Announcing the WE1S Research Blog

by Giorgina Paiella and Tyler Shoemaker
Published July 12, 2018

The WE1S Research Blog posts discoveries, observations, and questions by project members bearing on WE1S's themes and methods. (For context, see "About" WE1S.)
The WE1S Summer Research Camp is now well under way. After an initial week of orientation, team members at UC Santa Barbara and CSU Northridge have begun working with materials sampled from our C-Hackers Starter Kits. During the academic year 2017-18, the C-Hackers – short for “Corpus Research and Design Group” – collectively worked to identify key aspects of corpus design, with discussions ranging from geographic locales to distribution methods and press freedom rankings. Our year’s work culminated in “Area of Focus” reports, which overview and probe canonicity, source availability, and the source collection process, providing suggestions for future directions in the project’s development.

This set of concerns, what we’re calling “representativeness,” is our focus this summer. Together, our C-Hackers have concluded that there is no a priori definition of representation for a project like WE1S, and, as we begin collecting news sources that provide coverage across nations, regions, racial, ethnic, and gender groups, and other special interests, any sense of representation therefrom will necessarily be iterative. What – and who – our corpus represents is an ongoing question, one that will involve many possible answers and one whose full investigation will take place over the course of the next three years.

Our sustained investigations into these questions will be hosted on this research blog, alongside other open questions to which we hope to return, team research updates, notes from our upcoming All Hands summit meetings with the WE1S advisory board, and any other research outputs that track the project’s methodologies, processes, workflows, etc. Contributors range from members of the AM and PM teams, project PIs, undergraduates participating in the WE1S Curriculum Lab, and guest contributors.