Can I believe what I see? Data visualization and trust in the humanities

Research output: Journal contributionsJournal articlesResearchpeer-review


Questions of trust are increasingly important in relation to data and its use. The authors focus on humanities data and its visualization, through analysis of their own recent projects with museums, archives and libraries internationally. Their account connects the specifics of hands-on digital humanities work to larger epistemological questions. They discuss the sources of potential mistrust, and examine how different expectations and assumptions emerge depending on the use and user of the data; they offer a simple schema through which the implications may be traced. It is argued that vital issues of trust can be engaged with through design, which, rather than being conceived as a cosmetic finish, is seen as contributing insights and questions that affect the whole process. The article concludes with recommendations intended to be useful in both theory and practice.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInterdisciplinary Science Reviews
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)522-546
Number of pages25
Publication statusPublished - 10.2021
Externally publishedYes

    Research areas

  • bias, certainty, classification, critical design, Data visualization, ethics, GLAM, interdisciplinarity, interrogability, naming, omission, precision, scepticism
  • Philosophy