023, 12:00-3:00 pm EST

Do you have a research project with which you are struggling and need some programming help? Do you want to try out programming but aren’t sure where to start or what you would use it for? In this session you can receive help with programming projects you bring, or work through some pre-made code projects with an instructor. Note that English and French language Alliance staff members will be available.


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