About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 5945-5954
Publication year: 2009
ISBN: 978-84-613-2953-3
ISSN: 2340-1095

Conference name: 2nd International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 16-18 November, 2009
Location: Madrid, Spain

CAPTURING THE HISTORICAL RESEARCH METHODOLOGY: AN EXPERIMENTAL APPROACH

E. Torou1, C. Vassilakis2, A. Katifori1, G. Lepouras2, C. Halatsis1

1National and Kapodistrian University of Athens (GREECE)
2University of Peloponnese (GREECE)
The paper presents the results of a study on how historians conduct research in a historical archive, and the methodologies they use while searching. Historic research involves finding, using and correlating information within primary and secondary sources, in order to understand past events. Historians conduct research systematically, by examining past events to renew the past; historic research may involve interpretation to recapture the nuances, personalities, and ideas that have influenced these events, and the expected research outcome is to communicate an understanding of past events. Their main objective is to recreate the past, through existing records and their interconnections. The collection of historical data is accomplished through methodical and comprehensive research in primary and secondary sources.

An important factor in our study was to understand what kind of data or information historians are looking for in a library/historical archive, either printed or digitized and which research methodologies or research models they use, while they investigate a historical archive. Since this issue has not been addressed insofar, and therefore there are no methods for elucidating research methodologies or research models that historians employ, we formulated a questionnaire comprising of seven information retrieval tasks commonly addressed in the context of historic research, and historic researchers were asked to describe in detail how they would proceed in retrieving information. The approach of a semi-structured interview was adopted for this stage, to maximize the completeness of responses, while allowing interviewers to freely communicate their replies. The experiment took place in the Historical Archive of the University of Athens (HAUA).Through this procedure we aimed to investigate the different ways a historian may use to tackle a specific question, examine whether there exists a common research methodology, and the historic researchers’ expectations and preferences.
The insight gained from this investigation can be used for education purposes, since it could be useful in the creation of a methodology for conducting research on historical information. Furthermore, the findings can be exploited in the context of organizing documents within historical source repositories, so as to facilitate the retrieval of documents by historians; finally the presented findings can serve as a preliminary requirements analysis phase for building tools that will enable historians to access more rapidly and fully the information they need.
@InProceedings{TOROU2009CAP,
author = {Torou, E. and Vassilakis, C. and Katifori, A. and Lepouras, G. and Halatsis, C.},
title = {CAPTURING THE HISTORICAL RESEARCH METHODOLOGY: AN EXPERIMENTAL APPROACH},
series = {2nd International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation},
booktitle = {ICERI2009 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-613-2953-3},
issn = {2340-1095},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Madrid, Spain},
month = {16-18 November, 2009},
year = {2009},
pages = {5945-5954}}
TY - CONF
AU - E. Torou AU - C. Vassilakis AU - A. Katifori AU - G. Lepouras AU - C. Halatsis
TI - CAPTURING THE HISTORICAL RESEARCH METHODOLOGY: AN EXPERIMENTAL APPROACH
SN - 978-84-613-2953-3/2340-1095
PY - 2009
Y1 - 16-18 November, 2009
CI - Madrid, Spain
JO - 2nd International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
JA - ICERI2009 Proceedings
SP - 5945
EP - 5954
ER -
E. Torou, C. Vassilakis, A. Katifori, G. Lepouras, C. Halatsis (2009) CAPTURING THE HISTORICAL RESEARCH METHODOLOGY: AN EXPERIMENTAL APPROACH, ICERI2009 Proceedings, pp. 5945-5954.
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