Understanding the application of handwritten text recognition technology in heritage contexts: a systematic review of Transkribus in published research

Nockels, J., Terras, M., Gooding, P. and Ames, S. (2022) Understanding the application of handwritten text recognition technology in heritage contexts: a systematic review of Transkribus in published research. Archival Science, 22(3), pp. 367-392. (doi: 10.1007/s10502-022-09397-0)

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Abstract

Handwritten Text Recognition (HTR) technology is now a mature machine learning tool, becoming integrated in the digitisation processes of libraries and archives, speeding up the transcription of primary sources and facilitating full text searching and analysis of historic texts at scale. However, research into how HTR is changing our information environment is scant. This paper presents a systematic literature review regarding how researchers are using one particular HTR platform, Transkribus, to indicate the domains where HTR is applied, the approach taken, and how the technology is understood. 381 papers from 2015 to 2020 were gathered from Google Scholar, Scopus, and Web of Science, then grouped and coded into categories using quantitative and qualitative approaches. Published research that mentions Transkribus is international and rapidly growing. Transkribus features primarily in archival and library science publications, while a long tail of broad and eclectic disciplines, including history, computer science, citizen science, law and education, demonstrate the wider applicability of the tool. The most common paper categories were humanities applications (67%), technological (25%), users (5%) and tutorials (3%). This paper presents the first overarching review of HTR as featured in published research, while also elucidating how HTR is affecting the information environment.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:Scottish Graduate School in the Arts and Humanities doctoral funding, Arts and Humanities Research Council (AH/R012717/1).
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Gooding, Dr Paul
Authors: Nockels, J., Terras, M., Gooding, P., and Ames, S.
Subjects:Z Bibliography. Library Science. Information Resources > ZA Information resources
Z Bibliography. Library Science. Information Resources > ZA Information resources > ZA4050 Electronic information resources
College/School:College of Arts > School of Humanities > Information Studies
Journal Name:Archival Science
Publisher:Springer
ISSN:1389-0166
ISSN (Online):1573-7519
Published Online:17 June 2022
Copyright Holders:Copyright © The Author(s) 2022
First Published:First published in Archival Science 22(3): 367-392
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons licence

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
302136AHRC DTP 2Monica CallaghanArts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC)AH/R012717/1Arts - Scottish Graduate School Arts & Humanities