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PARTHENOS Report Summary

Project ID: 654119
Funded under: H2020-EU.

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - PARTHENOS (Pooling Activities, Resources and Tools for Heritage E-research Networking, Optimization and Synergies)

Reporting period: 2015-05-01 to 2016-10-31

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

PARTHENOS aims at strengthening the cohesion of research in the broad sector of Linguistic Studies, Humanities, Cultural Heritage, History, Archaeology and related fields through a thematic cluster of European Research Infrastructures, integrating initiatives, e-infrastructures and other world-class infrastructures, and building bridges between different, although tightly, interrelated fields. PARTHENOS will achieve this objective through the definition and support of common standards, the coordination of joint activities, the harmonization of policy definition and implementation, and the development of pooled services and of shared solutions to the same problems.
PARTHENOS will address and provide common solutions to the definition and implementation of joint policies and solutions, including provisions for cross-discipline data use and re-use, the implementation of common AAA (authentication, authorization, access) and data curation policies, including long-term preservation; quality criteria and data approval/ certification; IPR management, also addressing sensitive data and privacy issues; foresight studies about innovative methods for the humanities; standardization and interoperability; common tools for data-oriented services such as resource discovery, search services, quality assessment of metadata, annotation of sources; communication activities, and joint training activities. Built around two ERICs from the Humanities and Arts sector, DARIAH and CLARIN, and involving all the relevant Integrating activities projects, PARTHENOS will deliver guidelines, standards, methods, services and tools to be used by its partners and all the research community. It will exploit commonalities and synergies to optimize the use of resources in related domains.

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

PARTHENOS started with defining the User Requirements (WP2) using Use Cases contributed by the many partners and from an extensive literature search based on reports addressing researcher’s needs in the Humanities and Arts. The first output from this work was the deliverable 2.1 “User Requirements” completed in February 2016. Following feedback from the technical team and partners, some additions and amendments were made with an updated internal version released in September 2016. Much of the other work taking place in the project has relied on the User Requirements to direct the content and presentation of their contributions. WP3 addresses Common policies and implementation strategies, creating a matrix for the identification of these from the user requirements. WP4 covers standardization and has developed a Standards Survival Kit (SSK), supported by a printed “Why standards” guide, which guides the end user to the most appropriate standards according to the task and context of their work. Cartoon characters from a fictional planet (Digitus) are used to promote the standards message as these are independent of subject domain or culture.

The technical work has focussed on developing the generic cloud structure and virtual research environment which will ultimately form the basis of the PARTHENOS tools and services. In the meantime, through interrogating and agreeing a common understanding of the user requirements, a PARTHENOS Model has been designed which will form the underlying framework that the researchers will interact with use to achieve their tasks in PARTHENOS. The key components will consist of a searchable registry of data sources along with the tools to enable researchers to extract, reformat and analyse, annotate their required information along with services for the deposit and preservation of their research work.

The area of skills, professional development and advancement are addressed in WP7 who have produced a Training Plan (D7.1) and a first module which is aimed at informing less experienced researchers about the objectives and benefits of Research Infrastructures and how they can use them. The module was introduced at “Culture and Technology” – The European Summer University in Digital Humanities in Leipzig and was well-received by the attendees.

Finally, PARTHENOS has been widely disseminated through the website and Twitter, presentations at European and national events, press releases and booths. A leaflet and poster were designed early on and have been used extensively to promote the project. <Image of poster/booth> One of the aims of the project is to build international liaisons with related organisations and strong relationships with other Research Infrastructures. Around one hundred potential contacts have already been identified and classified to enable targeted communication and for establishing partnerships.

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)

At the end of the first 18-month period, PARTHENOS has generated a high level of interest from researchers from the various domains represented. The User Requirements report has generated much interest from organisations external to the project and essentially forms the backbone which will enable the integration of the many common tools and services needed by Humanities researchers. By the end of the project, researchers will have access to a wide variety of data sources (through a common registry) and tools that will enable them to work across different subject areas in co-operation with colleagues based in geographically dispersed organisations on common projects. With the increasing use of technology, the Humanities draw on a widening variety of skills and expertise to support their research and it is noticeable that the output from this area has accelerated significantly over the last few years. Consequently, there has been a growing need for existing data to discoverable, accessible and usable with new knowledge created likewise contributing to a shared common resource. Use of shared standards and policies enables this to happen, along with the training and education which informs, shapes and supports researchers and stakeholders such as policy makers, managers and funding agencies in building this brave new world. The socio-economic benefit from integrating and supporting research activities in the Humanities is more effective use of facilities and expertise and the opportunity to create new knowledge that would not otherwise be possible. This in turn benefits society as whole, providing a better understanding of history and culture which can be capitalised upon by cultural organisations such as museums, in education and by the media.

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