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CDCS Annual Report 20-21



Welcome to the second annual report from the Edinburgh Centre for Data, Culture & Society (CDCS), drawing together the range of activities we’ve been up to during the last year since May 2020.  It should come as no surprise that the whole year was dominated by the Covid-19 pandemic and multiple lockdowns causing great distress and disruption across the world. CDCS was no exception, and we had to adapt to completely new and endlessly changing circumstances. We are pleased to say that CDCS has coped with the challenges remarkably well, and as you read through this report, you will see numerous examples of this.

The pandemic has highlighted the importance of digital, and the Centre’s activities have never been so necessary, or crucial, as they are now. Despite the challenging times we have successfully continued with building and supporting a community of data-led researchers across the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences (CAHSS) at the University of Edinburgh, providing training and support for digital research methods and projects, investing in digital infrastructures that support our work, and facilitating inter-disciplinary networks and clusters. The move to a completely virtual mode of operation opened new possibilities and expanded our audience beyond Edinburgh and the UK, with many new international participants in our seminars, and visitors to our website.

This report is a testament to the collective effort in delivering our mission of advancing data-led and applied digital research across the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences. We look forward to new horizons and new milestones on our continuing journey in supporting digital aspects of research in this area.

Professor Melissa Terras (Director) & Dr Galina Andreeva (Acting/Interim Director)


This report is available below in PDF format.

While we have made every effort to make this document accessible, it performs best in a screen reader using manual controls.



We've delivered a fabulous range of seminars and reached new audiences.


With a growing programme, we've created exciting new formats and resources.


An impressive four new research clusters have launched since our last report.


We're supporting researchers as they develop cutting-edge ideas.


We've provided resources and help to those around us.


Our year in numbers.

A word of Thanks

The scope of work detailed in this report becomes even more impressive given a relatively small team behind this initiative, and we’d like to specifically thank our Centre Manager, Dr Lisa Otty, for her outstanding coordination, dedication and efficiency. Our special thanks to Dr Lucia Michielin, Digital Skills Training Manager, our Centre Administrator, Cathy Naughton and our Administrative Assistant Róisín O’Brien for all of their contributions during this demanding year. Thanks are also due to the CAHSS Digital Innovation Team for their help in maintaining our online presence, to our colleagues at the University of Edinburgh Library and Information Services, to the School representatives on the Core Team, members of the Stakeholders Forum and many other contributors. Your support in progressing towards our common goals is truly invaluable.

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Cite this report: Centre for Data, Culture & Society Annual Report 20/21. (May 2021) College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Edinburgh: Edinburgh.

DOI: coming soon.