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DARIAH ERIC Sustainability Refined

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - DESIR (DARIAH ERIC Sustainability Refined)

Reporting period: 2018-07-01 to 2019-12-31

The DESIR project is dedicated to strengthening the sustainability of the Digital Research Infrastructure for the Arts and Humanities (DARIAH). Sustaining existing knowledge in digital arts and humanities in Europe and enabling new one in the context of DESIR involves a goal-oriented set of measures in order to first, maintain, expand and develop DARIAH in its capacities as an organisation and technical research infrastructure; secondly, to engage its members further, and measure and increase their trust in DARIAH; and thirdly, to expand the DARIAH network in order to further integrate new regions and communities. These objectives are translated into six challenges:

1. Dissemination: Communicate DARIAH services and tools in Europe and position DARIAH on a global level. High-profile workshops in the US and Australia are planned;
2. Growth: Enlarge DARIAH by integrating new European members into the DARIAH community;
3. Technology: Include new services in the infrastructure covering novel technologies;
4. Robustness: The governance sustainability will be reinforced through business plans and straightened core services;
5. Trust: Measure the impact of DARIAH in new communities and develop strategies to increase trust and confidence;
6. Education: Assess the skills base of the infrastructure and carry out training measures.
DESIR work was divided over seven work packages for which the work performed is summarised below:

WP1 - Management

This Work Package addressed the overall legal, contractual, administrative and financial execution of the project in accordance with the Grant Agreement. WP1 established the communications infrastructure and coordinated the overall project with respect to networking, scientific and dissemination issues. It ensured the financial administration of the project and coordinated all the communications with the European Commission. Furthermore, WP1 was responsible of gathering, reviewing, compiling and transmitting all requested reports to the European Commission.

WP2 - Dissemination and Innovation

Besides the dissemination of project results, WP2 organised the DARIAH Beyond Europe workshop series in the US and Australia. It consisted of three high-level workshops that took place at Stanford University, at the Library of Congress and at the National Library of Australia. The aim was to initiate collaborations and, above all, to exchange knowledge and experience in digital scholarships on an international level. The DARIAH Beyond Europe initiative has not only increased DARAH’s visibility internationally but has led DARIAH to reflect on its long-term approach to its international activities much more deeply. Furthermore, WP2 organised the DESIR Final Event in Zagreb, which was the occasion to showcase project results to the DARIAH General Assembly.

WP3 - Growth

This Work Package was concerned with the enlargement of the DARIAH membership targeting six countries (Czech Republic, Finland, Israel, Spain, Switzerland, United Kingdom). Membership could only be achieved in Czech Republic, the application was submitted and ratified by the General Assembly in November 2019. On the one hand, in most countries, the unstable political situation affected the progress towards DARIAH accession. On the other hand, in a few cases, the project time window did not coincide with the update of the national roadmaps for research infrastructures. Nevertheless, in all targeted counties, the collaboration with DARIAH has been greatly strengthened, strong national consortia have been built and significant progress towards DARIAH membership have been achieved.

WP4 - Technology

WP4 delivered three demonstrators focused on bibliographical metadata. The demonstrators show the usage of tools for bibliographical metadata in various stages of the research process, e.g. extraction of entities, the collection and sorting of citations, visualisation of selected aspects of the data. These demonstrators were built with the involvement of the community of researchers through two Code Sprints organised in Berlin. An important output was the delivery of a DARIAH Technical Reference which is a collection of basic guidelines and references for development and maintenance of infrastructure services within DARIAH and beyond. WP4 led also to the set-up of the EURISE Network (European Research Infrastructure Software Engineers' Network), which is an informal platform formed by CESSDA, CLARIN and DARIAH to address issues of software quality and sustainable research infrastructures.

WP5 - Robustness

The aim of this Work Package was to strengthen the organisational structure of DARIAH. The activities undertaken had a multifaceted nature: the relationship with the user community was improved through the implementation of a centralised helpdesk; preliminary work towards the Marketplace, a platform which will facilitate the fluid exchange of tools, services, data and knowledge, was conducted; finally a renewed business plan, building on existing strategic documents, was developed as a central element for DARIAH’s future sustainability.

WP6 - Trust

This Work Package contributed to DARIAH’s long-term sustainability by measuring acceptance and impact of DARIAH in new cross-disciplinary communities and core groups through a cross-national survey, in-depth qualitative interviews and strategic meetings. The analysed information collected from each source led to recommendations and a community engagement tool developed to share and translate the recommendations dataset for a broader audience.

WP7 - Education

The work carried out led to the implementation of a discovery framework and hosting platform for DARIAH learning resources, DARIAH-Campus. The goal of DARIAH-Campus is to widen access to open, inclusive, high-quality learning materials that aim to enhance creativity, skills, technology and knowledge in the digitally-enabled arts and humanities. In addition, WP7 delivered an advocacy report which assesses the challenges of Digital Humanities pedagogy and the role assigned to Research Infrastructures in Training and Education.
DARIAH integrates digital arts and humanities research and activities from across Europe, enabling transnational and transdisciplinary approaches. In particular, it provides value to its members and stakeholders through the validation and sharing of data, services and tools; by providing training and education opportunities; by enabling ‘bottom-up’ organisation around emerging research needs; and through the exercise of foresight and policy engagement. Through these activities, DARIAH promotes the further development of research methods in the arts and humanities, documenting the state-of-the-art, supporting the preservation and curation of research data with a focus on particular challenges including diversity, provenance, multimedia collections and granularity, and acting as a coordinator and integrator for a diverse community of practice. The DESIR project aims to ensure DARIAH’s long term sustainability in terms of achieving public policy impacts by means of an enlarged membership, more robust and effective research services, international agreements with global partners, and a more active role in the innovation chain.
DESIR logo
DARIAH Beyond Europe poster
DESIR Winter School
DESIR Poster
DESIR Code Sprint poster
DESIR Final Event