On Wednesday 4th November, the PARTHENOS Steering Committee met in Berlin to discuss the state of the project, and to draft an effective work plan for the next project period.
The meeting, attended by the Work Package leaders, confirmed the high level of consensus among the WP leaders in terms of strategy and vision. Apart from management and administrative issues, the meeting’s main focus was on content and how to better harmonize the project’s workflow.
One of the most crucial initial tasks of PARTHENOS is the definition of the requirements of the communities it serves, and their requirements. Sebastian Drude detailed the ongoing activities and stressed the importance of an in-depth analysis of users’ and communities’ requirements, which is currently in progress with the lead of WP2. Hella Hollander, in charge of the Common policies and implementation strategies Work Package, highlighted the importance of liaising with the other WPs and providing feedback on the technical development to help identify gaps at the content level.
Standardization was another central topic discussed by the Steering Committee involved the . While the intrinsic importance of standards is clear and well accepted among scientific communities, there is the need to further push standardization in the domains embraced by PARTHENOS. The Use Cases, which will be used to help describe the user requirements associated with the many different workflows from the diverse humanities domains addressed by the project, can also indicate where specific standards can be applied. According to Laurent Romary the development of simple and intuitive materials can help the project in this effort, and those materials will be developed within the next few months. Beside this “marketing” effort, the Committee considered the establishment of a Helpdesk to support researchers and institutions in the standardization process.
Because of this Jennifer Edmond urged the Committee to stimulate a global effort toward a road map for researchers’ professional development and advancement, which will likely convert into a series of resources, training materials and pilot actions. This approach ensures the scalability and reproducibility of the training concepts according to the particular needs of each institution and research centre.
To further pursue the standardization goal, WP5 representative Maria Theodoridou proposed a “minimal” approach to interoperability of the existing registries. Instead of adding another layer of complexity, in fact, PARTHENOS will bind existing registries horizontally, and concentrate on the development of solutions and guidelines for an effective workflow; workflow examples from partners are take into account given their usefulness for the project’s goal. Those examples were considered by the Committee to be very useful, and they mark where the Research Infrastructure interaction takes place.
All of this groundwork informs and defines the technical development of the tools and services that are required to create the desired trans-humanities research infrastructure. Carlo Meghini stressed again the goal of WP6, to create an infrastructure that pays particular attention to identity management of data – in order to recognise the same object from many descriptions – thus avoiding a single description model.
Luca Pezzati, representing the IPERION-CH project, was keen for the wide range of digital expertise and use of open data in the PARTHENOS community to be shared with IPERION-CH which represents both creators of technical data for the purpose of conservation and preservation(as the end goal, so the data is a ‘by-product’) and researchers who wish to have access to the data (as a primary resource). A workshop is planned for the future to provide examples of how other domains address collaboration and interoperability with regards to their data.
The Committee emphasized the core importance of a common commitment towards projects’ communication and dissemination activities, which are crucial to inform communities of the PARTHENOS’ efforts and to involve researchers and stakeholders.