[foundation-board] Brief Briefing: DM2E

Jonathan Gray jonathan.gray at okfn.org
Wed Sep 7 18:53:16 UTC 2011

Hi board, hi team,

As you may know, the OKF is part of a consortium bidding for an EU
project called DM2E ("Digital Manuscripts to Europeana"). This project
is currently at 'negotiation phase' with the European Commission,
which means it is highly likely that it will be funded. I'll be
representing the OKF at the meeting in Luxembourg next week and will
report back then.

This email aims to be a very brief briefing on the project -
highlighting relevant details from the project proposal. I've briefly
discussed DM2E with Lucy this evening. I will continue to discuss this
with other OKF folks over the coming weeks and months.

Below is an FAQ about the project and our role within it (longer than
the very concise version that I circulated to the board earlier this
year - and with more details on what we're doing). I've also included
excerpts from the most relevant sections of the project proposal

As soon as the project goes public, I'll draft a blog post along these
lines (but more succinct, punchier, etc) and push this out to
(relevant parts of) our network.

If this goes through, we'll be in a position to hire a dedicated
community person to focus on cultural heritage / open metadata /
public domain.

I hope this is (somewhat) helpful! Don't hesitate to ping me if you
have any other questions.

All the best,


## Overview

In a nutshell: "The projects aims to technically enable as many
content providers as possible to integrate their content into

Europeana is the European Digital Library, and enables people to
browse and explore digital copies of many items from cultural heritage
institutions across Europe.

Different cultural heritage institutions hold lots of:

  (i) different types of things,
  (ii) digital copies of those things,
  (iii) information about those different things.

Europeana federates information about these different things - that
is, (iii) - and enables people to browse lots of different collections
across Europe from a single point of access. They do this by pointing
off to digital copies (ii) which are scattered on lots of different
websites. In the long term they want to host digital copies (ii) - but
this is more complicated, both technically and politically.

The DM2E project aims to make it easier for more institutions to
commit information about different things they hold (iii) to Europeana
- to enable members of the public to navigate to the digital copies
they publish.

In particular this will involve lots of technical tools for
translating whatever kind of information that the institutions hold to
the kind information that Europeana requires - which is formatted in
accordance with the 'Europeana Data Model' (EDM).

## Why is this relevant to the OKF?

Two main reasons:

  * It involves lots of open data about cultural works - from books to
paintings to sculptures to diaries
  * It involves open digital copies of works which are in the public
domain (i.e. copies of works which are freely reusable and
redistributable by anyone)

We will be doing lots of community building and outreach - which will
be great for our work in this area. We will be able to run open data
workshops, open data code sprints, and encourage more people to use
open licenses (all things which we probably want to be doing anyway!).
All of this will be done with explicit support from Europeana - which
will be a really good excuse to engage with people.

Existing OKF projects that are related to this work:

  * New global initiative (dubbed "Open GLAM") on open metadata + the
public domain -
http://blog.okfn.org/2011/07/06/lets-open-up-the-public-domain/ and
  * Working Group on Open Bibliographic Data -
  * Working Group on the Public Domain - http://publicdomain.okfn.org/wg/
  * OpenBiblio - http://openbiblio.net
  * Public Domain Works - http://publicdomainworks.net/
  * Public Domain Calculators - http://publicdomain.okfn.org/calculators/
  * The Public Domain Review - http://publicdomainreview.org/
  * BibSoup - http://bibsoup.net/
  * Bibliographica - http://bibliographica.org/
  * JISCOBIB - http://openbiblio.net/p/jiscopenbib/

## What will the OKF be doing?

We have **54 person months** on the project. This breaks down into:

  * 12 months - Work Package 3: Digital humanities
  * 6 months - Work Package 4: Project management
  * 36 months - Work Package 5: Community building and dissemination

## What are we doing on Work Package 3: Digital humanities?

The digital humanities work will basically be understanding
opportunities for the use of open data from Europeana in scholarly
research communities. It will aim to engage with stakeholders in this
field, and will fund stipends for interesting projects that build on
Europeana data (our idea - this should be really fun!).

(Full WP description included below...)

## What are we doing on Work Package 5: Community building and dissemination?

This will basically be building a stronger community of institutions
which contribute to Europeana, encouraging them to use open licenses,
working with other partners to help them to use the technical tools
produced to help convert their data into Europeana Data Model, and to
engage with other key stakeholders in this area (in particular in the
digital humanities).

(Full WP description included below...)


# WP5 - Community building and dissemination

## Objectives (ii)

The objectives of this work package are to:

  * catalyse an active, diverse and well connected community of
content holders, metadata experts, technologists and others around
Europeana - strengthening existing networks and engaging new
  * enable and encourage content holders to contribute new material to
Europeana through a series of hands-on workshops and community
documentation on DM2E tools and workflows
  * identify and support a network of open metadata evangelists who
will help to raise awareness of legal and technical best practises in
a variety of different domains
  * facilitate conversation and collaboration between technologists in
the Europeana community and end users in teaching and research -
particularly in the humanities - with a series of events, online
activities and a stipend fund

## Description of work (iii)

## Task 5.1: Strengthen and expand the online community around Europeana

An online community will take this project partnership at its core,
but will also engage with a range of existing networks and will draw
on the wider dissemination activities specified in Task T5.6 to build
up an active membership of several hundred people from across the EU
by the project’s end. The community will be facilitated by blogs,
mailing lists, a wiki, social media and strengthened by physical
meetings (cf. Task 5.2).  The community will be supported by a
coordinator who will encourage mailing list discussion, blog items of
interest, solicit for guest blog posts, engage with key stakeholders
on Twitter via a dedicated hashtag and present the project at

## Task 5.2: Series of hands on workshops

A programme of 18 workshops running from month 6 to month 36 will be
developed  and run to support and underpin the work specified in WP1
and WP2. and to ensure its wider uptake.  These will primarily be
aimed at digital content holders and users of metadata, and topics
will include:

  * Demonstration and training with the tools and platforms developed
in WP1 and 2
  * Best practices in legal and technical aspects of opening up metadata
  * Coding sprints

Where possible, the workshops will be embedded within existing
conferences and events for the core target audience, which will
include holders of digital content or those seeking to digitise
content in the humanities field. Workshops will be delivered in
France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, the UK and at least 2 other
EU countries.

## Task T5.3: Community documentation

Development and dissemination of a full package of documentation that
will give content holders the means to learn from the experience and
shared consensus of the Best Practice Network and ultimately to
federate material to Europeana.  The package will include a full set
of technical documentation for the work done within WP1 and WP2,
factsheets on licencing, data standards and data linking, an ‘Open
Metadata’ handbook, and short video tutorials. All materials will be
translated into German, French and English, and will support community
annotation.  All materials will be disseminated through the community
website set up in Task T5.1, through the workshops specified in Task
T5.2 and via the  dissemination and engagement plan in Task T5.7.

## Task T5.4: Building a network of open metadata evangelists

In order to make more digital objects discoverable via Europeana, we
will build a network of ‘open metadata evangelists’ to encourage
cultural heritage organisations across Europe:

  (i) to openly license their metadata and (documented in T5.3 and
demonstrated in T5.2)
  (ii) to work with the Europeana community to use tools developed in
WP1 and WP2 to map metadata into the EDM.

We will work to ensure we have geographical representation across all
EU27 member states and cross-sectoral coverage (including libraries,
archives, museums, galleries, research organisations, academic
collections and others). This network of evangelists will talk at
relevant events, proactively contact relevant organisations and
individuals, and act as contact points for anyone interested in
contributing metadata about their collections to Europeana.

## Task T5.5: Engagement with developers and existing digital service providers

In addition, further work will be carried out to catalyse and support
integration with existing services - from established library and
information system providers to new startups working on open data or
social web services, from popular community driven websites like
Wikipedia to online portals for niche scholarly communities. Existing
projects and service providers will be contacted and invited to
participate in relevant workshops and coding sprints (T5.2) as well as
to join relevant online activities (T5.1). We will encourage external
service providers to use the Europeana API and the EDM - and seek to
understand what kinds of technical requirements they have so this can
feed back into work on WP1 and WP2.

## Task T5.6 Engagement with end users in teaching and research in the

A package of linked activities to engage academics and research
students in the humanities from across Europe with technologists in
the Europeana community.

  * An advisory board of key players in the Digital Humanities
community will be convened by Month 6 to help inform relevant
technical work and to provide a high profile visibility within
academic communities to support other actions within this task. The
board will include representation from leading digital humanities
scholars and research centres across Europe and around the world.
  * A small research project will target academics and researchers
from across the range of the humanities disciplines to gather input
and feedback from end users to inform technological development.  The
process of conducting this research will also help to raise awareness
of the project, and of Europeana in general.
  * A stipend fund will be opened from M6-36 to catalyse innovative
work building on  the technology developed as part of WP1-3, and for
partnership working between developers and non-technical researchers.
Six stipends (2 rounds of 3 stipends over the 36 month period) will be
awarded through a competitive process and award holders will be
expected to take part in dissemination activities.
  * Presentations and workshops will be given at  a minimum of 18
academic  conferences across Europe to present the results and
recommendations of the projects for the academic community.  These
will be given by members of the project team and/or academics in
receipt of stipends.

## Task 5.7 Dissemination and engagement plan

This task will encompass the planning and delivery of a package of
awareness raising and engagement measures designed to embed key
deliverables and lessons learned within the wider community. Actions
will include:
  * presentations at practitioner conferences across Europe
  * articles written for relevant trade press and national press
  * a high profile blog with guest posts from representatives for
cultural heritage organisations, technologists, scholars and others
(cf. T5.1)

## Deliverables (iv)

All deliverables will be disseminated publicly.

Deliverable D5.1: Community web platform - including high profile blog (M3)
Deliverable D5.2: Workshop programme (M3-36)
Deliverable D5.3: Documentation package (M24)
Deliverable D5.4: Dissemination and engagement plan (M3)
Deliverable D5.5: Digital Humanities Advisory Board (M6)
Deliverable D5.5: Stipend Fund (M6-36)


# WP 3: Digital Humanities

## Objectives (ii)

The ‘Digital Humanities’ community (DH) has been identified as such a
community of “power users” we would need to work with to validate the
results of our work.

The objectives of this workpackage are to:

  * Ensure the results of WP1 and WP2 will create a maximum added
value for advanced users of Europeana.
  * Lower the barrier to access for developers and advanced users in
the Digital Humanities to reusing and recombining EDM data with other
external data sources and user generated content.
  * Demonstrate the added value of enhanced EDM support and the
co-presence of original digital content, thus creating an incentive to
publish for content holders and stimulating its creative reuse by
consumers in the DH.
  * Provide input, in terms of tools, documentation and curated
content collections for WP5 stipend funds activity (Task 5.6)
  * Identify what are the “functional primitives” of the Digital
Humanities and how Europeana can answer the demand of the DH community
and of their specialized applications.

An advisory board bringing together prominent and competent European
digital humanities researchers will monitor the work to be done in
WP3. It will have the following members:

Dr. Tobias Blanke (King's College, London)
Sally Chambers (The European Library / DARIAH-D)
Prof. Dr. Gerhard Lauer (Göttingen Center for the Digital Humanities)
Prof. Dr. Susan Schreibman (Trinity College Dublin)
Dr. Claire Warwick (University College, London)

The Digital Humanities Advisory board will meet 6 times during the
project's lifetime and also include digital humanities scholars among
the project participants such as Dr. Lou Burnard (TGA), Dr. Alois
Pichler (UIB) or Prof. Dr. Jürgen Renn (MPIWG). The meetings of the
advisory board will be chaired by Prof. Dr. Stefan Gradmann and the
travel costs for the board are included in the HUB budget.

## Description of work (iii)

### Task T3.1 Initial functional specifications of the prototyping
platform (Net7, HUB, DFKI, EAJC, MPIWG, ÖNB (task leader), TGA)

Gathering requirements and identifying functional and non-functional
requirements for the development of an experimental content enrichment
and recombination platform (task 3.2). The platform will be based on
MURUCA components, developed in the context of the Discovery project,
to which NET7 has made substantial contributions. The requirements
will be collected by organizing a workshop jointly with WP1 and by
submitting online questionnaires to the scholarly community. The
resulting specifications will be fed into task 3.2.

### Task T3.2 Building of the prototype platform (Net7 (task leader),

The goal of this task is to build an experimental platform to enable
and simplify the creative reuse of EDM data produced in WP2.
The platform, based on the Muruca digital library framework
(http://www.muruca.org/) enhanced with the functionalities specified
in task 3.1, will be targeted to advanced scholarly users and digital
humanities developers. The platform will seamlessly integrate with the
Europeana API for accessing the EDM data produced in WP2 and it will
also give access to the digital representations owned by the project
partners, as well as to other relevant third party Linked Data
sources. The platform will offer, in a consistent environment, a set
of content augmentation and recombination tools (e.g. multimedia
semantic annotation, text collation, text-image linking, text mining)
to allow its users to enrich the content, build virtual collections
and specialized visualizations. The platform will also feature a set
of simplified APIs to lower the barrier to access and reuse of Linked
Data (Linked Data API see: http://code.google.com/p/linked-data-api/

The platform developed in this task will be used as a primary input
for the stipend fund activity in WP5: Task 5.6.

### Task 3.3 Tutorials and Documentation (Net7 (task leader), DFKI, MPIWG, TGA)

The objective of this task is to produce a set of learning materials,
targeted to DH developers, to facilitate the reuse and recombination
of Linked Data in the Humanities. This will include a set of annotated
example applications in several programming languages (at least Java,
PHP, Ruby) developed on top of the platform produced in Task 3.2, as
well as a set of video and text tutorials on consuming Linked Data in
the context of the DH. The tutorials will be translated in english,
german, italian and french. The material will be made available in an
online learning environment and it will be complemented by an
annotated catalogue of relevant Open Source software packages.

### Task T3.4 Background research on Scholarly Primitives (HUB (task
leader), MPIWG, ÖNB, TGA)

What are the “functional primitives” of the digital humanities? How
can Europeana answer the demands of the digital humanities and of
their specialised applications? Guiding questions for the research
work to be carried out in parallel with the other tasks and partly
interacting with them iteratively include:

- What kinds of 'reasoning' do digital humanists want to see enabled
by the data and information available in Europeana?
- Which types of operations do digital humanists expect to apply to
Europeana data and do they expect these to be offered by Europeana
(API based) or from (external) third parties?

Jonathan Gray

Community Coordinator
The Open Knowledge Foundation


More information about the foundation-board mailing list