The Journal of Digital Humanities, edited by Daniel J. Cohen and Joan Fragaszy Troyano, is an open access online publication that offers its readers access to current topics in the world of the Digital Humanities. Pulling topics from current discussions by prominent DHers and also acquiring Editors’ Choice pieces from Digital Humanities Now, JDH seeks to showcase timely examples of exigent scholarship (including both traditional articles and other forms of scholarship, such as videos) that are engaged in furthering studies in the Digital Humanities. The Winter 2012 issue of JDH, which was published on their website on April 11, 2013, focuses on topic modeling in the Humanities. Along with providing several articles explaining and discussing topic modeling and its place in the humanities, the online forum also provides a way for readers to discover what topic modeling looks like through interactive color photos and video (gathered here on Pinterest). Additionally, this issue also includes a review of MALLET and a review of Paper Machines—both popular topic modeling tools. JDH also offers a forum for reader response on their site through comments and on Twitter using the hashtag #jdhtopics. You can also find a sub-collection in our ENGL 668K Critical Curation Project Zotero collection entitled “Journal of Digital Humanities Winter Edition,” which includes the metadata for each article published in this issue, as well as several related blog posts.
Here is a Wordle word cloud, which examines word frequency in a body of text (big words occur most often, while small words occur rarely)—created using the text of the Winter 2012 issue of JDH. As you can see, forms of “topic” and “modeling” occur most frequently, which is no surprise. Other words that receive a lot of hits are “LDA,” “words,” “language,” “data,” “MALLET,” and “texts.” While this is a very basic approach to distant reading the Winter 2012 issue of JDH, this word cloud does provide several of the key terms that are being discussed in the DH world surrounding topic modeling.