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Tools in the Scholarly Commons

The Scholarly Commons supports a wide variety of qualitative, quantitative, and mixed-methods data analysis software platforms.  Listed below are a few that you may find useful when embarking on a digital humanities project.  For more information on what software and hardware is hosted in the Scholarly Commons, see our Software and our Hardware pages.

Digital Humanities Software

NVivo 10

Similar to ATLAS.ti, NVivo is a qualitative data analysis package that allows for mixed-methodology. “Coding” and text match searching are also offered, as well as more advanced text analysis functions.

R studio

An open source, statistical data analysis and graphics platform, R is both a software environment as well as a language. R allows you to analyze data and plot them in charts and graphs. There are many plugins available that lend themselves to various statistical processes, graphical visualization tools, and even a qualitative data analysis plugin with a GUI (RQDA).The Scholarly Commons also has created an Intro to R tutorial for beginners page.

ABBYY Fine Reader

ABBYY FineReader is an Optical Character Recognition program that makes images machine readable. You could “read” a PDF of old newspaper clippings in order to convert them into a text file for machine processing.


A qualitative data analysis packaged that allows for mixed-method research, ATLAS.ti allows you to “code” various kinds of documents and run text matching and word counts over your corpus.

Digital Humanities Hardware

Mac computers

The Scholarly Commons has 2 Macs, each with a wireless keyboard and mouse.

Morae Observer workstation

This workstation is synced with the Usability Lab for optimal convenience and research capability.

Various accessories

The Scholarly Commons has many assorted accessories to help with research and projects.  Some include USB Headsets, microphones and stand for voice recordings, and thumb drives.

Digital scanners

The Scholarly Commons has three high end scanners for use in digitizing analog items. All of these scanners can work in tandem with ABBYY Fine Reader (see above) to scan directly into this program and streamline the machine reading process. See our Digitization Page for more information on our scanners.

Dual monitor pcs

The Scholarly Commons has 7 dual monitor PCs that can assist you with your research and/or projects.

For a list of other resources available go to the Scholarly Commons Resource Page.

Tools Around the Web

There are many open source and web-based tools for conducting digital humanities research.  A sampler of these tools is listed below.  The DiRT directory is your best bet for finding a tool that is specific to the functionality required by your research.

Paper Machines

This open source extension for the Zotero citation management software allows users to perform text mining across entire corpora of collected documents stored in Zotero.  Features include Topic Modeling, Mapping, generating a Phrase Net, and the trusty old standby, the World Cloud.

Topic Modeling Tool

Topic Modeling Tool is a graphical user interface (GUI) for Latent Dirichlet Allocation topic modeling. It utilizes the MALLET tool-kit as a back end. It is a machine learning tool that must be trained on sample data sets before being run on the actual test set.


Omeka is a software tool that enables you to create dynamic online exhibits that showcase collections of digital images, text, and other multi-media formats in one seamless site. Omeka was developed by the Roy Rozenweig Center for History and New Media at George Mason University.

Click here to learn more about how the Scholarly Commons supports Omeka accounts on campus.


ORA is a meta-network and analysis tool developed by the Computational Analysis of Social and Organizational Systems (CASOS) at Carnegie Mellon University.


Mathematica is an open-source tool used for technical computing.  It is a very resourceful tool for creating networks and visualizing your digital humanities research.


Gephi is an open graph visualization platform supporting exploration of all kinds of networks and complex systems.


MAchine Learning for LanguagE Toolkit is a popular downloadable, java-based tool for statistical natural language processing, such as topic modeling, cluster analysis, information extraction, and other machine learning applications.


Scalar is an open source authoring and publishing platform.  The program is designed for easy use for long-form, born-digital scholarship and online publishing.

World Maps

World Maps is an initive of Harvard University that makes available a repository of digitized world maps from throughout history.  These maps can be a great tool for GIS research and spatial humanities projects.

Digital Research Tools (DiRT)

Digital Research Tools (formerly DiRT and now Bamboo DiRT) is a wiki that collects information about tools and resources for all types of projects.  This is a great place to start to find tools that can help you in your research.