Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


HaS-DARIAH Report Summary

Project ID: 675570
Funded under: H2020-EU.

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - HaS-DARIAH (Humanities at Scale: Evolving the DARIAH-ERIC)

Reporting period: 2015-09-01 to 2016-08-31

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

The arts and humanities have seen an exponential growth in digital research material, especially in the last decade, as a result of new born-digital material or large digitisation efforts in the EU and elsewhere.

The project focuses on improving and enhancing the Digital Research Infrastructure for the Arts and Humanities (DARIAH,, an European Research Consortium Infrastructure (ERIC) which supports digital research in the Arts and Humanities. DARIAH has two principal aims. Firstly, it will integrate national state-of-the-art digital arts and humanities activities across Europe and scale their results to a European level. Secondly, it enables new kinds of transnational research in the arts and humanities using digital means. Those two aims are widely supported by the Horizon 2020 funded project Humanities at Scale.

More precisely, Humanities at Scale aims to address some limitations of the current model of sharing knowledge in DARIAH and of connecting the national services in digital arts and humanities initiatives in Europe. It focuses on delivering a stronger core for DARIAH’s operations as well as on providing more resources for all communities within DARIAH. Humanities at Scale delivers on the following key objectives:

1. Expanding the existing community to all scholars in the humanities and arts

DARIAH needs to address all scholars who have to face the increasing deployment of digital sources and tools. To do so, Humanities at Scale will:

• Contribute to an increase in digital literacy through awareness and education activities.

• Circulate accessible best practices information about the creation, use and dissemination of digital research and data.

• Support a strong open research agenda

2. Integrate scholarly communities more effectively

DARIAH will identify and address actual needs and expectations of the various fields in the arts and humanities, which will impact in our capacity not only to offer cutting-edge digital research environments, but also to make the existing solutions work better.

3. Offer services around DARIAH communities

Humanities at Scale will deliver a portfolio of services that will benefit more researchers as possible.

4. Foster national research infrastructure developments and interdisciplinary collaboration

DARIAH has been conceived on a bottom-up model in which contributions from member countries effectively build the pan-European infrastructure, offering a wide portfolio of services to scholars. To avoid the proliferation of an incoherent and not sustainable set of activities, Humanities at Scale helps to better scale those national contributions.

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

During the first year, Humanities at Scale delivered all the tasks planned in the Description of Action. Despite most of the project components will be delivered during the second year, the project made good progress in the following areas: communication and dissemination, integration of new research communities and regions, organising training activities, integrating and scaling national DARIAH contributions, implement of basic tools and services in the DARIAH infrastructure, investigate open access research data for the Humanities.

1. To investigate basic service requirements for digital humanities projects, a survey has been conducted. The survey was designed to answer the following questions:

• How do the target groups evaluate the relevance of providing basic services and tools in a Digital Humanities research infrastructure?
• What services and tools are already in use?
• What do the target groups wish to have or use in the future?

The survey addressed scholars and academics with a focus on Humanities Research as well as scholars and academics with a focus on Technical Development. It evaluated what tools and services are already in use at the present time, and which ones the target groups want to use in the future. Based on the survey results, two demonstrators will be chosen to support the whole life cycle of DH projects.

2. Humanities at Scale investigates how sustainability and resources can be gained in DARIAH through openness and embedding them deeply in their designated communities and their institutions. During the first reporting period, the work in WP7 focused on preparatory work for the open humanities data platform. To this end, a “State-of-the-art report on open access for research data in the humanities” has been published. The report gives an overview of the various aspects that are associated with open access publishing of research data in the humanities. It presents an overview of the different stakeholders involved and looks into advantages and obstacles for researchers to share research data. Furthermore, a description of the European data repositories is given, followed by certification standards of trusted digital data repositories. Finally t presents a best practice example of open access research data system in the humanities: the French open research data ecosystem.

3. As part of the communication and exploitation plan, Humanities at Scale delivered a communication plan and a stakeholder analysis. As a result of this task, a first sketch of the major Humanities at Scale event, the Innovation Forum in Aarhus, has been drafted. It will offer keynotes talks, workshops, posters, case competition, an innovation fair and a matchmaking event. It will be the occasion for the launch of the Innovation Board of DARIAH which will advice on innovation potentials for DARIAH. Furthermore, a set of national contributions developed for internal and external communication have been successfully scaled to the European level and are now available to DARIAH users.

4. In terms of engagement of new communities and new regions, a first workshop on “Sustainable access to digital cultural and scientific heritage: Thesauri and Authority Records” has been organised in Zagreb and has been particularly successful, both in terms of attendance and outputs. A new series of workshops will begin in 2017, exploring new communities (such as epigraphists), which may lead to new working groups in DARIAH, and new regions (experts from eastern European and Balkan countries will be invited to discuss the state-of-the-art in their countries, seeking a possible future collaboration in DARIAH). As per training activities, the consortium is planning a series of Summer/Winter Schools (the first one will take place in Prague and will focus on open data citation) and Master classes.

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

This project advances the state-of-the-art of DARIAH by:

1. Providing essential building blocks of the technical infrastructure to integrate existing services from DARIAH member states, which can only be developed in a joint European project.

2. Establishing more extensive knowledge and better communication services in order to expand the reach of DARIAH beyond its current member states and intensify the exchange on digital knowledge and methods within its current member states.

3. Fostering interdisciplinary collaboration with related social sciences and humanities as well as natural science infrastructures and industry on a European level to continue the DARIAH members’ successful national collaborations and enhance the impact of arts and humanities research outside of academia.

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