RDA and the Digital Humanities

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With the development of digital humanities research practice, the humanities domain is producing datasets to rival the volume and complexity of data from the hard sciences. Digital humanities (DH) research combines humanities and social science research methodologies with computational techniques to allow processes such as data mining, text mining, data visualisation, data modeling, data analytics and text encoding. Undertaking computational research requires that DH researchers have the skills to curate and manage their data over time, while addressing challenges such as the reuse of in-copyright material.

In October 2015, the RDA announced that it would begin working with the Alliance of Digital Humanities Organizations (ADHO), an international group that promotes and supports digital humanities research and teaching, with Bridget Almas (Perseus Digital Library, Tufts University) acting as liaison. 


RDA Working Groups and Interest Groups

Many of RDA’s Working Groups and Interest groups create discipline-agnostic outputs and are equally relevant to the humanities as to the sciences. Groups which may be of particular relevance to digital humanities researchers include: 

If your Working Group or Interest Group may be of relevance to those working in the Digital Humanities, please email enquiries[at]rd-alliance.org to have your group added to this page.

RDA for the social sciences and Humanities - Report by DANS

The Research Data Alliance (RDA) currently hosts over 60 Interest Groups and more than 30 Working Groups consisting of experts who are working on various topics related to (open) research data and innovation. To give an overview of the RDA work that is specifically interesting for social sciences researchers, Ricarda Braukmann from Data Archiving and Networked Services (DANS) - the national RDA node for the Netherlands and RDA ambassador for the social sciences and humanities - performed an analysis assessing the relevance of the RDA work for this specific community.

Seven Interest Groups, two Working Groups and two RDA outcomes were classified as particularly relevant to the social science community, covering topics like sensitive data, training and data management planning, as well as data discovery and standards for discipline-specific metadata.

In particular, there are two outputs that we were considered highly relevant for social sciences researchers.

  • The Metadata Standards Directory output provides access to a directory of metadata standards for documenting research data, regardless of academic discipline. It features information for metadata in the social sciences and can therefore be seen as a useful tool for social sciences researchers.
  • Secondly, the output on Eleven Quick Tips for Finding Research Data provides eleven practical tips for data discovery which can be useful for social sciences researcher to effectively discover the data that meet their specific needs.

The report and related data set can be found here: http://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.1401105

Past RDA Digital Humanities events

DH2016, Krakow, 11-16 July 2016

The RDA was represented at the Digital Humanities conference DH2016 in Krakow with both a panel session and a pre-conference workshop taking place between July 11-16.

Evaluating Research Data Infrastructure Components and Engaging in their Development is a collaborative workshop which has been co-organised by RDA and the ADHO. This one day workshop was aimed at ADHO members who are interested in collaborating with the RDA to define, develop, test and adopt infrastructure for supporting the management, preservation and sharing of humanities research data. More information is available here: https://www.rd-alliance.org/rdaadho-workshop-evaluating-research-data-in...

Digital data sharing: the opportunities and challenges of opening research was a panel session which brought together a range of experts in research data management, and offered an overview of key themes in research data and research data management for digital humanities, including identifying and preparing data for deposit, repository infrastructures and the services they provide, and the potential benefits of re-using published research data. A representative from RDA provided an overview of the its work and its connection to digital humanities research, providing specific examples of relevant outputs.

RDA Europe provided three travel bursaries of €500 each to support participation in  RDA/ADHO Workshop: Evaluating Research Data Infrastructure Components and Engaging in their Development at DH2016 in Krakow. For more information click here: https://rd-alliance.org/group/digital-humanities-workshops/wiki/rda-euro...

Author: Rebecca Grant, Digital Repository of Ireland’s Digital Archivist