New Federation to bring together stylometry experts from around the world

Thursday, 1 June 2017


UON’s Centre for Literary and Linguistic Computing (CLLC) is behind a move to create a new partnership between stylometry labs from around the world. The recently formed Federation of Stylometry Labs will deepen collaborations, and help the exchange of tools and knowledge among researchers in the fast moving and highly innovative field of literary stylistics.

Director of the Centre for 21st Century Humanities, Professor Hugh Craig from the CLLC has helped set up the Federation of Stylometry Labs with research groups in Amsterdam, Krakow, Wuerzburg and Stanford.

Stylometry is the application of computational methods to the study of linguistic style. Stylometry is often used to attribute authorship to anonymous or disputed documents. Professor Craig has used stylometry to identify Christopher Marlowe as Shakespeare’s co-author on Henry VI.

Professor Craig said there are a small number of stylometry labs spread across the globe pursuing similar specialised goals, so it makes sense to create a formal network of these labs.

“This partnership is designed to speed up the adoption of new methods, provide mobility for early career researchers, and make it easier to share software and text sets,” Professor Craig said. “We’re all exploring similar research areas, including quantitative approaches to language aimed at improved and rigorous classification of texts, especially to authors, and at improved and rigorous generalisations about the style of texts.”

“The Federation of Stylometry Labs will allow members of literary centres to spend time at another centre, facilitating co-publication and large scale grant applications. We think formalizing our links will be a great way to demonstrate to the institutions which host the centres the availability of additional intellectual capital, broader-based technical know-how and international connections.”

“Our field is a unique mix of literary studies, statistics, linguistics and computer science. We don’t want to duplicate our efforts in our smaller scale labs interspersed around the globe when we could collaborate and bring together our skills with the aim of rapid advancement of training and tool development,” Professor Craig said.