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Humanities Indicators

The data presented here are “indicators,” which are quantitative descriptive statistics that chart trends over time in aspects of the humanities that are of interest to a wide audience. They are selected to provide summary information related to the scope and vitality of the humanities. Indicators describe; they do not explain anything. They are factual and policy neutral. At best, they provide a “reality check” against which arguments about changes can be tested. If done well, they can provide a common starting ground for arguments about the nature or rate of change in some phenomena of interest. They answer “what” questions, not “why” questions. They can be somewhat like the Delphic oracle. Their interpretation is not always straightforward. They may mean different things to different observers. The Humanities Indicators present quantitative measures without attempting any qualitative assessment.