DARIAH ERIC: A network to enhance and support digitally enabled research and teaching across the Arts and Humanities
The Digital Research Infrastructure for the Arts and Humanities (DARIAH) aims to enhance and support digitally-enabled research and teaching across the arts and humanities. DARIAH is a network of people, expertise, information, knowledge, content, methods, tools and technologies from its member countries. It develops, maintains and operates an infrastructure in support of ICT-based research practices and sustains researchers in using them to build, analyse and interpret digital resources. By working with communities of practice, DARIAH brings together individual state-of-the-art digital arts and humanities activities and scales their results to a European level. It preserves, provides access to and disseminates research that stems from these collaborations and ensures that best practices, methodological and technical standards are followed.
DARIAH was established as a European Research Infrastructure Consortium (ERIC) in August 2014. Currently, DARIAH has 17 Members and several cooperating partners in eleven non-member countries.
DARIAH integrates digital arts and humanities research and activities from across Europe, enabling transnational and transdisciplinary approaches. In particular, it provides value to its members and stakeholders through the validation and sharing of data, services and tools; by providing training and education opportunities; by enabling ‘bottom-up’ organisation around emerging research needs; and through the exercise of foresight and policy engagement. Through these activities, DARIAH promotes the further development of research methods in the arts and humanities, documenting the state-of-the-art, supporting the preservation and curation of research data with a focus on particular challenges including diversity, provenance, multimedia collections and granularity, and acting as a coordinator and integrator for a diverse community of practice.
Structurally, DARIAH operates through the Europe-wide networks of the Virtual Competency Centres (VCCs) and their constituent working groups. Each of the four VCCs is cross-disciplinary, multi-institutional, international and centred on a specific area of expertise. VCC1, the e-Infrastructure, is responsible for DARIAH’s technological foundations. It maintains a digital environment that allows community-developed data and tools to be shared and ensures the quality, permanence and growth of technical services for the arts and humanities. VCC2 is the Research and Education Liaison and acts as the primary interface with the research and teaching communities. VCC3 deals with Scholarly Content Management in the various stages from creation, curation, and dissemination, through to the pooling of scholarly digital resources and results for reuse. VCC4 focusses on Advocacy, Impact and Outreach, interfacing with key influencers in and for the arts and humanities. Within this structure, DARIAH has over 20 dynamic working groups to integrate national services under specific operational categories.
DARIAH has impact on four interconnected domains: research, education, culture and economy. The consortium supports the sustainable development of digitally-enabled research in the arts and humanities by building services for researchers working with ICT-based methods. It helps them to further advance their research and ensures the long-term accessibility of their work, thus directly contributing to the understanding of the cultural, economical, social and political life in Europe and beyond. In addition, it offers teaching material as well as teaching opportunities to develop digital research skills.
DARIAH is at the forefront of a changing knowledge discovery market and possesses significant strength in this field through its partners. DARIAH also demonstrates how traditional humanities research skills play a prominent role in the digital age, and how such skills can be deployed in a commercial setting.