Tuesday, November 7, 2017

eTRAP: Electronic Text Reuse Acquisition Project

[First posted in AWOL 4 May 2015, updated 7 November 2017]

eTRAP: Electronic Text Reuse Acquisition Project

eTRAP (electronic Text Reuse Acquisition Project) is an Early Career Research Group funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). The research group, starting on 1st March 2015, was awarded 1.6 million and runs for four years, supporting four full-time researchers and eight student assistants.

As the name suggests, this interdisciplinary team studies the linguistic and literary phenomenon that is text re-use with a particular focus on historical languages. More specifically, we look at how ancient authors copied, alluded to, paraphrased and translated each other as they spread their knowledge in writing. This early career research group seeks to provide a basic understanding of the historical text re-use methodology (it being distinct from plagiarism), and so to study what defines text re-use, why some people re-use information, how text is re-used and how this practice has changed over history. We’ll be investigating text re-use on big data or, in other words, datasets that, owing to their size, cannot be manually processed. The languages we’ll be working with are Ancient Greek, German, English, Italian and Latin. This research touches upon the fields of Natural Language Processing (NLP), Computational Linguistics, Digital Humanities, Classics, History, Theology and Philology but has also ramifications in Text Visualisation, Manuscript Studies and Bioinformatics, to mention but a few.


Book Chapters

  • Franzini, G., Mahony, S., and Terras, M. (2016) ‘A Catalogue of Digital Editions’, In: Pierazzo, E. and Driscoll, M. J. (eds.) Digital Scholarly Editing: Theories and Practices. Cambridge: Open Book Publishers, pp. 161-182.
  • Büchler, M., Burns, P. R., Müller, M., Franzini, E., Franzini, G. (2014) ‘Towards a Historical Text Re-use Detection‘, In: Biemann, C. and Mehler, A. (eds.) Text Mining, Theory and Applications of Natural Language Processing. Springer International Publishing Switzerland.
  • Büchler, M., Geßner, A., Berti, M. and Eckart, T. (2013) ‘Measuring the Influence of a Work by Text Re-Use’, In: Dunn, S. and Mahony, S. (eds.) Digital Classicist Supplement: Bulletin of the Institute of Classical Studies. Wiley-Blackwell.


Conference Proceedings

Graded Readers


  • Franzini, G. (forthcoming 2018) A New Republic of Letters by Jerome McGann (Harvard University Press, 2014). Reviewed in Variants, 14. Revues.
  • Franzini, G. (2017) Spectateurs (in Italian). Reviewed in RIDE – A review journal for digital editions and resources – Special Issue on Text Collections and Corpora. 6. DOI: 10.18716/ride.a.6.6
  • Franzini, G. (2015) Digital Critical Editions by Daniel Apollon, Claire Bélisle, and Philippe Régnier (University of Illinois Press, 2014). Reviewed in Digital Scholarship in the Humanities, 30(4). DOI: 10.1093/llc/fqv025

Edited Volumes and Special Issues


Invited Talks









  • Büchler, M.Scaling Historical Text Reuse‘, 2nd Workshop on Big Humanities Data. IEEE Big Data 2014. Washington DC, October 27.
  • Büchler, M. ‘Historical Text Re-use Detection in Computational Humanities’, Workshop on bridging the gap between Computer Science and Digital Humanities. Leipzig, July 22.
  • Büchler, M. ‘eTRAP – Historische Text Re-use Erkennung’ Göttinger philologisches Forum. Göttingen, July 10.
  • Büchler, M. ‘Historical Text Re-use Detection’. University of Konstanz, June 11.
  • Büchler, M. ‘Introduction: Requirements for a Digital Ecosystem’, International workshop on computer aided processing of intertextuality in ancient languages. Lyon, France, June 2.
  • Büchler, M. ‘Computational Aspects of Historical Text Re-use’, International workshop on computer aided processing of intertextuality in ancient languages. Lyon, France, June 2-4.
  • Büchler, M. ‘eTRAP: The Electronic Text Re-use Acquisition Project: Aims and Objectives’, Conference on Intertextuality and Digital Humanities: Approaches, Methods, Trends. Sponsored by Hardt Foundation. Vandoeuvres, Switzerland, February 13-15.
  • Büchler, M. ‘Big Data in the Humanities’, Big Data Workshop. IBM Research Center, Böblingen, January 30.

Reports, Manuals, Theses

  • Jander, M. (2016) Handwritten Text Recognition – Transkribus: A User ReporteTRAP Research Group, Institute of Computer Science, University of Göttingen, Germany, 2 November.
  • Franzini, G., Franzini, E., Bulert, K., Büchler, M. (2016-) TRACER: An Automatic Text Reuse Detection Machine. User Manual. eTRAP Research Group, Institute of Computer Science, University of Göttingen, Germany.
  • Büchler, M. (2013) Informationstechnische Aspekte des Historical Text Re-use (English: Computational Aspects of Historical Text Re-use). PhD Thesis. Leipzig.

Data-sets, tools

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