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Call for contributions: Managing research data in the humanities

By Tina Johnson, on 4 June 2019

The (ALLEA) E-Humanities Working Group is seeking feedback on its draft guidance for humanities researchers working with data:

Recommendations for Sustainable and FAIR Data Sharing in the Humanities

Deadline: 15 July 2019

There is a growing consensus that research data needs to be FAIR – Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, Reusable.  That is, it must be managed, organised, preserved, and open to scrutiny and reuse. For this to happen requires a collective rethink of the role of data in the research lifecycle and a change in organisational culture and practices, both across the UK and internationally.

Add to that, humanities research does not fit neatly into FAIR principles when it comes to managing data. The vast range of diverse and complex cultural objects analysed in Literature, History, Arts and Social Sciences makes consensus on best practice even trickier than for STEM subjects. Whilst most academics agree with the principle of Plan S: that “no science should be locked behind paywalls”, many humanities researchers are alarmed that initiatives such as default CC BY licensing could work to their disadvantage.

Widescale agreement on best practices in digitisation, metadata standards and common formats is the key to open access and collaboration between researchers, archives, repositories and libraries globally.  This consultation aims to gather the views of researchers and practitioners working in the humanities, policy makers and public and private organisations in order to improve the current draft recommendations.

ALLEA (All European Academies), the organisation behind the consultation, brings together 60 Academies of Sciences and Learned Societies from over 40 countries and is fully independent.  ALLEA seeks to contribute to improving the framework conditions under which science and scholarship can excel.

How to contribute

The consultation document is available as an open Google doc here: http://bit.ly/ALLEADH

You can contribute by leaving comments, making suggested edits, asking questions, or providing use-cases directly in the document. If you sign into a Google account before contributing, then your name/email address will be visible in the document, and your participation acknowledged in the final publication.

The consultation closes on 15 July 2019.

UCL is invested in fostering open research practices across all disciplines. Studies such as this one help to inform how services and support can be developed locally, nationally and internationally to aid researchers engage with open research. We are therefore making colleagues aware of the call for participants.

Further Reading

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This blog was updated 11 June.

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