The DARIAH Theme
Since 2015, DARIAH-EU’s Board of Directors sets an annual thematic priority, the DARIAH Theme. The idea is to stimulate activities and events related to a topic important to digitally enabled research in the arts and humanities.
DARIAH Theme 2022: Workflows
For 2022, we have chosen the topic of Workflows.
Arts and humanities researchers tend to be multitasking heroes and versatility buffs. This is probably not a matter of choice. Whether we work on digital editions of literary works, analyze historical events by creating and exploiting corpora of digitized newspapers, or model archaeological sites in 3D, our research processes are often quite complex: they involve multiple steps, different tools and a combination of methods. We are no strangers to heterogeneous datasets, modular system architectures, metadata crosswalks and software pipelines. And we are increasingly aware of the importance of data sharing and the notion of reproducible research in the age of Open Science. A scholarly process may start with identifying and collecting data and end with the publication of some research outputs, but the very beginning and the very end never tell the full story of the research data lifecycle.
In this year’s DARIAH Theme Call, we are looking for proposals and projects that will explore, assess, analyze and embody the challenges of designing, implementing, documenting and sharing digitally-enabled workflows in the context of arts and humanities research from a technical, methodological, infrastructural and conceptual point of view.
What is the state of the art in research workflows in the digital arts and humanities? What are we doing well, and what should we do better? How can we evaluate the appropriateness of a workflow or assess its efficiency? What makes a workflow innovative? What does it mean for a workflow to be truly reproducible? Are there modeling or standardization frameworks that make this job easier? What kind of documentation is necessary and at what level of granularity? What are the hidden costs of our workflows? What should DARIAH do – in addition to treating workflows as a particular content type on the SSH Open Marketplace – to help researchers develop, deploy and disseminate better workflows?
DARIAH Theme 2020: ‘Arts Exchanges’ and ‘Arts, Humanities and COVID-19’
For 2020, we selected two streams of funding: ‘Arts Exchanges’ and ‘Arts, Humanities and COVID-19’.
Theme 1: DARIAH Arts Exchanges
With this call, we would like to explore what the current DARIAH knowledge base has to offer arts practitioners researchers, encourage institutional and organisational DARIAH partners within local and national DARIAH nodes to embark on collaborative projects with artists and grow our understanding of the infrastructural requirements of this community with regards to the technologies they use.
The most common format for such an engagement would be the artistic residency but we also welcome other models in the scheme, which may include arts-led events, user needs assessment exercises and engagements, and/or small scale commissions to artists, so long as the focus on mutual learning, infrastructure, and the DARIAH network and assets presents a clear central added value for the project.
Theme 2: Arts, Humanities and COVID-19
The arts and humanities, and DARIAH by extension as their research infrastructure, have much to contribute to the response to the COVID-19 pandemic. From the truly heartening and inspiring response of the arts community to the current situation to the realisation that the historical example of the 1918 flu is becoming a historical touchstone for understanding what we may now face in the near future, we seek to fund specific responses to the pandemic that engage arts and humanities sources, approaches and insight.
One of the areas of emphasis in this scheme could be on how we will collect, curate, preserve and interpret the heterogeneous record of the experience of life and work in early 2020. We will also look for innovative projects exploring humanities contributions to understanding the virus and its impacts, and what the study of culture, the arts, values, practices and language can contribute to our response to this global challenge.
DARIAH Theme 2018: “Strategic Service Sustainability for DARIAH”
In 2018, the DARIAH Theme deals with the chronic problem of software and tool sustainability in the digital humanities, while also looking forward to the build phase of the DARIAH Marketplace for data, tools and services. Thus, this year’s focus is ‘Strategic Service Sustainability for DARIAH’.
The aim of this year’s theme is to fund researchers from the DARIAH community who have already built tools or services with a potentially wide long-term usership. This funding should be viewed as a transitional support to ensure a service is functional and accessible and that any development gaps are filled before it is hosted in a stable way by a DARIAH member state.
Examples of eligible costs under this call are:
- Software development, including standardisation, API development or other tweaks required to facilitate long-term hosting
- Travel to negotiate relationships with potential sustainability partners
- Small-scale development studies on usage, development of use cases, or impact assessment, if justified
- Generation of usage-enhancing assets, like a multilingual interface, educational materials or more user-friendly documentation
- Other justifiable costs (by previous agreement with the DARIAH team)
DARIAH Theme 2017: “Cultural Heritage and Humanities Research”
The aim of the Data Re-Use Charter initiative is to reduce the effort required to negotiate the development of common understandings between Cultural Heritage Institutions and researchers. Researchers should thus have no difficulty finding and understanding information concerning the rights to use and re-use digital cultural heritage objects, while cultural heritage institutions should have the ability to easily communicate their policies, thereby gaining access to a larger user group.
With a minimal framework, set up as an online resource, and a maximal intended impact in terms of access, enrichment and dissemination of digital information originating from cultural heritage institutions, the Charter will be a place where stakeholders will be able to express officially their requirements and commitments to make the exchange of cultural heritage information easier. The content of the Charter will include general Data Re-use principles as well as guidelines regarding formats, licenses, data hosting and redistribution. This should contribute to an increased social impact of cultural heritage data as well as the cooperation between research and infrastructure.
In this context, DARIAH further explored the possible expectations of both cultural heritage institutions and researchers in the arts and humanities of what a closer working relationship might look like. The 2017 DARIAH Theme, therefore, sought to bring cultural heritage institutions and researchers together in order to explore a variety of possible issues related to the expression of attribution and licenses, technical formats and recommendations for facilitating re-use, dissemination and hosting, etc. Such events contributed to enriching the data re-use charter itself with additional or more precise features, but also addressed the issues at the heart of the charter without directly engaging with it.
DARIAH Theme 2016: “Public Humanities”
In 2016 the DARIAH Theme was “Public Humanities”, which targeted the impact of DARIAH’s work on the public. DARIAH published a call related to this theme in early 2016 and received ten proposals. Finally, a total of seven initiatives were funded. The “Public Humanities” call built on the previous DARIAH Theme “Open Humanities”. The Theme call defined “Public humanities” as activities of cultural institutions that engage the public with arts and humanities research and thus adds to the public’s well-being. The public refers to the general public or specific organisations such as media or educational institutions, e.g. schools.
DARIAH Theme 2015: “Open Humanities”
The first DARIAH theme was “Open humanities“. The directors decided on making open humanities a priority for DARIAH, because to date arts and humanities data resources are not easily available. In many cases, they are locked away or isolated in many other ways. Most likely, the resources will be owned by different communities and subject to different rights.