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    RDA/ADHO Workshop: Evaluating Research Data Infrastructure Components and Engaging in their Development


    Workshop Leaders: Bridget Almas, Tufts University, bridget.almas@tufts.edu; Kim Fortun, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, fortuk@rpi.edu; Natalie Harrower, Digital Repository of Ireland, n.harrower@ria.ie; Eveline Wandl-Vogt, Austrian Academy of Sciences, Dariah-EU, Eveline.Wandl-Vogt@oeaw.ac.at


    Schedule: July 12, 2016 9:30am-4:00pm

    Conference: This workshop will take place at the Digital Humanities 2016 conference in Kraków, Poland, July 11-16.

    Registration: To participate in this workshop, individuals should register for DH2016 at http://dh2016.adho.org/registration/ and be sure to also register for the workshop.

    Bursaries: RDA EU3 has approved three travel bursaries of €500 each to support participation in the workshop. Applicants must reside/work in Europe. To apply, individuals should follow the steps at https://rd-alliance.org/group/digital-humanities-workshops/wiki/rda-europe-travel-grants-dh2016-rdaadho-workshop

    Questionnaire:  All workshop participants are asked to fill out this questionnaire prior to the workshop: http://goo.gl/forms/ZPdazuZGjIyDzOvu1

    Contact: Lindsay Poirier, poiril@rpi.edu 



    The purpose of this workshop is to conduct a meaningful examination of the data fabric and infrastructure components being defined by the Research Data Alliance (RDA), to test their relevance and applicability to the needs of the digital humanities community, and to discuss opportunities for humanities engagement in further standards development.  


    Much of the infrastructure needed to support data sharing is of great relevance to Digital Humanities projects, where we find ourselves too often developing and reinventing ad-hoc solutions for data management, draining resources that could be put to better use focusing on the domain-specific nature of our problems and driving new research. It’s easy, especially when time and resources are constrained, to get locked into thinking that our problems are unique and that we need to design custom solutions, but when we examine the problem from other perspectives, the abstractions begin to rise to the surface. But in order to take advantage of the solutions as they are built, we must be part of the discussion about the requirements, push for our use cases to be considered in their design, and take part in testing, implementing and sustaining the solutions.


    RDA is an international initiative to facilitate the development of effective data practices, standards and infrastructure in particular research domains, and across domains. It aims to enhance capacity to archive, preserve, analyze and share data, and for collaboration both within and across research communities. The humanities have an important presence in RDA, and can benefit from the opportunities RDA provides to learn across research communities working to develop digital infrastructure. RDA also brings together diverse types of technical expertise, which is organized to put forward (best practice)  “adoption products.” Some of these products are starting to be taken up in the humanities, such as the Practical Policy Recommendations mentioned below, and there is significant potential for further collaborative work between RDA and digital humanities developers in the future.   


    This will be a full day workshop in the format of a hands-on round-table and open discussion. Participants will be asked to come prepared to discuss details of their particular use cases, as well as solutions and needs relevant to two of the initial outputs of the RDA: the Persistent Identifier (PID) Types and Data Types Registry (DTR).  In advance of the workshop, organizers will provide summaries of these outputs and detailed examples of their analysis for use cases in humanities and other relevant domains.  


    This workshop is a complement to the panel by Dr. Natalie Harrower et. al. entitled “Digital data sharing: the opportunities and challenges of opening research.  The panel presents particular challenges in humanities research data management, and aims to generate a discussion around the uniqueness and challenges inherent in humanities research data.  This workshop, on the other hand, is a hands-on effort to work with real humanities data use-cases, provided by participants, to understand how to best shape RDA outputs to enable better data sharing and management in the humanities.


    Format of the Workshop:

    In the first two hours of the workshop, organizers will present a summary of humanities activities in RDA thus far, and describe current calls for participation by RDA working and interest groups.   


    These calls address an array of topics important in the digital humanities: Institutional Review Boards (IRB), access solutions and metadata standards that support data sharing;  the need for institutional repositories for both live and archived digital projects; the need for a “data net” to connect globally distributed repositories, enabling discovery and access; the need for cultural and organizational changes in the humanities to research data sharing and open scholarship.


    Specific RDA activities covered will include:

    • The Digital Practices in History and Ethnography Interest Group (DPHE-IG), chaired by anthropologists Mike Fortun and Kim Fortun at Rensselaer, and Jason Jackson, Director of the Mathers Museum of World Cultures at the University of Indiana.  
    • The successful adoption by the Platform for Experimental and Collaborative Ethnography (PECE) of the RDA Practical Policies Recommendations, a specification for best practices for data management.
    • Two nascent RDA Working Groups: the Research Data Collections WG and the WG on Empirical Humanities Metadata.


    We will wrap up the first half of the morning session with a group effort to identify the range of solutions and support needed for research data management and sharing in the digital humanities in coming years, and potential opportunities for RDA collaboration. The list generated will be taken back to the RDA community for their consideration and feedback.  


    The second half of the morning will be devoted to an in-depth presentation of the RDA PID Types and DTR outputs, including a demonstration of their implementation.


    After lunch, each participant will be invited to present their use case/requirements and engage with workshop organizers and participants in a discussion of the relevance and gaps and cost/benefit of adopting the solutions being proposed by RDA. Prior to the workshop the organizers will issue a short survey for participants to answer directed questions about their requirements as well as a template for more detailed descriptions of their use cases.  Specific focus will be on the PID Types and DTR solutions, but other relevant outputs or in-progress efforts may be considered as well. Workshop organizers will take notes and produce a summary report following the workshop to share with the RDA community for their consideration and feedback.


    Conference: This workshop will take place at the Digital Humanities 2016 conference in Kraków, Poland, July 11-16.


    Registration: To participate in this workshop, individuals should register for DH2016 at http://dh2016.adho.org/registration/ and be sure to also register for the workshop.


    Contact: Lindsay Poirier, poiril@rpi.edu 

    Previous workshops

    Digital Humanities Meeting Report

    This workshop is sponsored by the Research Data Alliance (RDA)/US, which hopes to learn more about digital humanities needs for data infrastructure. Representatives of RDA/US will be present to share the latest information regarding global infrastructure development efforts.

    As background reading for the meeting we suggest the following ‘booklet’ that has been recently put together by our European colleagues for an upcoming meeting. https://europe.rd-alliance.org/sites/default/files/report/RDA_Outputs_May2015_web.pdf It describes the current Working Group Outputs and will give a good idea of the first set of ‘adopt-ables’ coming out of RDA.

    The RDA Digital Humanities Workshop will be held on Thursday, May 28 at the Homewood campus of the Johns Hopkins University.


    Meeting time: 10 am – 4 pm.

    Continental breakfast at 9:30 a.m.


    10:00 – 10:15 Welcome from Fran Berman and Introductions

    10:15 – 10:30 Overview of Day

    10:30 – 11:00 Presentation of RDA Infrastructure (Larry Lanom, Kim Fortun, Mike Fortun)

    11:00 – 11:30 Break

    11:30 – 12:00 Discussion of Use Cases, especially in relation RDA Infrastructure (Bridget Almas, Sayeed Choudhury)

    12:00 – 1:00 Lunch

    1:00 – 2:00 Reactions, Comments, Etc. from Workshop Participants

    2:-00 – 2:30 Break

    2:30 – 3:30 Further Discussion and Feedback from RDA/US

    3:30 – 4:00 Next Steps



    Room 107, Malone Hall (#43 on this campus map) 



    Room registration is open at http://goo.gl/9LjiJ8 using the group code RDA Meeting until the cutoff date of Wednesday, May 20. The hotel is a 10 minute walk from campus.



    Plane, train, bus and driving information can be found here – https://apply.jhu.edu/visit/homewood/directions/



    Sayeed Choudhury (443) 799-6935

    Cynthia York (410) 908-2546


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