Within the humanities and social sciences much research is based on texts, often collected in large corpora.
A number of disciplines use texts for research purposes (e.g. anthropology, economics, philosophy, IT, linguistics, psychology, political science, semiotics, sociolinguistics, sociology, statistics, history, etc.) and make use of both different text-types (e.g. newspaper articles, administrative documents, literary works, public and institutional speeches, interviews, focus groups, clinical interviews, ethnographic diaries, letters, emails, web pages, text messages, blogs, advertisements, etc.) and different research methods (e.g. content analysis, discourse analysis, rhetorical analysis, text analysis, linguistic analysis, language statistics, information retrieval, natural language processing, hermeneutics, etc.).
The information contained in texts is very complex and its analysis calls for skills and knowledge deriving from different disciplines.
Recent research shows that the analysis of text data and text mining provides the ideal background to develop interdisciplinary approaches and research tools to account for both the qualitative and quantitative assessment of the aspects under scrutiny. Moreover, in the light of the current crisis of traditional analytical tools, such new approaches may provide a valid alternative for research purposes.
The Interdisciplinary Text Analysis Group (GIAT) has the following objectives:
- sharing information on software, corpora, relevant literature and research results;
- promoting the dialogue among different disciplines on concrete research issues;
- developing innovative analytical tools and integrated research methods;
- encouraging the implementation of the know-how acquired both at university level and among institutions and enterprises.