Can I believe what I see? Data visualization and trust in the humanities

Abstract
Questions of trust are increasingly important in relation to data and its use. The authors focus on humanities data and its visualization, through analysis of their own recent projects with museums, archives and libraries internationally. Their account connects the specifics of hands-on digital humanities work to larger epistemological questions. They discuss the sources of potential mistrust, and examine how different expectations and assumptions emerge depending on the use and user of the data; they offer a simple schema through which the implications may be traced. It is argued that vital issues of trust can be engaged with through design, which, rather than being conceived as a cosmetic finish, is seen as contributing insights and questions that affect the whole process. The article concludes with recommendations intended to be useful in both theory and practice.
Authors
Stephen Boyd Davis, Olivia Vane & Florian Kräutli
Cite
Stephen Boyd Davis, Olivia Vane & Florian Kräutli (2021) Can I believe what I see? Data visualization and trust in the humanities, Interdisciplinary Science Reviews, 46:4, 522-546, DOI: 10.1080/03080188.2021.1872874