'Trouble with Big Data' wins Choice Outstanding Academic Title award

12 December 2023

A book, co-authored by Jennifer Edmond, ADAPT academic and Associate Professor of Digital Humanities at Trinity College Dublin was recently awarded as a Choice Outstanding Academic Title Award. Titled, Trouble with Big Data: How Datafication Displaces Cultural Practices, the book was co-authored by Nicola Horsley,  Dr Jörg Lehmann and Mike Priddy. 

The Choice ‘Outstanding Academic Title’ (OAT) Award is presented each year to a prestigious list of academic titles, reflecting both print and digital works.  The OAT Award represents the highest caliber of scholarly titles that have been reviewed by Choice and brings with it the recognition of the academic library community.  The list is quite selective, containing approximately ten percent of some 5,000 works reviewed annually in Choice.

The open access book explores the challenges society faces with big data, through the lens of culture rather than social, political or economic trends, as demonstrated in the words we use, the values that underpin our interactions, and the biases and assumptions that drive us. Focusing on areas such as data and language, data and sensemaking, data and power, data and invisibility, and big data aggregation, it demonstrates that humanities research, focussing on cultural rather than social, political or economic frames of reference for viewing technology, resists mass datafication for a reason, and that those very reasons can be instructive for the critical observation of big data research and innovation.

Speaking about the book, one of the editors, J Forrest of Georgia Institute of Technology said: “ Building on a range of literature, Edmond and coauthors, combining their skills of researcher, computer scientist, and cultural heritage professional, contextualize their work by incorporating data from interviews conducted with others in these fields.  This book deserves a wide audience including students in social science fields; professionals in archives, libraries, and museums in the midst of digitising collections; and researchers in computer science and humanistic disciplines.”

In naming a work an Outstanding Academic Title, the editors apply several criteria:

  • Overall excellence in presentation and scholarship
  • Importance relative to other literature in the field
  • Distinction as a first treatment of a given subject in book or electronic form
  • Value to undergraduate students
  • Importance in building undergraduate library collections

The eBook editions of the book are available open access under a CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 licence on bloomsburycollections.com. Open access was funded by Trinity College Dublin, DARIAH-EU and the European Commission.

Bloomsbury is pleased to share that several of our books and products have been recognized by Choice as Outstanding Academic Titles, 2023. Choice is a publishing unit of the Association of College & Research Libraries, a division of the American Library Association.