When conceiving a Research Infrastructure (RI), there are a lot of fundamental choices to be made. How will the data be managed? Which metadata is used to help researchers retrieve the data? How will the new RI be embedded within a constantly evolving digital landscape in a durable way? And what about Intellectual Property Rights?
To offer a frame of reference to (developing) RIs, the FAIR principles were formulated. The acronym illustrates the importance of making data Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable. On Thursday 6 July, PARTHENOS, CLARIN and DARIAH co-hosted a joint workshop on the FAIR principles. The workshop served as an introduction to the principles, while also offering interesting insights into how CLARIN and DARIAH have incorporated them in their management of data. Lastly, the workshop was used as an opportunity to review the PARTHENOS Data Management Plan.
Franciska de Jong and Dieter van Uytvanck opened the conference on behalf of CLARIN. Adopting a pragmatic tone, they made it very clear that the FAIR principles are in no way a gospel. Instead they should be regarded as useful beacons, showing which underlying values should always play a central role when building an RI. In a similar fashion, Anne Baillot illustrated how DARIAH, CLARIN, Europeana, APEF, PARTHENOS, IPERION and E-RIHS have embedded FAIR in their Cultural Heritage Reuse Charter, and further expanded upon the principles. As additional implementation guidance was considered a valuable next step, the institutions developed a set of six principles: Reciprocity, Interoperability, Citability, Openness, Stewardship and Trustworthiness.”
After Peter Doorn, Director of KNAW-DANS, demonstrated DANS’ data assessment tool for datasets, there was ample opportunity to peer-review the first version of the PARTHENOS Data Management Plan (DMP). The kick-off to the review session was provided by Franco Niccolucci, stating that he would love to see all participants being as critical as they possibly could. Participants then subdivided into four disciplinary groups to analyse the DMP from a variety of research perspectives: Linguistic studies, Archaeology, heritage & applied disciplines, Social sciences and History.
Interestingly enough, the most vital feedback was shared by all participants, regardless of the field of research they belong to. There was consensus among attendants that discipline specific DMPs would be of great value, as some questions could then be formulated more accurately or eliminated altogether. This improvement was already on the PARTHENOS wish list and has now been proven to be a fruitful additional effort. Furthermore, a clearer sub-division of the questions was desired. This could illustrate who has to enter which information, e.g. the researcher, the data provider or the research infrastructure.
After a few closing words by Franco Niccolucci who thanked everyone for being guinea pigs and was appreciative of the constructive, in-depth comments made on the DMP, all the participants left to goback to their home institutes all over Europe. It was agreed that the next steps would be to make an online version of the DMP available for further comments and feedback by the Workshop participants with a view to updating the DMP.
A Task Force has been set up and the aim is to produce a DMP online tool by the end of the year that cater for the different disciplines within the Humanities as well as the various types of data providers.