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Posts from the ‘Research Data Alliance (RDA)’ Category

The Digital Future of Research in the Humanities and Social Sciences

What follows is an open letter of invitation written by Mike Fortun in connection with an upcoming meeting of the Digital Practices in History and Ethnography Interest Group of the Research Data Alliance. All interested parties are invited to engage with the RDA and the DPHE IG.

Dear colleagues,

We hope you can join us in a discussion about the digital future of research in the humanities and social sciences (HASS), particularly history, anthropology, folklore, and related fields in which researchers generate and interpret qualitative data to understand historical, social, and cultural phenomena.   The conversation is being led by the Digital Practices in History and Ethnography Interest Group (DPHE-IG), part the Research Data Alliance (RDA), an international alliance working to making research data more open and accessible, which will host its 7th plenary meeting in Tokyo 1-3 March.  Our DPHE-IG session is scheduled for Wednesday, 2 March from 11:00-12:30 in Conference Room 3 at Hitotsubashi Hall (National Center of Sciences Building).

Together, we will assess the current state and challenges of these fields, in different national and cultural contexts, and how enhanced digital research infrastructure can vitalize them in coming years.  Among the topics on our agenda are:

  • How can digital infrastructure animate the work of HASS researchers in coming years?
  • What are the opportunities and challenges for HASS researchers in different national and cultural contexts?
  • Strategies for increasing access to basic tools and infrastructure for sharing primary data, for collaborative analysis, and for collaborative publishing (especially in an experimental vein).
  • Developing digital infrastructure to support greatly enhanced collaboration between HASS researchers, both locally and internationally, and between HASS researchers and researchers in the physical sciences, engineering, medicine and other professions.
  • Reconfiguring or extending digital infrastructure to support the particular needs of HASS researchers (consent forms and human subjects committees, metadata standards, well-designed research and exhibition platforms, citizen science and community involvement, collaboration governance processes, repositories and data nets, etc.)

You are welcome to join the RDA at this link, where you can then join our interest group and learn about our past and planned activities. If you would like more information about attending the session, or are unable to attend the session but would like to learn more about our work, please [be in touch] and we will be happy to continue the conversation. And please feel free to forward [share] this [post with] anyone else you think might be interested in this.

We hope you’ll consider joining the discussion!

Best regards,

Mike Fortun (Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute)
Jason Baird Jackson (Indiana University)
Kim Fortun (RPI)

Co-chairs, RDA Digital Practices in History and Ethnography Interest Group

On the Digital Practices in History and Ethnography Interest Group: An Invitation


New members are invited to join the Digital Practices in History and Ethnography Interest Group (DPHE-IG) in the Research Data Alliance (RDA), an international initiative to facilitate the development of effective data practices, standards, and infrastructure in particular research areas, and across research areas–aiming to enhance capacity to archive, preserve, analyze, and share data, and for collaboration both within and across research communities.

RDA’s DPHE-IG works to advance data standards, practices and infrastructure for historical and ethnographic research, contributing to broader efforts in the digital humanities and social sciences.  Bi-weekly calls move the work of the group forward.  Many meetings are “project shares” during which someone leading a digital project describes their efforts and challenges. Some calls are with other RDA groups (such as the Provenance Interest Group), aiming to draw their expertise into our work in history and ethnography.

Our call-in meetings are on Tuesdays, 1:00 p.m. EST; see our schedule through May 2015, and let us know if you would like to share a project. Also see our annual report of activities, including a list of project shares thus far.

RDA holds two plenary meetings each year at which interests group can meet, and interact with other interest groups.  The next plenary is in San Diego, California and will be held on March 9-11, 2015.

Please join the group (just below the calendar here) [its free] and pass on this information to others who may be interested.  We would especially appreciate help reaching people outside Europe and North America.

Jason Baird Jackson (Indiana University), Mike Fortun (Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute), Kim Fortun (Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute), co-chairs

(Contact me if I can answer any questions that you might have about DPHE–Jason)

Just the Interest Group for You: Digital Practices in History and Ethnography

I would like to share news of the formation of an interest group in an area of interest that I know I share with many Shreds and Patches readers. The group is known as the “Digital Practices in History and Ethnography” Interest Group and it is a constituent interest group within the Research Data Alliance (RDA), an international initiative to facilitate the development of effective data practices, standards and infrastructure in particular research areas, and across research areas. The RDA aims to enhance capacity to archive, preserve, analyze and share data, and to foster collaboration across research communities.  My DPHE colleagues and I invite you to join this interest group, and to participate in its online discussions. Biannual RDA meetings are an opportunity to meet face-to-face with others in our area, and with researchers in other areas.

The RDA website describes RDA’s full array of interest and working groups, and the mission, structure and process of the RDA.  You can join the DPHE interest group at no cost by following these steps:

1. Navigate to the RDA website.

2. Register in the top right hand corner of the site.

3. Once you’ve finished your registration and are logged in, navigate here:

4. In the middle of the page, click Request Group Membership

5. Answer the form question with a yes, and then you should be subscribed.

The second RDA Plenary was held in Washington D.C. September 16-18, 2013.  Our group discussed its mission and plan at a session on Wednesday afternoon, and circulated a list of discussion questions for on-going consideration by the group.

We’ve now started a discussion thread about metadata in historical and ethnographic research.

We’ve also scheduled held several project review sessions and plan to continue holding these events online in coming months. Early sessions in our series have looked at the

Perseids project (A Collaborative Editing Platform for Source Documents in Classics)

and the

Nunaliit Atlas Framework

As detailed here, Garett Montanez and I will present tomorrow (2/13) at a project share (1 pm, eastern time) event focused on the Open Folklore project. The presentation will be online and is free and open to anyone interested.

The DPHE group will be pursuing additional project-focused presentations, as well as open discussions of common interests and concerns.

My fellow DPHE IG co-chairs Mike and Kim Fortun (RPI) and I look forward to your participation.  Please let us know if you have

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