SSK by example. Make your Arts and Humanities research go standard
Arts and Humanities research has to address new challenges raised by the increasing amount of digital sources, contents and tools. New digital practices and protocols, new digital methodologies and services, new software and databases, offer a completely renewed framework for research, and encourage the emergence of a next generation of digitally-aware scholars.
Digital infrastructures, such as PARTHENOS, aim at supporting and accompanying the rise of this new generation of scholars by offering innovative solutions to connect digital tools and contents to Arts and Humanities researchers’ needs. PARTHENOS has thus acknowledged the growing importance to develop a data-centered strategy for the management of scientific data (European Commission, 2010), and is currently developing the Standardization Survival Kit (“SSK”) to help Arts and Humanities scholars understand the crucial role that proper data modelling and standards have to play in making digital contents sustainable, interoperable and reusable.
Accompanied by a live demo of the website 1 , the poster will be composed of three parts: introducing the Standardization Survival Kit or “SSK”, using the SSK, customizing the SSK.
Even if it is not obvious that the Arts and Humanities would be well-suited to taking up the technological prerequisites of standardization, it is yet essential that standardization takes a crucial role in the management of Arts and Humanities data. In this framework, this poster will present the Standardization Survival Kit, an overlay platform dedicated to promote a wider use of standards within Arts and Humanities. This comprehensive interface aims at providing documentation and resources concerning standards (especially authoritative references for each standard such as sources, Standard Development Organizations), and at covering three types of activities related to the deployment and use of standards in the Arts and Humanities scholarship: documenting existing standards by providing reference materials, supporting the adoption of standards, and communicating with all Arts and Humanities research communities.
The SSK is designed as a comprehensive interface for guiding Arts and Humanities scholars through all available resources (collected within a dedicated Zotero library 2 ), on the basis of reference scenarios identified since the beginning of the project (PARTHENOS, 2016). The interface intends to provide a single entry point for both novice and advanced scholars in the domain of digital methods, so that they can have quick access to the information needed for managing digital content, or applying the appropriate method in a scholarly context. Users will be able to explore the platform according to their needs, thanks to precise research criteria: disciplines, standards, research activities and research objects. The poster will show how an Arts and Humanities scholar can navigate the Standardization Survival Kit website, by taking the example of an actual reference scenario. A live demo of the interface will also accompany the presentation, so that those interested in the poster will be able to search the website according to their needs.
To stress the importance of standards for Arts and Humanities scholarly work, let us take the example of a sociologist who is a novice in digital methods, but who wants to disseminate a collection of field survey data online, so that they could be used by other researchers in the long-term. By browsing in the SSK, she or he will find a standardized scenario that could be perfectly suited to her or his needs: “Encode and modelize field surveys for their online dissemination”. The poster will follow this researcher exploring this reference scenario, and going through its nine steps 3 with the associated resources. Let us take some of the scenario’s steps as examples:
- the fourth step “Anonymize” offers a curated and up-to-date list of resources to help the researcher respect ethical practices and adopt proven techniques for anonymizing the collected data.
- the second and sixth steps stress on the importance of using tested standard - such as EAD to “Collect and classify” the data, and TEI to “Transcribe the interviews” -, highlight the importance of proper data modelling before disseminating them, and give access to appropriate resources on the subject.
More advanced users will also be able to edit the scenarios themselves, by submitting new resources or adding new steps. They can also create new scenarios. The SSK scenarios and steps can be easily extended, reused and customized, thanks to their flexible data model in TEI 4 . A dedicated interface in the Standardization Survival Kit will enable users to make suggestions, automatically converted in TEI according to the appropriate schema. The poster will present this interface and the associated functionalities. And for those who will be eager to test it, a live demo will be provided.
- Romary, L., Banski, P., Bowers, J., Degl’Innocenti, E., Ďurčo, M., Giacomi, R., Illmayer, K., et al. (2017). Report on Standardization (Draft). Technical Report Inria https://hal.inria.fr/hal-01560563 (accessed 27 April 2018).
- Romary, L., Degl’Innocenti, E., Illmayer, K., Joffres, A., Kraikamp, E., Larrousse, N., Ogrodniczuk, M., Puren, M., Riondet, C. and Seillier, D. (2016). Standardization Survival Kit (Draft). Research Report Inria https://hal.inria.fr/hal-01513531 (accessed 27 April 2018).
- (2018). SSK: Development of the Standardization Survival Kit. XSLT ParthenosWP4 https://github.com/ParthenosWP4/SSK (accessed 26 April 2018).
- Riding the Wave. How Europe can gain from the rising tide of scientific data, FOSTER FACILITATE OPEN SCIENCE TRAINING FOR EUROPEAN RESEARCH https://www.fosteropenscience.eu/content/riding-wave-how-europe-can-gain-rising-tide-scientific-data (accessed 26 April 2018a).
- Standard Survival Kit https://ssk-application.parthenos.d4science.org/ssk/#/ (accessed 26 April 2018b).
The beta-version of the website can be found here: https://ssk-application.parthenos.d4science.org/ssk/#/scenarios
1. Obtain the informed consent of the participants, 2. Collect and Classify, 3. Select and digitize, 4. Anonymize, 5. Convert into sustainable formats, 6. Transcrive the interviews, 7. Add metadata, 8. Contextualize the research, 9. Disseminate and archive.