Following a long discussion, on the meeting in Helsinki, June 2012 the TrAiD working group decided on a renaming of the group and a re-orientation of its goals. Further details will follow soon.

Transdisciplinary Approaches in Documentation

A Working Group of CIDOC, ICOMs International Committee for Documentation

Chair: Dr. Siegfried Krause, Head of the Department for Cultural and Museum Informatics, Germanisches Nationalmuseum, Nuremberg, Germany

Co-Chair: Professor Dr. Guenther Goerz, Chair of Artificial Intelligence, Computer Science Department, University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, Germany

Co-Chair: Georg Hohmann M.A., Department for Cultural and MuseumInformatics, Germanisches Nationalmuseum, Nuremberg, Germany

Meetings and Workshops (presentations and papers included)


  1. Museum documentation in transdisciplinary perspective
        CIDOC Conference, Athens, Greece, September 2008

  2. Challenges in museum documentation for transdisciplinary information integration: From field names to events    
        CIDOC Conference, Santiago de Chile, September 2009

  3. Digital documentation as a methodological subject of research
        ICOM Conference, Shanghai, China, November 2010

  4. 4th Workshop on Transdisciplinarity 
        CIDOC Conference, Sibiu, Romania, September 2011


For more than 100 years the methodological background of documentation in scientific and scholarly disciplines hasn’t substantially changed. The conceptual goals of structuring information within modern databases are still quite similar to those concepts used in traditional card index boxes. They provide, if at all, a limited support for a well-structured documentation of information in form and content. The traditional analogous practice of documentation is mainly based on more or less atomized entities which are often simple field names such as painter, collector or author.

With modern approaches the documentation becomes more focused on processes and events. Thus the above mentioned entities what, who, where and when or respectively object/concept, person, place, time and activity have to be related to each other. In scientific and scholarly disciplines that should be an efficient way to document information in their full scientific depth rather than simply administering it. In addition a documentation of processes and events seems to be a prerequisite for transdisciplinary information integration which is needed for developing knowledge networks and knowledge representation tools on the internet.

The CIDOC WG Transdisciplinary Approaches in Documentation is a forum for discussing the nature of digital documentation as a methodological subject of research. Researchers from scientific and scholarly domains are invited to collaborate on issues such as:

  • What are the specific concepts used in research languages?

  • How to make these specific concepts or domain-specific thoughts universally understandable?

  • Are there any differences between the methodological structure of archaeological- and biological typologies?

  • How to map scientific and scholarly knowledge in a domain-neutral way?