There are three main research coordination objectives. With these objectives, the Action aims to strike a balance between resource creation, methodological innovation and theoretical considerations and to engage with several distinct groups of stakeholders.

  1. To coordinate the creation of a multilingual European Literary Text Collection (ELTeC). The existence of such a collection is an essential condition for the creation of tools and methods of analysis comparable in nature, scope and quality across several European languages.
  2. To use the ELTeC to establish best practices and develop innovative methods of Distant Reading for the multiple European literary traditions. Distant Reading methods cover a wide range of computational methods for literary text analysis, such as authorship attribution, topic modelling, character network analysis, or stylistic analysis.
  3. To engage in a much-needed investigation into the theoretical, methodological and practical consequences of Distant Reading approaches for literary history and literary theory.

In terms of capacity building, the Action pursues several related objectives.

  1. To foster the acquisition, especially by Early Career Investigators (ECIs), of state-of-the-art methods of Distant Reading, including competencies relating to data curation, standards, best practices and methods of Distant Reading analysis such as authorship attribution, computational stylistics, network analysis or topic modelling.
  2. To encourage and support the submission of competitive grant proposals both at the national and European levels. The Action will be able to do so by encouraging the creation of focused consortia from among the members of the Action’s network, joining forces in preparing grant proposals on topics relevant to the Action; by supporting participants’ relevant funding proposals through their association with the existing, larger network structure of the Action.
  3. To help address the current gender imbalance. Stereotypes surrounding computer scientists, research has shown, may add to the barrier to inclusion for women in related fields. The Action members have seen, however, that the scarce female colleagues in the field do attract more female than male students. The Action will make use of this and adopt a mission statement and adopt concrete measures to significantly enhance participation of women in the Action. This is to the benefit of the field that requires a broad base of practitioners and thrives on diversity and new ideas.