Category: Initiatives

Initiatives, interviews, insights

Reflections on research assessment #2: Emanuel Kulczycki on ”Essential research is published in all languages”

Is social sciences and humanities scholarship well served by the current and nascent academic reward mechanisms? And if not, where our options and power lie to change this for the better? Recognized as crucial for the future well-being and flourishing of humanistic scholarship, such questions have been repeatedly raised and discussed on DARIAH Open both in opinion pieces, in declaring commitments or policy reflections. In support of the ongoing European research assessment reform, we are extending this ongoing thread of discussion and inviting expert perspectives from the social sciences and humanities fields to further explore the issues and opportunities our research domain faces in the brave new world of research assessment. We hope in this way to spark a discussion in the arts and humanities on what we can hope to gain, and what opportunities we have to move forward.

Research Group and policy advisor to the Ministry of Education and Science in Poland shares insights on the essential multilingual nature of Social Sciences and Humanities research and argues that for the reform to be successful, rehabilitating the notion of multilingualism and appropriately rewarding contributions in all languages is an absolute precondition.

 Reflections on research assessment #1: Samuel Moore on ”Research assessment in the university without condition”

Is social sciences and humanities scholarship well served by the current and nascent academic reward mechanisms? And if not, where our options and power lie to change this for the better? Recognized as crucial for the future well-being and flourishing of humanistic scholarship, such questions have been repeatedly raised and discussed on DARIAH Open both in opinion pieces, in declaring commitments or policy reflections. In support of the ongoing European research assessment reform, we are extending this ongoing thread of discussion and invite expert perspectives from the social sciences and humanities fields to further explore the issues and opportunities our research domain face in the brave new world of research assessment. We hope in this way to spark a discussion in the arts and humanities on what we can hope to gain, and what opportunities we have to move forward.
In the first post of the series, Dr. Samuel Moore, Scholarly Communication Specialist at Cambridge University Library, and Research Associate at Homerton College, Cambridge invites us to take a step back from the actual performance indicators and revisit the research assessment discourse in the contrasting lights of the realities of the academic job market versus the unconditionality imperative of humanistic scholarship. His thoughts deeply resonate with the #IchBinHanna movement and other initiatives who, above any other kinds of reforms, call for improving the labor conditions in academia.

Talking peer review series #2: Experiences in Optimizing Peer-Reviewing – A success story in five acts, three years, and two astonishing voting rounds

Peer review is a central scholarly practice, a practice that carries an enormous weight in terms of gatekeeping; shaping disciplines, publication patterns and power relations. It governs the (re)distribution of resources such as research grants, promotions, tenure and even larger institutional budgets. As such, it is crucial to deeply understand how it works in situated evaluation practices, and to continually rethink it to strive for its best, and least imperfect (or reasonably imperfect) instances. This new series on the blog, Talking Peer Review, is a means to do just that. You will find here reflections, reports, opinion pieces and, to bring in some metascience, reviews of the current state of the art in the arts and humanities disciplines. In this episode Anne Baillot, Professor in German Studies at Le Mans Université shares her and her team’s experiences on bringing open peer review to the annual conference of the German-speaking Digital Humanities association – in 5 acts. Her insights do not only shed light on some of the dramatic aspects of peer review and showcase why it is difficult to change ingrained, established practices; but also reveal how an empathetic, deeply sensible approach can foster meaningful dialogues across members of a scholarly association and can eventually lead to the redefinition of such practices along increased transparency and equity.

The Trouble With Big Data: insights from Jennifer Edmond, Jörg Lehmann, Mike Priddy and Nicola Horsley 

In this episode of our Open Scholar stars series, I am talking with a whole group: Jennifer Edmond (Trinity College Dublin), Jörg Lehmann (University of Tübingen), Mike Priddy (Data Archiving and Networked Services (DANS), and Nicola Horsley (Leeds Beckett University) on occasion of the publication of their Open Access book, The Trouble With Big Data: How Datafication Displaces Cultural Practices. We discuss inherent disciplinary and cultural biases in doing data-driven research,  digitization agendas,  data and power, data metaphors, apen access book publishing and more. Enjoy! 

Talking peer review series #1: On kindness in scholarly evaluation practices – a guest post

Peer review is a central scholarly practice, a practice that carries an enormous weight in terms of gatekeeping; shaping disciplines, publication patterns and power relations. It governs the (re)distribution of resources such as research grants, promotions, tenure and even larger institutional budgets. As such, it is crucial to deeply understand how it works in situated evaluation practices, and to continually rethink it to strive for its best, and least imperfect (or reasonably imperfect) instances. This new series on the blog, Talking Peer Review, is a means to do just that. You will find here reflections, reports, opinion pieces and, to bring in some metascience, reviews of the current state of the art in the arts and humanities disciplines. In the first episode, Anne Baillot, Professor in German Studies at Le Mans Université shares insights about the value of kindness in peer review and possibilities to bring more transparency to the process Enjoy! 

Developing Identifiers for Heritage Collections: Q&A with Rebecca Grant (F1000) and Frances Madden (British Library), authors of the Open Educational Resource

Persistent Identifiers (DOIs, handles, ORCID IDs, Wikidata IDs etc.) became essential resources in our increasingly noisy digital workplaces. Beyond enabling linking instead of losing our resources, PIDs usually come with secure storing, versioning and long-term archiving solutions too. Although assigning PIDs to our scholarly outputs became a no-brainer on the level of project and data management guidelines, in reality, the selection and implementation of PID systems are anything but straightforward – especially in working conditions where the use of Zenodo or other research data repositories is simply not the best solution. In this post, we are talking with Frances Madden (British Library) and Rebecca Grant (F1000) on occasion of releasing a new Open Educational Resource which provides guidance on developing and using PIDs in the context of heritage collections. 

Reimagining the past and future of academic books: interview with Janneke Adema, author of Living Books

At DARIAH, recognizing and even celebrating the complexities of humanistic and artistic research practices has always been a heart of our interest. This includes connecting DARIAHns with fair Open Access players and showcasing, discussing innovations that are pushing the boundaries of what we can conceive as the scholarly monograph in the 21st century. The conversation below with Janneke Adema, author of Living Books: Experiments in the Posthumanities had started out as a twitter exchange that later we continued in the margins of the book. In this post, you can read its remediated, recontextualized version where the questions are not directly anchored in the introduction chapter of the book. We discuss how blogging helped her to rethink book publishing (of her own and of others); the fetishization of print books and how it relates to Zoom background, dynamic forms of publishing and many more. Enjoy!

Open Scholar Stars Series: Interview with Patrik Svensson

In the next episode of our Open Scholar stars series, I am talking with Patrik Svensson, Professor in the Humanities and Information Technology, Umeå University, former Director of HUMlab (2000-2014), and, not least, Chair of the DARIAH Scientific Board. We chat about Digital Humanities and DARIAH, his experiences with Open Access publishing and his new role at the Open Research Europe platform, translating epistemic cultures to infrastructure needs, our COVID afterlife, and many more!

Exhibitions Inside Exhibitions with The Digital Repository of Ireland

The COVID-19 pandemic has clearly emphasized the importance of remote access and digital technologies to innovate interactions between Cultural Heritage Institutions and Humanities researchers. In our next guest post, Louise Nash, Master of Philosophy student in Digital Humanities and Culture at the Trinity College Dublin, currently spending her internship at DARIAH, is sharing her takes on the “Using Digital Archives for Historical Research” webinar organized by the The Digital Repository of Ireland. Enjoy!

Microsoft, we have to talk…

Well-functioning infrastructures tend to become invisible. Working remotely (even more so) adds a very sensitive twist to this premise, as it makes apparent how much we are dependent on, and even exposed to crucial everyday IT infrastructures. Our collective struggles with the limitations, misalignments or even ecosystem wars encoded in their use do not only affect our work-life and productivity (and mental sanity?) but also highlight serious ethical, conceptual issues underlying them.
Jennifer Edmond’s satirical take on this state of affairs below gives us a massively relatable insight of how vendor lock-in feels in a work setting that is already locked enough. What are our options to realign information management systems with our own workflows and not the other way around? How to take into account that many of us have wide collaborative networks, and thus we can’t just stay by one platform or one brand chosen by our institutions? Where are our collective investments in developing competitive but public alternatives, or do we really need to sacrifice community control and transparency on the altar of reliability and stable performance?
Read, relate, think, enjoy.

DARIAH’s highlights for the Open Access Week 2020

Beyond any doubt, 2020 marked an extraordinary year in the development of Open Access. To celebrate Open Access Week of this special year, we brought together a brief selection of events, resources and tools that help scholarly communities to gain back control over scholarly communication infrastructure. In addition to DARIAH’s highlights, we also recommend programs from the rich Open Access Week calendar of the Open Access Book Network.

Open Scholar Stars interview series: Interview with Kathleen Gregory

In the next episode of our Open Scholar stars series, I am talking with Kathleen Gregory, Researcher and PhD Candidate at Data Archiving and Networked Services (DANS). Why is scholarly data discovery a social practice? What are the skills that are important in effective data discovery and evaluation for reuse? How the data landscape could and should change in the near future and what are the special flavors of data search in the arts and humanities disciplines? Click to read what Kathleen’s research reveals us about all these exciting issues.

In memoriam of Jon Tennant (1988-2020)

We will remember April 2020 as days of uncertainty and tragic losses worldwide. In this extraordinary time, we do not only mourn victims of the pandemic. Just as incomprehensibly, on the 9th of April we lost Jon Tennant, a bright and tireless pioneer of Open Science and democracy in access to knowledge. In this post, I wish to connect you with and highlight pieces from his legacy.


The “Holy Grail” of Digital Humanists – Some Thoughts About “Understanding Data” (for Humanists)

As a reader of blog posts, you might be well aware how important role commentaries happening on blogs can play in the establishment of a specific scholarly discourses. In this piece, you can read our guest author’s, Stefan Karcher’s reflection on Jim Casey’s recent blog post, Taste the Data where he introduces a new didactic approach to discover important information and structures in a data set. So, how do your data taste?

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