The Sustainable Publishing of (Meta)data Working Group, chaired by Afelonne Doek, Dorien Styven, Eric de Ruijter and Johan Van Der Eycken, received funding in 2017 through the DARIAH Working Group Funding Scheme to organise a workshop on the topic of “Trust and Understanding: the value of metadata in a digitally joined-up world”.
Storing, securing and making born-digital or digitised information available in a sustainable manner is a major challenge. Concepts such as metadata, meta-information, open data, big data are on the rise but their meaning and content – let alone their societal impact – is only seldom questioned. The Sustainable Publishing of (Meta)data WG therefore organised a workshop on the central theme “(meta)data and archival science” to tackle the problems described above and to set up a continuous and permanent collaboration among the various institutions and research infrastructures dealing with the same issues.
This workshop took place on 14 and 15 May 2018 at the National Archives of Belgium in Brussels, with 64 people attending from different scientific institutions, universities, funding institutions (FWO – Scientific Research Foundation Flanders). Issues regarding (meta)data were addressed from different viewpoints implementing an integrated approach by focussing on both technical and practical aspects of (meta)data:
- Metadata, a path to standardisation
This session was dedicated on specific challenges regarding sustainable archiving and availability of digital information, such as the use and implementation of international standards.
- Metadata and Society
The second session focussed on new opportunities and challenges arising in a digital society, e.g. the implementation of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) for cultural heritage (EU) and eIDAS.
- Metadata communication and interoperability
The final session addressed communication between archival institutions and researchers, both at the level of technological components and at the level of researchers’ expectations and options that European portal websites such as EHRI, Cendari, Archives Portal Europe and Europeana offer. These infrastructures play a key role in introducing new technologies and best practices.
By organising this workshop, the Working Group wanted to share knowledge, know-how and tools within the DARIAH community and offer answers to questions evoked in the dialogue between the archival sector and its users, in particular arts and humanities researchers. A second objective was the improvement of cooperation within DARIAH-BE through a specific project. Cooperation between the entities DARIAH-VL, DARIAH-FWB and DARIAH-FED is complicated due to the federalised state structure and the separate financing of these entities. Through this workshop, the Working Group has been able to move through these barriers resulting, for example, at a Belgian (Open) Science Cloud for CESSDA and DARIAH collaboration and is further aiming in extending the impact on the research community in Belgium and Europe.
Building upon the results of the workshop, the chairs applied for additional funding to further explore the various topics discussed and to achieve more concrete results. They also supported – in extension of this workshop – the project Awareness: understanding and having fun, fostering communities around the Standardisation Survival Kit (DARIAH Theme 2018 winning project). A final result of the workshop was the expansion of the Working Group with additional members from the museum sector (KIK-IRPA, BOZAR, KU Leuven).
The results of this workshop are published on the website of the State Archives of Belgium and will be published in DARIAH-HAL, and on ABB. Tijdschrift voor Archief- en Bibliotheekwezen Journal as peer-reviewed articles in 2019.
This post is part of the Working Groups Stories series presenting results and outcomes from the Working Group Funding Scheme 2017-2018.