status: Completed

Chair (s): Kim Fortun, Mike Fortun, Lindsay Poirier

Group Email: [group_email]

Secretariat Liaison: [field_secretariat_liaison]


RDA’s Digital Practices in History and Ethnography Interest Group (DPHP-IG) works to advance data standards, practices and infrastructure for historical and ethnographic research, contributing to broader efforts in the digital humanities and social sciences.



-        Advance development of digital infrastructure for historical and ethnographic research through engagement with concrete scholarly practice and projects (such as Open Folklore, the Nunaliit Atlas Framework, the Platform for Experimental and Collaborative Ethnography and Indiana University’s Mathers Museum of World Cultures).

-        Advance conceptualization of the special characteristics and digital potential of humanities and qualitative social science data, including conceptualization of ethnographic and historical research data as  “big data.”

-        Advance capacity to share, integrate, visualize and act with different kinds of data and analyses, including qualitative data and the kinds of analyses produced through historical and ethnographic research.


Planned Outcomes & Benefits

-        Build a global network of people involved in the development of data infrastructure for historical and ethnographic research, providing opportunities to share digital tools and project development experience.  Monthly, call-in “project shares” since summer 2013 contribute to this.  

-        Link people involved in development of data infrastructure for historical and ethnographic research to data scientists and technologists, and to people in other research domains involved in data infrastructure development (leveraging the connections provided by RDA).

-        Characterize and recommend best-practice meta-data standards for researcher-created primary data (field notes, recorded interviews, etc.) in history and ethnography.  This will be the focus of the first Working Group spun out of this Interest Group.

-        Characterize and recommend user agreements, citation practices, digital exhibition protocols, and other mechanisms that will facilitate sharing and public availability of historical and ethnographic data (recognizing the need to customize access according to data type and context).

-        Develop an ethnographic project to document and analyze data practices and culture in different research communities, especially as represented in the RDA. The comparative knowledge created by the project can undergird deep research collaboration across diverse fields.



Membership in the DPHG-IG includes historical and ethnographic researchers working in diverse fields and settings, including folklore, Arctic Studies, Ancient Studies, and Science and Technology Studies, in universities, museums, national labs, and corporate labs.  Membership also includes librarians, software developers and data scientists interested in the humanities and qualitative social sciences, as well as advocates for open data and systems in these fields. 

    Kim Fortun (Department of Science and Technology Studies, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute)
    Mike Fortun (Department of Science and Technology Studies, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute)
    Jason Baird Jackson (Mathers Museum of World Cultures, Indiana University)

Status: Recognised & Endorsed




New RDA Working Group on Alignment of Multilingual Vocabularies in SSH - kick off meeting

by Ryan O'Connor

Dear RDA Digital Practices in History and Ethnography IG members, [Apologies for cross-posting] We are reaching out to individuals who we believe would be uniquely qualified and hopefully interested to contribute to the proposed ‘Alignment of Multilingual Vocabularies in the Social Sciences and Humanities (SSH)’ RDA Working Group.
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Invitation to participate in 'A Decade of Data: 10 Years of the RDA' events and activities

by Connie Clare

Good day, The RDA Secretariat would like to invite the Digital Practices in History and Ethnography IG to participate in ‘A Decade of Data’: Celebrating 10 Years of the Research Data Alliance’. 10 months to celebrate 10 years of the RDA
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Withdrawal of RDA Digital Practices in History and Ethnography IG

by Secretariat Group Account

Further to previous communication with the IG co-chairs, this group has now been withdrawn due to inactivity. We would appreciate if any ongoing activities of the co-chairs and/or group members could be shared with the RDA community - this information can be added to your group page. The work of all the RDA Groups is appreciated and respected by the RDA community and in the interests of openness and transparency, we hope you will take this opportunity to close your group well and bid everyone, including your group members, farewell.
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RDA Plenary 15 Announcements - Registration and Calls for Co-located Events and Posters Now Open

by Alexandra Delipalta

  RDA is excited to announce several important pieces of information related to RDA Plenary 15: Data for Real-World Impact, which will be held from 18-20 March 2020 in Melbourne, Australia at the Melbourne Convention Exhibition Centre, MCEC (   This event will be hosted by CSIRO (Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation) with the support of the Australian Research Data Commons (ARDC).
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Deadline For P15 Group Session Submissions Extended To 5 December 2019

by Alexandra Delipalta

Dear RDA members,    RDA's 15th Plenary meeting, Melbourne, Australia, 18-20 March 2020    The deadline to submit session proposals for Plenary 15 in Melbourne, Australia has been extended to 5 December 2019, midnight UTC. Group session application form Joint meeting application form
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Deadline for P15 Group Session Submission Fast Approaching

by Jamie Lupo-Petta

Dear Group Members,   The deadline for group session submissions for Plenary 15 is 28 November 2019, midnight UTC – just two weeks away.  
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RDA website unavailable due to maintenance on 4 and 5 September 2019

by Sara Pittonet Gaiarin

Dear RDA members,   The following message is to inform you that RDA website is scheduled for a technical maintenance from today 4 September at 10:00 UTC until tomorrow 5 September at 10:00 UTC. Messages sent to RDA Group mailing lists will not be delivered during the maintenance period.   We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.   RDA Team
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Plenary 14 Session Submission Deadline Is Thursday!

by Yolanda Meleco

With Plenary 14 (P14) scheduled to occur from October 23-25, the deadline for session submission is this Thursday, 27 June at 16:00 UTC. Submissions for meeting sessions are open to working groups, interest groups, joint groups and birds of feather (BoF) meetings. Please note, however, submissions are accepted from group chairs only. If you submit a session request for a group, please notify the other chairs of that group.
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Plenary 14: Call for Sessions, Collocated Events, Posters and Registration Now Open!

by Jamie Lupo-Petta

Taking place from 23-25 October 2019, the 14th RDA Plenary will take place in Dipoli, the nature-immersed building of Aalto University, Helsinki, in Finland, “one of the happiest countries in the world”, states Per Öster, CSC-IT Center For Science Director and Co-Chair of the P14 Programme Committee.  
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