Call for papers: Special Issue on Cultural Heritage and Semantic Web

Call for papers: Special Issue on

Cultural Heritage and Semantic Web

The increasing accessibility and affordability of services and computational resources to collect, enhance, analyse and republish data continues to impact and increase the structuring of many fields of scholarship. With more cultural heritage and humanities datasets available than ever, Digital Humanities brings together an exciting blend of researchers and practitioners from different disciplines, such as social sciences, arts, humanities, cultural heritage, library science, and computer science. This highly interdisciplinary community brings promising visions of our digital pasts and futures, but also humanistic and cultural concerns about their use. Data management, data ethics, data curation, data cleaning, data provenance, data integration and semantics are prevalent in DH from idiosyncratic and varied perspectives. Semantic technologies have shown, in various venues through the last decade, a key role and deep penetration in cultural heritage and DH workflows through unique methods, adoption stories, and contributions to a harmonic ecosystem for Semantic data-intensive technologies. On the one hand, semantic technologies have been effective at addressing challenges and research questions from humanities scholars, such as working with data of limited scale, vague and yet valuable evidence, and the need for richer contexts. On the other hand, humanities scholars are constantly given a new technological landscape to reflect on and develop new thought, closing a virtuous circle.

This circle has unlocked knowledge that would have remained unknown otherwise, such as extensive human-driven analysis of semantically rich cultural datasets; large knowledge modelling efforts that have crystalized into ontologies, controlled vocabularies and conceptual models like CIDOC-CRM, the Europeana Data Model and FRBRoo; and numerous 5-star Linked Data datasets that populate the Linked Open Data cloud today as a category in its own right. With the recent advances and quickly transforming landscape in Knowledge Graphs, property graphs, deep learning, automated knowledge base construction, language models, computer vision and multimodality, we feel that the paths of semantics and CH/DH, and to a broader extent those of Cultural AI, have only started crossing.
This special issue focuses on contributions in the lines of how semantic web technologies are fulfilling the needs of cultural heritage practitioners and organisations. Notably, it welcomes submissions on open research problems related to cultural heritage preservation, valorisation, engagement, and ethics for which Semantic Web technologies could provide a viable approach. Moreover, it welcomes research efforts in collaboration with archivists, historians, curators, philologists, cultural critics, musicologists, and other humanists that generally deal with the information that is subjective, vague, fragmentary, uncertain, contradictory and yet still valuable evidence that poses a challenge to knowledge bases and even to Artificial Intelligence research per se.

Topics of Interest include but are not limited to

  • Cultural Heritage Ontologies and Vocabularies
  • Semantic technologies for Digital Humanities
  • Linked Data, Knowledge Graphs and Digital Humanities
  • Semantic and Exploratory Search for Humanities and Cultural Heritage
  • Geo-semantics for Humanities and Digital Heritage
  • Knowledge Driven NLP for Digital Humanities
  • Supporting Humanities scholars accessing Semantic data
  • Effects of knowledge/ontology engineering in CH/DH scholarship
  • Social Semantics for Humanities data
  • Semantics for Audio-Visual Data
  • Semantics for Ethics, norms, and regulatory compliance in the Heritage Sector
  • Semantic Digital Rights and Privacy in Cultural Heritage
  • Historical Entity reconciliation on the Semantic Web
  • Semantics and Hermeneutics
  • Semantic Social Networks in Heritage data
  • Semantics in Digital Libraries
  • Machine Learning for Knowledge Graphs in Digital Humanities
  • Visual Intelligence and Semantics in Digital Heritage
  • Multimodal Processing and Cultural Heritage
  • Semantics for Intangible Heritage


  • Submission deadline: 15th of March 2021 (extended!). Papers submitted before the deadline will be reviewed upon receipt.

Author Guidelines

Submissions shall be made through the Semantic Web journal website at Prospective authors must take notice of the submission guidelines posted at

We welcome four main types of submissions: (i) full research papers, (ii) Datasets and Knowledge Graphs (with proper documentation and evaluation), (ii) reports on tools and systems, (iii) application reports, and (iv) survey articles. The description of the submission types is posted at While there is no upper limit, paper length must be justified by content.

Note that you need to request an account on the website for submitting a paper. Please indicate in the cover letter that it is for the "Cultural Heritage and Semantic Web" special issue. All manuscripts will be reviewed based on the SWJ open and transparent review policy and will be made available online during the review process.

Also note that the Semantic Web journal is open access.

Guest editors

The guest editors can be reached at .

Mehwish Alam, FIZ Karlsruhe - Leibniz Institute for Information Infrastructure, Germany.
Victor de Boer, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
Enrico Daga, The Open University, United Kingdom.
Marieke van Erp, KNAW Humanities Cluster, the Netherlands .
Eero Hyvönen, University of Helsinki, Aalto University, Finland.
Albert Meroño Peñuela, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
Harald Sack, FIZ Karlsruhe - Leibniz Institute for Information Infrastructure, Germany.

Guest Editorial Board

Daniel Bangert, Göttingen State and University Library, Germany.
Sean Bechhofer, University of Manchester, United Kingdom.
Antal van den Bosch, Meertens Institute, the Netherlands.
Rossana Damiano, University of Turin, Italy.
Marilena Daquino, University of Bologna, Italy.
Nuno Freire, INESC-ID, Portugal.
Laura Hollink, Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica, the Netherlands.
Antoine Isaac, Europeana, VU University Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
Folgert Karsdorp, KNAW Humanities Cluster, the Netherlands.
Marijn Koolen, KNAW Humanities Cluster, the Netherlands.
Steffen Lohmann, Fraunhofer IAS, Germany.
Valentina Maccatrozzo, Squla, the Netherlands.
Enno Meijers, Dutch Royal Library, the Netherlands.
Alessandro Mosca, University of Bolzano, Italy.
Paul Mulholland, The Open University, United Kingdom.
Julia Noordegraaf, University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
Johan Oomen, Sound and Vision, the Netherlands.
Kevin Page, University of Oxford, United Kingdom.
Silvio Peroni, Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna.
David De Roure, University of Oxford, United Kingdom.
Raphael Troncy, EURECOM, France.
Fabio Vitali, University of Bologna, Italy.
Andreas Vlachidis, University College London.
Joerg Waitelonis, Yovisto Gmbh, Germany.
Melvin Wevers, University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands.