ACM Journal on Computing
and Cultural Heritage (JOCCH)

Special Issue on Computational Archival Science (CAS)
Deadline August 31, 2020

Guest Editors
Mark Hedges, King’s College London, UK
Eirini Goudarouli, The National Archives, UK
Richard Marciano, University of Maryland, USA

The large-scale digitization of analogue archives, the emerging diverse forms of born-digital archive, and the new ways in which researchers across disciplines (as well as the public) wish to engage with archival material, are disrupting to traditional archival theories and practices, and are presenting challenges for practitioners and researchers who work with archival material. They also offer enhanced possibilities for scholarship, through the application of computational methods and tools to the archival problem space, and, more fundamentally, through the integration of ‘computational thinking’ with ‘archival thinking’. This potential has led the collaborators in this proposal to identify Computational Archival Science (CAS) as a new field of study, and our working definition is:
A transdisciplinary field that integrates computational and archival theories, methods and resources, both to support the creation and preservation of reliable and authentic records/archives and to address large-scale records/archives processing, analysis, storage, and access, with aim of improving efficiency, productivity and precision, in support of recordkeeping, appraisal, arrangement and description, preservation and access decisions, and engaging and undertaking research with archival material.


This aim of this special issue is to explore the conjunction of emerging computational and analytical methods and technologies with archival practice (including record keeping), and their consequences for historical, social, scientific, and cultural research engagement with archives. We want to identify potential in these areas and examine the new questions that they can provoke. At the same time, we aim to address the questions and concerns scholarship is raising about issues of interpretation raised by such methods, and in particular the challenges of producing quality – meaning, knowledge and value – from quantity, tracing data and analytic provenance across complex knowledge production ecosystems, and addressing data privacy and other ethical issues.

We welcome papers on topics including, but not restricted to, the following:

  • Application of analytics to archival material, including text mining, data mining, sentiment analysis, network analysis.
  • Analytics in support of records and archival processing, including e-discovery, identification of personal information, appraisal, arrangement and description.
  • Artificial intelligence and archives
  • Scalable services for archives, including identification, preservation, metadata generation, integrity checking, normalization, reconciliation, linked data, entity extraction, anonymization and reduction.
  • New forms of records and archives, including Web, social media, audio-visual archives, and blockchain
  • Cyber-infrastructures for archive-based research and for development and hosting of collections
  • Big data and archival theory and practice
  • Synergies between computational and human-based methods (e.g. crowdsourcing) in an archival context
  • Computational archives and the construction of memory and identity
  • Specific computational or ‘big data’ technologies (e.g. NoSQL databases) and their applications
  • Corpora and reference collections of big archival data
  • Authenticity and provenance
  • Legal and ethical issues

We wish to attract a broad set of researchers from the archives community, the computer science, data science and AI communities, as well as the cultural heritage community, into a truly interdisciplinary and pertinent special issue. Authors are invited to submit papers on original and unpublished research and practical applications concerning computational archival science. As with the broader topics of JOCCH, we welcome submissions on Use-inspired Basic Research and on Applied Research.

Important Dates

  • Submission: August 31, 2020
  • First review: October 31, 2020
  • Revised papers: January 15, 2021
  • Final review: February 15, 2021
  • Final version: April 30, 2021
  • Publication expected in Summer 2021

Submission Information

Accepted papers will be published in the ACM Journal on Computing and Cultural Heritage. Regular papers are expected to be 10-20 pages long (5,000-10,000 words), while other types of papers are possible (see the Author Guidelines). Please follow the formatting instructions for the journal. When submitting, please select the option “Computational Archival Science” as the manuscript type in the journal submission system.

For questions and further information, please contact

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