Boost for sustainability of Digital Humanities

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Digital projects have become a vital and transformative part of the way research is undertaken in the Humanities.

The data they collect and maintain has also become an important source for research communities from a wide range of disciplines relating to the humanities, museums and collections - from archaeology and the curation of collections to the history of science and languages.

But a key challenge facing these projects is how to keep their digital research resources openly available as technology moves on.

So it is great news that the Digital Humanities Sustainability (DHS) Project has confirmed the Figshare data repository as its primary technology partner. 

Figshare’s platform will provide the repository-based technology for the data in Digital Humanities projects at the University. This does not only include the Humanities but also GLAM, parts of Social Sciences, college archives and more.

Dr Andrew Fairweather-Tall, Head of Research Support in the Humanities, said: “Digital Humanities at Oxford has always been globally influential and this pilot scheme will ensure that the right support is available to retain our place at the frontier of digital innovation and open scholarship.

"We expect the collaboration with Figshare will provide a solution that is easy to use and readily available to individual researchers as well as supporting ongoing international collaborations. We’ve been really grateful for the support faculties agreed for the project, the intellectual leadership of our academic colleagues, as well as for the partnership with the Bodleian Libraries that is helping to deliver the pilot.”

The project is still a pilot and other support services are available. The DHS service, which will be developed over the coming months, will also provide support and guidance on complementary solutions which can be deployed alongside Figshare.

For example, the DH team plans to explore how Mosaic can be used as a simple and effective way to present data held within the Figshare repository. This represents a sustainable approach by offering institutionally-managed solutions for the traditional database and website combination on which many DH projects rely. Current and future Humanities projects at Oxford will continue to find a long-term home on platforms supported and sustained by the University.

Please visit the DHS website for more information, and contact if you have further questions.