State of the art report on open access publishing of research data in the humanities

Auteurs/Authors : Stefan Buddenbohm, Nathanael Cretin, Elly Dijk, Bertrand Gai e, Maaike De Jong, Jean-Luc Minel, Blandine Nouvel

Publishing research data as open data is not yet common practice for researchers in the arts and humanities, and lags behind other scientific fields, such as the natural sciences. Moreover, even when humanities researchers publish their data in repositories and archives, these data are often hard to find and use by other researchers in the field.

The goal of Work Package 7 of the the HaS (Humanities at Scale) DARIAH project is to develop an open humanities data platform for the humanities. Work in task 7.1 is a joint effort of Data Archiving and Networked Services (DANS), Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) and the University of Göttingen – State and University Library (UGOE-SUB).

This report gives an overview of the various aspects that are connected to open access publishing of research data in the humanities. After the introduction, where we give definitions of key concepts, we describe the research data life cycle.

We present an overview of the different stakeholders involved and we look into advantages and obstacles for researchers to share research data. Furthermore, a description of the European data repositories is given, followed by certification standards of trusted digital data repositories.

The possibility of data citation is important for sharing open data and is also described in this report. We also discuss the standards and use of metadata in the humanities. Finally, we discuss best practice example of open access research data system in the humanities: the French open research data ecosystem.

With this report we provide information and guidance on open access publishing of humanities research data for researchers. The report is the result of a desk study towards the current state of open access research data and the specific challenges for humanities. It will serve as input for Task 7.2., which will deliver a design and sustainability plan for an open humanities data platform, and for Task 7.3, which will deliver this platform.


Beyond Open Access to Open Publication and Open Scholarship

This article explores a moment of opportunity to imagine a new humanities scholarship based on radical openness, beyond the level of access to scholarly content that the open access movement has so far championed, to a culture of transformation that can actively include the public(s) beyond the community of scholars. The possibilities for enhancing scholarly and research practices are intriguing, but even greater may be the generative opportunity to engage audiences beyond the scholarly community – particularly online, where the humanities connects to broader cultural currents.

URL : Beyond Open Access to Open Publication and Open Scholarship

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Open Access publishing and scholarly communications in non-scientific disciplines


The purpose of this paper is to present an overview of the current state of debates surrounding Open Access (OA) in non-STEM disciplines.


This paper uses a selective literature review and discussion methodology to give a representative summary of the state of the art.


Non-STEM disciplines persistently lag behind scientific disciplines in their approach to OA, if the teleology towards open dissemination is accepted. This can be attributed to a variety of economic and cultural factors that centre on the problem of resource allocation with respect to quality.


This paper will be of value to policymakers, funders, academics and publishers. The original aspect of the paper pertains to the identification of an anxiety of irrelevance in the humanities disciplines and a focus on “quality” in Open-Access publishing debates.


Sciences with the Science

In the current European environment where the main orientations of research are being redefined, it is fit to reconsider the general principles underlying the Social Sciences & Humanities and their place in Science and Society.

The need for a fruitful dialogue between sciences in order to cope with the major challenges of today’s world invites us to bring again to the fore the figure of ‘the engineer’ as largely open to humanities.

Beyond any specifically scientific consideration, the SSH are addressing anew the question of the purpose of our societies and of the way they will evolve.

This study is the result of an exceptional gathering of searchers and scholars. It aims at restoring the SSH back into their deserved position and at promoting male and female scientists dedicated to avoiding the frauds of technicism, dogmatism and scienticism.


Open Access and the Humanities: Contexts, Controversies and the Future

« If you work in a university, you are almost certain to have heard the term ‘open access’ in the past couple of years. You may also have heard either that it is the utopian answer to all the problems of research dissemination or perhaps that it marks the beginning of an apocalyptic new era of ‘pay-to-say’ publishing. In this book, Martin Paul Eve sets out the histories, contexts and controversies for open access, specifically in the humanities. Broaching practical elements alongside economic histories, open licensing, monographs and funder policies, this book is a must-read for both those new to ideas about open-access scholarly communications and those with an already keen interest in the latest developments for the humanities. »


Open Science and peer-review in the humanities

« The purpose of this paper is to consider alternatives to the traditional system of peer review. I will argue that new methods of review should be more in accordance with the principles of Open Science. Current modes of carrying out peer review are functioning as barriers against more transparent ways of doing research. I will focus on peer reviewing as it is done in the humanities. These sciences seem to be clinging particularly tight to traditional ways of publishing and doing peer review. After looking at traditional peer review and the troubles related to it, I will discuss alternative ways of reviewing scholarly material. The anonymity of reviewers and authors, the appropriate time to make papers public, and how to reward reviewers are topics that are of importance in this context. »


Collaboratory Digital Libraries for Humanities in the Italian…

Collaboratory Digital Libraries for Humanities in the Italian context :

« The study investigates the approach to collaboration in Humanities, within the Italian context, to test the possibility of collaborative digital library for scholars. The research hypothesis is that collaboration can foster innovation and scienti c development: therefore, within Humanities, digital libraries can be the collaborative laboratory for research. Thus, understanding perception of scholars towards collaboration, especially online, and comprehending if wiki systems could be the framework of collaboration were the objectives of the study. A qualitative approach has been adopted, using case study as research method: in-depth, semi-structured interviews to Digital Humanities scholars provide data integrated with interviews with two key informants (one of which is prof. Umberto Eco). The results of the study show that Humanities, within Italian context, do appreciate collaboration and the concept of a collaboratory digital library, though several issues need to be solved. In fact, Humanities are still tied with individual work and collaboration is not easy to pursue, for cultural, technical and political reasons. Great e ort needs to be done at many different levels to eliminate obstacles and facilitate online collaboration for scholars. The study provides a draft model for a collaborative digital library arisen from gathered data. »