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A new marketplace for social and cultural research

A carefully curated digital platform offers social science and humanities (SSH) researchers unequalled access to data, tools and services.

Digital Economy

A new discovery portal has been officially launched to help Europe’s SSH communities deliver trailblazing research. Developed within the EU-funded SSHOC project, the portal offers a solution to Europe’s fragmented research landscape, enabling scholars anywhere in Europe to use resources beyond their research communities and to work more effectively across all disciplines.

Harnessing cloud-based research

The portal is called Social Sciences and Humanities Open Marketplace (SSH Open Marketplace) and serves as the SSH area of the European Open Science Cloud. The SSH Open Marketplace takes data sets, services, software, training materials and other information from third-party sources and organises them to create integrated and contextualised workflows and scenarios. Each resource featured on the platform is clearly labelled with its source and licence, providing a trail of linked resources to guide and simplify one’s research. The SSH Open Marketplace operates entirely on the cloud. Researchers from different institutions located all over Europe can therefore work on the same project, accessing shared resources. “A researcher looking for a textual analysis tool will find not only a fully-comprehensive treatment of the most appropriate tools in current use but also associated resources such as user guides, reviews of the tools by fellow researchers, and perhaps even a case study on how to use such tools,” remarks SSH Open Marketplace Chief Moderator Laure Barbot of SSHOC project partner Digital Research Infrastructure for the Arts and Humanities (DARIAH), France, in a news item posted on the project website. DARIAH was established as a European Research Infrastructure Consortium (ERIC) in 2014. As reported in the news item, the portal was launched with around 5 000 records. Popular SSH Open Marketplace tools include Gephi, a free open-source visualisation and exploration software for all kinds of graphs and networks, and ISIDORE, a global search engine for researchers that collects, enriches and highlights digital data and documents from SSH. Training materials such as Corpus Analysis with Antconc teach researchers how to do keyword-in-context searching, identify patterns surrounding a particular word and look at statistically significant differences between corpora. The Dataset contains metadata descriptions of cultural heritage digital objects from more than 4 000 cultural heritage institutions in Europe. Workflows include Create a dictionary in TEI that sets out the best practices for creating a born-digital dictionary with the Text Encoding Initiative. The SSH Open Marketplace will be further developed by DARIAH, along with two other ERICs: SSHOC (Social Sciences & Humanities Open Cloud) project coordinator Consortium of European Social Science Data Archives (CESSDA), Norway, and project partner Common Language Resources and Technology Infrastructure (CLARIN), the Netherlands, together with their national partners. DARIAH Director Jennifer Edmond states in the same news item: “It is a unique success story for DARIAH, CLARIN, and CESSDA to have jointly agreed to contribute to the maintenance and sustainability of the SSH Open Marketplace after the end of the SSHOC project. We envision a lively community boosting the SSH Open Marketplace not only for the benefit of the SSH domain but also as an integral part of the larger European Open Science Cloud where it will align with many other disciplines.” For more information, please see: SSHOC project website


SSHOC, social science, humanities, social science and humanities, SSH Open Marketplace, research

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