Historical informatics - rubric Peer reviews
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Peer reviews
Borodkin L. - Review of the Book by Shchapova Yu.L. and Grinchenko S.N. Introduction into the Theory of the Archeological Epoch: Numerical Modeling and Logarithmic Scales of Spatiotemporal Data. M.: The History Faculty of Moscow State University, the Federal Research Center of the Russian Academy of Sciences Computer
Science and Management, 2017. -236 pages. (Works of the History Faculty of MSU, Issue. 97. Series II, Historical Studies, 51).
pp. 109-112


Abstract: The author considers the main achievements and discussion points of the monograph which proposes the principles of chronology and periodization of the archaeological epoch, its generalized numerical model combining the Fibonacci's and the informatics-cybernetics models.The capabilities of inductive and deductive models are discussed. Numerical modeling is considered within the framework of the deductive approach. The universality of the mathematical model based on the Fibonacci series defining the "golden proportion" is noted. It is shown that the use of a multidisciplinary approach based on mathematical modeling of long-duration archaeological epochs allows us to consider it as a new concept of global history. The author discusses the problems of the monograph within the framework of the methodology of modeling historical processes and developing concepts of “Big history”. Consideration of the issues of periodization of long-duration processes is carried out within the context of their predictability, the relationship of regularities and randomness, mechanisms of self-organization and algorithms of "adaptive random search". The article concludes that it is important to estimate the moments of system information transformations within the framework of the Fibonacci model and emphasizes the role of this model for the formation of new hypotheses in historical and archaeological studies. 
Borodkin L. - Review of Arnold T., Tilton L. Humanities Data in R: Exploring Networks, Geospatial Data, Images and Text. Springer, 2017. - 211 p. pp. 126-132


Abstract: The article briefly describes the integrated software R and the book by American authors about the use of R in humanities and social sciences. This book demonstrates functions of R which has become popular in applied studies of different research fields and now is widely used in humanities as well. The authors’ aim is to teach the humanities readers to use R functions in four spheres of data work which are important for humanities scholars and represented by networks, texts, maps and images. The book employs the comparative approach (to compare R package with other software tools) and is the first to characterize R when one works with data of studies in humanities. Taking into account that R is not widely applied by Russian humanities scholars, brief information about this nontrivial software is provided. The open source programming language R and its numerous packages is conspicuous of modern approach to analyze heterogeneous data. 
Garskova I.M. - The International Conference "Historical Studies in a Digital Epoch: Information Resources, Methods and Technologies" pp. 140-153


Abstract: The article aims at analyzing the reports and messages of the 15th conference of the “History and Computer” association (AIK). The comparison of conference materials with the historiography of Russian historical computer science provides for characterizing theoretical and applied problems related to the use of information technologies and mathematical methods in history as well as revealing new trends of this interdisciplinary field nowadays. The attention is primarily given to such aspects as the development and interaction of modern information technologies, professional information sources as well as analytical methods and approaches. The study employs classification analysis and comparative analysis methods of the problematic field of AIK’s conference materials in relation to research domains and schools of thought that have been formed in historical computer science for the last 25 years. The informational basis is a full-text collection and a bibliographic database of AIK’s publications. The study demonstrates that the conference topics are in line with two main domains of historical computer science: an informational one aiming at creation and employment of informational infrastructure – electronic resources, data bases, historical GIS, 3D reconstructions of historical and cultural heritage objects, and an analytical one involving historical source processing and analysis with the help of computer modeling methods, mathematical statistics, content-analysis, network analysis and spatial analysis. Interaction of these domains provides the growing number of digital on-line sources with the necessary research tools.
Vladimirov V. - Review: Yumasheva Yu.Yu. Informatization of Archival Studies in the Russian Federation (1991-2015). Studies in the Sphere of Information Technologies Application: Monograph / Yu.Yu. Yumasheva. M.; Berlin: Direct-Media, 2016. 355 p.
pp. 173-178


Abstract: The article reviews the monograph by Yu.Yu. Yumasheva “Informatization of Archival Studies in the Russian Federation (1991-2015)”. It is noted that the overview of papers by researchers and those practically involved in archival studies for a 30-year period provides for precious results related to the evaluation of archival studies informatization within the frames of general informatization in the country. Yu.Yu. Yumasheva is both a well-known experienced archivist and a professional historian in the historical information science domain. The structure of the monograph is found appropriate as it consists of several thematic parts covering the main issues of archival studies informatization. The review rates the monograph high. The novelty of the study is its elimination of important gaps in the archival studies domain and is of value to anyone interested in Russian archives, their condition, prospects, documents stored and those willing their transformation into modern institutions corresponding to the information society level.
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