The success of PARTHENOS will ultimately be dependent on the quality of the tools, services and solutions the project develops. However, even if we produce excellent research outputs, they are unlikely to have a significant impact if we fail to ensure that the world knows about their existence. The importance of communication and dissemination is, of course, common to all research endeavours, but it is particularly pronounced in the case of PARTHENOS: a clustering project that brings together a variety of existing communities and initiatives. Therefore, the project must pay particular attention to keeping its core audiences engaged and, indeed, to reach out to the world beyond.
To ensure that all relevant stakeholders are kept up-to-date about PARTHENOS, its research context, progress and outcomes, is the brief of Work Package (WP) 8 “Communication, Dissemination and Outreach”. And this WP is certainly equipped to fulfil its mission as all of the Parthenos’ partners are engaged in its activities, meaning that it benefits from a large and varied pool of expertise and has access to many existing communication and dissemination networks.
The core communication and dissemination team has been active since PARTHENOS’ start in May 2015, and we can already look back to some notable successes: we have successfully launched the project website in June 2015, and it has since significantly grown both in terms of available content and visitors. A first external newsletter about the project was issued in June 2015 to more than 130 subscribers. Our twitter account (@Parthenos_EU) is quickly becoming a hub of information and exchange across the digital humanities. Finally, the PARTHENOS kick-off meeting attracted significant media interest.
At the same time, we have written a detailed communication strategy designed to ensure that we can maintain interest in our work throughout the project’s duration. Any communication strategy must, of course, be informed by a thorough understanding of all the stakeholders that the project needs to reach. We have, therefore, invested significant effort into analysing and mapping our stakeholders, and into devising communication messages and instruments that enable us to reach them.
One of our key activities over the coming months is to ensure that PARTHENOS has a wide presence at national, European and international conferences and workshops. We have already identified a range of events spanning all the disciplinary subject areas relevant to PARTHENOS, and we are currently designing publicity materials that will help us to raise the project’s visibility.
In addition to spreading the word about PARTHENOS, WP8 is also charged with pooling and strengthening existing relationships between partners and other international initiatives, committees and projects active in the field of research infrastructures, and to bring together and improve existing communication instruments. To this end, we are currently reviewing the existing international liaisons that partners already have with a view of formulating a strategy of how these can be pooled and strengthened. We further plan to host a series of joint events with other related initiatives, projects and institutions. Finally, we are investigating existing open access repositories for scientific articles and open access journals to determine whether the PARTHENOS communities are already satisfactorily served in this regard, or whether there is a need for the project to develop and host additional services.