Semantic Concepts in Textbooks (SemKoS)

The increasing number of digitised textbooks makes it possible to implement new methods and approaches that facilitate academic work.

We are therefore creating a research tool that goes beyond a keyword search and finds semantically related content. The BMBF-funded project ‘Semantic Concepts in Textbooks’ (SemKoS), will link metadata from digitised textbooks and enriched it with semantic concepts and entities as well as with knowledge from other domains. Information is linked and background knowledge added. This allows researchers to directly display implicit information from the texts during research. Scientific work is simplified and accelerated since the source material no longer has to be searched manually, rather researchers can work directly with the areas identified.

The research project creates a basis for the standard-compliant integration of source material and databases. In practice SemKoS is located in the field of information technology and incorporates research from that field as well as academic research on the use of digital methods and tools, it also addresses current debates on the opportunities and limitations of digital humanities.

In order to be able to evaluate the tools used, experts manually annotate agreed text sections thereby creating comparative values. In addition, this data can be used as a basis for automatic procedures and their respective modelling. The workflows developed for the ‘International TextbookCat’ project for multilingual metadata assignment will be applied here, so that research in the databases can be supported not only semantically but also multilingually. The software architecture will be developed in such a way that it can be applied to any textbook digitised in the future.