Relata: Centering Pluralism and Critique in Bibliographic Search

Rodrigo Ochigame, Leiden University; Marcel LaFlamme, Public Library of Science; Heather Paxson, MIT Anthropology

Toronto 2021: Inventive AI

Scholars rely on digital tools to search for publications relevant to their areas of research and teaching. Yet most search tools are based on principles of keyword or concept matching that rank results by popularity and similarity. Such tools can reflect biases and inequalities, reproducing patterns of exclusion and marginalization. What might it look like to build a search tool that instead centers values of epistemological pluralism and critique? This Making and Doing session will demo Relata, an experimental search tool for collaborative indexing and exploration of humanistic scholarship that was launched in early 2021. Relata seeks to map conversations by identifying analytical moves or relations (e.g., absence, critique, extension, incorporation, reanalysis, or refinement) among scholarly works. In its pilot form, the search interface displays results based on relations created by scholars in the field of sociocultural anthropology. Participants in the session will be invited to expand the database by adding new texts, particularly in STS, and identifying new relations. Working together, how many relations can we bring into view?

captioned video available here:…

Published: 01/29/2023