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Virtual Serendipity: Can your sources surprise you ?

love that this course is online – great share!


With the massive digitization of our society and the penetration of technology in all areas of our everyday lives, sciences and education, many of today’s researchers find themselves working in virtual environment. Many consider that exploring sources online is less efficient then browsing shelves in a library, since in the digital world you only find what you’re looking for.

This topic is discussed in the article Designing the next big thing: Randomness versus serendipity in DH tools [1] . The article is focused on the new wave of initiatives to enhance the research practice of humanities scholars, as it compares multiple tools that are designed to generate unknown, but relevant links to existing documents in order to surprise the researcher and improve her research with a fact or a source she was not aware of: this is what we call serendipity. But what is serendipity? By definition, it’s the occurrence…

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