Parallel sessions: EMERGING TRENDS


Parallel session, Tuesday, 24th September 2013, 14:00-15:30, Room I-414, 4th floor

Social Sciences and Humanities are currently facing new organisational needs, such as international and cross-disciplinary research infrastructures, issues related to digitization, and multi-lingual access to scientific knowledge. Furthermore, they have to deal with changing publishing cultures and the growing demand for open access to knowledge and to data. At the same time, exciting trends of new theoretical and methodological approaches are currently surfacing. This session is dedicated to explore some of the most promising emerging trends in order to discuss opportunities for SSH.

Introduction by Thomas König, European Research Council
Moderator: Björn Wittrock, Uppsala University, Swedish Collegium for Advances Study

Algis Krupavičius Kaunas University of Technology, Lithuania
Infrastructures and Data-driven Research
An era of paper and pencil is about to be over. Data-driven and evidence-based research is fundamental to understand and respond to social, economic, environmental and other contemporary challenges. Scholars are creating more knowledge and data every day. It is more and more specialized, technical and sophisticated. Still Social Sciences and Humanities face number of serious challenges in the field of data-driven human and social research. Among these challenges are the quality of data and validity of research based on this data, tools and technologies of data management and analysis, open access to data and development of data sharing cultures, sustainable funding and long-lasting research policies to stimulate evidence- based research at the national and European level. The main solution of these challenges is to develop excellent and open world-class research infrastructures for an international and multidisciplinary research. Research Infrastructures must become a key component of the European Research Area enabling scholars to search for solutions to the various problems being faced by our societies.

Stefan Gradmann, Leuven University, Belgium
Objects, Context and Interpretation: Digitized and Digital Cultural Heritage on the Web
Humanities scholars have traditionally been working on cultural heritage corpora: collections of text, images, sound and other material that were subject to scholarly study and interpretation. This central activity of building, studying and interpretation of humanities corpora today is increasingly transposed to a digital, web based environment, with digitized representations of cultural heritage objects and born digital ones as well as digital equivalents of traditional research methods. Creating digital representations of cultural heritage is more than just emulating the analogy object and its attributes in a digital environment: the process of digitisation can only be understood and made sustainable as part of the scholarly interpretation activity, which in turn determines the extent of context we need to keep together with a given object to enable known as well as future, not yet known interpretations of this object. Thus, it might be wise to substantially reconsider the status of digitisation activities: they are much more than just low level preservation activities but rather the enablers of eScholarship in building digital corpora and contextualising these in such a way as to facilitate scholarly operations. This activity cannot simply be delegated to the libraries nor can it be outsourced to commercial players: work to be done here would have to be executed by digital scholars and librarians in close co-operation and is key for Digital Humanities happening at all. A clear, EC driven political and funding priority for digitisation in a holistic view thus appears to be an absolute priority within “Horizon 2020”, including the related activities for contextualisation and ontology building.

Iryna Kuchma, EIFL Open Access Programme Manager
Open Access and Open Research Data Policies in the European Union
The short statement will address the open access pilot in FP7, open access mandate for peer-reviewed publication and open research data pilot in “Horizon 2020”. A brief overview of open access and open research data policies in SSH in the European Union countries will also be provided. The Presentation will include experiences from the OpenAIREplus project creating a robust, participatory service for the cross-linking of peer-reviewed scientific publications and associated datasets. This interlinking and reuse of research is seen as crucial to growth and innovation as Europe heads towards Horizon2020 and supporting an  infrastructure for open scholarship, for which interoperability is the key.