PARTHENOS_WP2_Header

Less than a year after its start, PARTHENOS already released one of its first major working documents, the Report on User Requirements (D2.1).

The document will not only serve as a basis for the work in most other work packages of the PARTHENOS project; it is by itself already now a comprehensive overview of use cases and user requirements in the (digital) Humanities and Social Sciences (HSS). The report was developed by the group working in “community involvement and requirements” (WP2), and saw important contributions from all the consortium members. The document is structured in an introduction and five chapters, where each chapter directly feeds into the work of one or several PARTHENOS work packages.

You can access the main findings of this important PARTHENOS’ milestone by clicking on the headings below. The final full version of the document will be made available in the second half of this year.


In the introduction, the four main user communities on which PARTHENOS is focusing, are characterized: (i) History (in a broad sense); (ii) Language-related Studies; (iii) Archaeology, Heritage & Applied Disciplines; and, to a lesser degree, (iv) Social Sciences (in a broad sense).
The introduction also lays out that the report is largely based on a review of literature produced by previous relevant projects, supplemented with additional direct input from PARTHENOS partners. Use cases and user requirements have been extracted and presented using the Simplified Language approach proposed by Cockburn (2000).


Chapter 1 presents requirements concerning data policies. Some results: The research communities need better transparency of available data and improvements to data accessibility. Data and metadata quality are also relevant widespread concerns, as is data preservation. Therefore, high-quality deposit services are very important for HSS researchers, as are clear guidelines and procedures for management, archiving, and sharing of data as well as metadata harmonization (addressing structural and syntactic interoperability between the resources). Regarding IPR, Open Data and Open Access, a framework of licenses that standardizes and harmonizes rights for allowing data re-use is needed, making the complex relationships between end users and the institutions that provide data more transparent.
In order to manage restricted access to protected resources AAI (Authentication and Authorization Infrastructure) with different user levels and limited access to selected resources is helpful and needs to be implemented more widely.


Chapter 2 reports on standardisation requirements by presenting twenty use cases reported by the communities themselves. Each of them highlights a research community that doesn’t use standards yet, or is in an early stage of doing so, or that has difficulties with implementing standards. Some common issues and shared needs in standardization have been identified.


Chapter 3 on interoperability, services and tools requirements brings, again, many use cases from the PARTHENOS communities. Some recurring needs are, e.g.: data quality, availability, accessibility and enrichment; many others are more specific, concerning both the backend (i.e.: like storage and preservation) and the frontend (i.e.: tools for collaborative work and data analysis). As for tools, many named need for search and information display tools, others had more specific domain driven requirements. Sustainability of tools and datasets is a widespread concern.


Chapter 4 on education and training needs reveals that these are mainly focused on concrete infrastructure or tools developed in the projects. A systematic improvement of training and education services on a more generalized, meta-level does not happen in the surveyed communities currently. A combination of different forms is the most promising way of implementation; a human moderator/teacher is important for effectiveness.


Chapter 5 (on communication needs) shows that evaluation criteria derived from the analyzed journals and repositories range from the domain and covered topics of the journals to regional and international coverage, languages, formats and outputs accepted to the ability to be quantitatively analyzed. A group of five most evident activities has been identified, including dissemination via project’s and institutional websites, newsletters and press releases as well as networking and consulting at conferences.


The report will be refined based on feed-back from the other PARTHENOS work packages and on more direct interaction with user communities. A revised, final version is to be available in the second half of 2016.

You can download the full version of this article in PDF here.