Design Science Research for the Humanities – The Case of Prosopography

  • Jacky Akoka
  • Isabelle Comyn-WattiauEmail author
  • Cédric du Mouza
  • Nicolas Prat
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 11491)


The humanities focus on understanding human beings and cultures. They include such disciplines as history, literature, and the arts. Digital humanities, defined as the application of IT to research and teaching in the humanities, is well established as a field in its own right. More particularly, research in the humanities is in demand of innovative and useful IT artifacts. This makes it a relevant application area for design science research (DSR). This also raises specific challenges to DSR researchers, due to the specific stakeholders and knowledge domains that come into play in the digital humanities. This paper focuses on prosopography, a branch of digital humanities that represents and interprets historical data, sourced from texts describing historical person’s life. Starting from typical issues addressed by prosopographical researchers, we identify relevant IT artifacts to address these issues, making DSR relevant for prosopographical research. We adapt and instantiate Hevner’s DSR framework to the specific case of prosopography, as a first step towards defining a DSR framework for the humanities more generally. Based on this adapted and instantiated DSR framework, we propose two artifacts: requirements and a methodology for prosopography. We demonstrate the methodology on a prosopography scenario.


Prosopography Design science research Requirements Methodology Digital humanities 



This research has been partly funded by a national French grant (ANR Daphne 17-CE28-0013-01).


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jacky Akoka
    • 1
    • 2
  • Isabelle Comyn-Wattiau
    • 3
    Email author
  • Cédric du Mouza
    • 1
  • Nicolas Prat
    • 3
  1. 1.CEDRIC-CNAMParisFrance
  2. 2.TEM-Business SchoolParisFrance
  3. 3.ESSEC Business SchoolCergyFrance

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