[open-humanities] Fwd: Sudamih Researcher Requirements Report launched

Janneke Adema ademaj at uni.coventry.ac.uk
Wed Jul 28 20:15:27 UTC 2010


To briefly respond to the report Jonathan mentioned and Niels response to that, I agree that it is essential to think about specific problems inherent to the humanities having to do with open data and open resources, especially concerning management and preservation of non-text based or multi-modal objects, a few of which are already listed in the report. Gathering more experiences from the field, both from repository managers as well as from researchers is something we could actively pursue. One way of doing this is to invite people to write about their experiences and problems concerning data management and curation in the humanities, which we could then publish on this list to further discuss and comment upon.

Some other thoughts on which strategies to pursue to promote the use and knowledge of open resources:

One of the specific problems here concerns the idea of the ‘digital humanities’. This term can be interpreted in many ways: as a field specifically concerned with thinking about issues concerning the humanities and doing digital research; as those within the humanities who are actively using, experimenting with and exploring digital tools; as  those within the humanities who are only occasionally using digital tools (and would perhaps want to learn more about them). Do we need to target these ‘groups’ differently, should different fields be targeted differently (think about the differences between the arts and the humanities). This idea, or this difference, summons up all kinds of questions.

Another issue here, not specific to the humanities in this case, is the ownership of data produced within an institutional setting. Whether or not universities will actively claim the ownership of resource data, this does complicate the situation and one wonders whether advocacy strategies should not be directed towards universities and departments instead of/next to researchers. This also concerns the active propagation of many institutions of proprietary software, for which they have paid the expensive licenses. Or should the strategies be more ‘subversive’ and take the chance that most research institutions will not claim ownership of data produced in the humanities, thus encouraging researchers to open up their data anyway?

This leads to another problem which I would like to point out, namely the use of open resources and data in the humanities versus the production of data from these materials. It seems logical that we should actively encourage researchers who make use of openly available materials to make their own material/data produced available again under the same criteria. In other words: the public domain should not be passively used, it should also be actively contributed to. In this respect a strategy combining the use of open resources, open source software, open licenses and open access publishing and/or archiving, should be the one we want to pursue. Although this might seem quite ambitious, this does not exclude other strategies but should at least in my opinion be the underlying goal to strive for.

I would very much welcome a discussion on these issues.

Best wishes,

Janneke Adema | Email: ademaj at uni.coventry.ac.uk | Mobile: ++447808738388 | www.openreflections.wordpress.com | http://twitter.com/Openreflections

From: open-humanities-bounces at lists.okfn.org [open-humanities-bounces at lists.okfn.org] on behalf of Niels-Oliver Walkowski [walkowski at jojuhu.com]
Sent: 27 July 2010 08:56
To: open-humanities at lists.okfn.org
Subject: Re: [open-humanities] Fwd: Sudamih Researcher Requirements Report      launched

> Although the participants in the
> interviews are all Oxford-based, there is little to suggest that the
> way humanities scholars approach data management here is very
> different from at other UK Universities,

Thank you for the post. I am really looking forward to read it. In fact it
seems to me that the precise needs of data curation and data management for
the humanities have to be defined more sharply.

At the beginning of the year there was published a report by the JISC called
"Data Dimensions" http://www.dcc.ac.uk/docs/publications/SCARP%20SYNTHESIS.pdf
, a case studie about the use and curation of data in different scientific
disciplines. Only two of the almost 35 pages treat arts and humanities, a
situation which the publishers regret absolutely. On the other hand the
publication demonstrates that the sensibility of data curators for data in the
humanities is very limited because they have no clear idea about how such
projects use their data and how usability in this content could be preserved
when the data is published.

It already begins with the realization that data in the humanities can be far
more than in other sciences. A book for example can be a resource for
discourse but also a resource of linguistic or philological data.


To clearly define a profile of digital resources in the humanities for curation
purpos in the context of publicating it and making it "open" is something
which I hope we can undertake in discussions on the list.


Niels-Oliver Walkowski

Berlin-Brandenburgische Akademie der Wissenschaften
TELOTA - The Electronic Life Of The Academy
Jägerstr. 22/23

+49 30 20370 264

walkowski at bbaw.de
Twitter: http://twitter.com/PersDatRep
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=138792842142&ref=nf
Institut für Dokumentologie und Editorik
Working Group on Open Data in Science

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