Contemporary research in the field of history and philosophy of science (HPS) makes extensive use of textual data, images, and videos in digital formats. The increasing availability of large volumes of digital data has created opportunities to ask new and transformative questions about the historical development and conceptual foundations of science. Yet tools that enable historians and philosophers of science to interact with these data lag behind those available in the natural sciences.

The future success of digital and computational approaches to the history and philosophy of science depends on forging links between computer science and the humanities. Most training programs in the history and philosophy of science do not impart the skills necessary to take advantage of these new modes of research. Similarly, computer scientists typically receive little training in the humanities, making it difficult to foster meaningful and productive collaborations with humanities scholars.

The Digital Innovation Group bridges the divide between computer science and digital HPS research through collaborative development, training, and cutting-edge interdisciplinary research that pushes the boundaries of digital and computational HPS, and fosters computational thinking in the humanities.

Our Projects


DigInG is the foremost resource for computational humanities software and infrastructure development. In addition to developing and supporting the software listed below, DigInG programmers provide support to academic units and individual researchers seeking to extend their research into the computational realm.

All of our software is open source. Most projects are developed using the Mozilla Public License 2.0. We welcome any contributions and new users and use cases. Please get in touch with Julia ( or Erick ( if you have any questions or comments.


Conceptpower is an extensible authority file service that supports many of the web and desktop applications in the DigInG universe. Conceptpower is a Java web application that can be deployed in a servlet container such as Apache Tomcat.


Quadriga is a web-application that acts as a clearing-house for text annotations -- in the form of contextualized triples, or "quadruples," that form complex graphs -- generated with the Vogon desktop application, and as an environment for managing text-annotation projects.


Tethne is a Python package for bibliographic data analysis. Use Tethne to parse and organize data from the ISI Web of Science, Scopus, and JSTOR Data-for-Research databases, and generate time-variant citation-based networks, corpus models, and social influence models.

Vogon Web

Vogon Web is a web application designed for rapid collaborative graph-based annotation of online texts with so-called “quadruples.” Quadruples form semantic networks that when uploaded to a repository can be used to for example develop advanced search engines.


QStore4S uses the open-source graph database Neo4j to store quadruples. The application is implemented using the Spring MVC Framework. Cyper Query Language is being used to interact with Neo4j.

Giles Ecosystem

The Giles Ecosystem (GEco) is a distributed system based on Apache Kafka that allows users to upload documents for text and image extraction. GEco creates images for each page of a PDF document and runs OCR (Tesseract) on submitted and extracted images.


Amphora is an extremely minimalistic data repository implemented in Django. In contrast to monolithic one-stop-shop repository packages that require an army of developers to support, Amphora focuses on providing bare-minimum data and metadata storage out of the box.


Wordpower is a dictionary service based on WordNet 3.0 that can be extended as needed. Wordpower is a Java web application, implemented using JavaServer Faces, that can be deployed in a servlet container such as Apache Tomcat.

Black Goat

The primary objective of this project is provide a platform for non-hierarchical alignments among an unlimited number of authority systems. This is primarily intended for projects that introduce a significant number of concepts in their own namespace, a substantial proportion of which overlap with other authority systems.


DigInG research falls under the broader research efforts of the Laubichler Lab at Arizona State University. Below are just a few of the many computational projects currently underway in DigInG. We are constantly looking for new and transformative research questions that can be addressed using computational methods.

The Genecology Project

The Genecology Project is a collaborative, interdisciplinary, student-run investigation of the agro-ecological field of genecology, also known as experimental taxonomy, in post-WWII Britain. We use computational methods in conjunction with archival materials, oral histories, and social network analysis to reconstruct and contextualize the shifting patterns of collaboration and discourse among plant ecologists who engaged in genecological research.

Reconstruction of Investigative Pathways

Our ultimate goal in history of biology is to gain insights into the nature of scientific innovation. Besides analyzing conceptual transformation of knowledge systems, as we do in many of our projects, we also study the investigative pathways of researchers and research groups that have generated innovative transformations in our understanding of specific scientific problems.

History of Developmental Evolution

Developmental Evolution is a tradition within evolutionary biology with a very long history. It focuses on the mechanistic (cellular, developmental, genomic) causes that generate phenotypes and phenotypic variation. While it is often seen as an "alternative" to mainstream population genetics, it is in fact a complementary and necessary approach to theories of evolutionary dynamics. This project looks at the history of this tradition as a big data problem, combining the reconstruction of individual contributions and research programs with computational analysis of the conceptual dynamics of evolutionary biology at large.