A Tool for Publishing Social Inequality Hypotheses

Supervisor: Lise Stork (l.stork@vu.nl)


Transparency and clarity of theories on which we build is paramount. Natural language cannot carry truth unambiguously, but scientific discoveries are commonly described, albeit with academic language, in natural language in scientific articles. The formalisation of hypotheses can advance research within a domain: it facilitates transparency (e.g., for reproducibility), it can help highlight bias, as well as theory synthesis and thereby the revision, consolidation and the unification of known theories.


In this work, students will create a simple web interface for the authoring of research questions in the social history domain, specifically on inequality. The tool will be evaluated through a user evaluation study.


Using an (existing) ontology for social history hypotheses, the student should create a simple web application allowing social historians to turn their research questions into structured hypotheses (structured in the form of triples of the form , using the Resource Description Framework (RDF)). The student will run a user study to measure the effectiveness and usability of the tool, as well as the resulting knowledge graph.


The supervisor of this project will be Lise Stork, and the student is expected to work with a user group from a social science institute such as the [IISG].