Heurist Knowledge Management System

HEURIST is a flexible data management system which allows any confident researcher or data manager to design, create, manage, analyse and publish richly-structured database(s) within hours, through a simple web interface, without need of programmers or consultants. It is aimed at a broad range of Humanities data, characterised by rich text, multimedia, relationships, categorisation, uncertain data, spatial and temporal information, and the need to work collaboratively while maintaining access control. It allows incremental changes in database structure - existing data are not affected - allowing projects to start small and simple and evolve as the research develops.  

Heurist is an Open Source project, which can be downloaded and run on a local server or accessed as a free service provided by the University of Sydney (for academic and research use, subject to size and traffic limits). To ensure sustainability, data are stored in a well-documented open SQL format which can be accessed directly via documented SQL queries independent of Heurist (subject to access), or dumped to a self-documenting XML archive format. Data can be easily migrated from the free service to personal or institutional servers. Data can be imported from spreadsheets, KML, image directories, Zotero and other sources. Sophisticated searches (including faceted and rule-based searches) can be saved, organised and rendered as layered interactive maps, timelines, network visualisations, cross-tabulations, lists, CSV, KML, RSS, custom reports, XML and XSLT transforms, all of which can easily be printed or embedded (live) in a website.



Kinds of collaborators
Individual/small group
Graduate students
Undergraduate students
IT staff
Help description
Heurist is a mature Digital Humanities data management platform used by dozens of projects. However, because it is so broad it is also hard for people to grasp how it applies to their projects. What we need are collaborators to: 1. critique the initial workflows and make suggestions as to how to improve the interface, particularly for new users 2. develop exemplar databases and documentation to demonstrate how to go about using Heurist within a particular discipline 3. programmers to assist with interface improvements and development of new functions. We have some funding available. 4. users - people or groups who use Heurist and give us feedback on what new features they would like to see added (we have a very active development schedule)
Contact person
Help needed




Project Collaborators