ALLEA presents recommendations for sustainable data sharing in the humanities
In a digital world, the abundance of data offers new opportunities for all research fields, including the humanities, where the digitisation of texts, images, sounds, video recordings and other data types can significantly contribute to advancing research, while also transforming methodologies and scholarly communications.
But data requires management, and data management requires common guidelines for good implementation. In recent years, the FAIR principles have been widely adopted as best practice in data management for research and other professional fields. For instance, they are quickly gaining ground in galleries, libraries, archives, and museums, whose data collections hold crucial resources for scholars in the humanities.
Addressing these developments, the ALLEA report “ALLEA_Sustainable and FAIR Data Sharing in the Humanities_2020” helps translate these principles into practice. It proposes technical, legal and ethical considerations to construct, store, present, disseminate and publish data in such a way that they can be retrieved, accessed, reused, and interoperable.
Following the data management lifecycle, the report is structured in five stages: (1) identify, (2) plan, (3) collect/produce, structure & store, (4) deposit for preservation, cite & share, and (5) disseminate. For each phase, a set of practical recommendations and further reading are presented. The authors consider the differences among data sharing cultures across disciplines in the humanities but also encourage pathways towards interdisciplinary data practices.
The publication was prepared by the ALLEA E-Humanities Working Group and builds upon the most recent developments in the FAIR and EU research policy landscape. A public consultation to seek feedback from researchers and practitioners was launched at ALLEA’s General Assembly, the annual meeting of European Academies, in May 2019. The working group received more than 200 suggestions, which were carefully considered and incorporated.
ALLEA is the European Federation of Academies of Sciences and Humanities, representing more than 50 academies from over 40 EU and non-EU countries. Since its foundation in 1994, ALLEA speaks out on behalf of its members on the European and international stages, promotes science as a global public good, and facilitates scientific collaboration across borders and disciplines.