According to The Oxford Learner’s Dictionary (2021) data are “facts or information, especially when examined and used to find out things or to make decisions.” Researchers collect data in many forms, qualitative or quantiative, and this data informs their conclusions and future research directions. You may think that humanists don't use data (we do!) but it can be both numerical (financial, medical, measurements) , or it may be textual (oral histories), audio/visual (recordings and photographs), bibliographic (your literature review!). It can even be creative outputs like a poem, novel, or works of visual arts.
Currently, researchers are expected to both manage and share their data, with appropriate privacy considerations, so that other researchers may use, repurpose, and test the data and conclusions drawn from it.
UVic Libraries has an office for Research Data Services which supports researchers in planning for, using and sharing their data, and supports researchers in finding and using data from other researchers.
If you will be gathering data, or if you need to find and use existing data, consult with our Data librarians before you start!
Here are some great introductions to Humanities Data!
“An Introduction to Humanities Data Curation” by Julia Flanders (Northeastern University) and Trevor Muñoz (Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities)
"Humanities Data: A Necessary Contradiction" by Miriam Posner (UCLA)
"Big? Smart? Clean? Messy? Data in the Humanities" by Christof Schöch (University of Trier, Germany)
"First Nations Data sovereignty in Canada" by the First Nations Information Governance Centre