Step-by-Step: the DARIAH Research Community Gateway

In collaboration with OpenAIRE, DARIAH - the pan-European Digital Research Infrastructure for the Arts and Humanities, has created a Research Community Gateway that will act as a single point of access for all types of scholarly objects relevant for arts & humanities researchers. This will reduce the fragmentation of DARIAH research outputs across the web by bringing together a range of content types (research data, software, book chapters and other digital scholarly objects) that are usually remain invisible from scholarly information management systems. 


Why is a Research Community Gateway for arts and humanities needed? 

The arts and humanities domain shows an especially diverse publication landscape. On the one hand, the richness of formats and local (regional, national, linguistic or disciplinary) contexts in which knowledge production is embedded is recognized as a key value in humanities scholarship. But on the other hand, this leads to a very fragmented publication landscape. The lack of domain-specific databases and discovery tools with a global coverage  (such as, for instance, PubMed for STEM)  makes it difficult to find, access, connect and reuse digital scholarly objects from the arts and humanities domain. 

These circumstances pose significant challenges to develop an accurate picture on scholarly outputs that have been facilitated by the research infrastructure DARIAH. As part of the OpenAIRE Advance  project, one of DARIAH's aims was to lay the grounds of an information management system that goes beyond the scope of publications in the traditional sense (research articles, books, book chapters, edited volumes etc.) and that enables connecting, curating, enriching and making discoverable a variety of content types that are important for arts and humanities scholars but are typically excluded from bibliometric databases. 

How does it work?  

Built on the top of the OpenAIRE Research Graph, the OpenAIRE Community Gateways work as single access points to a virtual space that connects metadata descriptions of all scholarly objects that are important to the given community. The DARIAH dashboard brings together publications and a broad range of research data (digital critical editions, plain text, archived data, audiovisual data, raw data, encoded documents, software applications, source code, images, structured graphics, databases, structured text, scientific and statistical data formats) that are hosted by DARIAH services such as NAKALA and TextGrid. As such, it reduces the fragmentation of DARIAH research outputs across the web. A major benefit of such a discovery environment is that it provides scholarly communities with a single entry point to DARIAH-affiliated research outputs. 

3 steps to make it happen

Step 1:

Bringing the two DARIAH self-publishing collections under the shared roof of the DARIAH Research Community Dashboard

After the OpenAIRE team set up the Research Community Dashboard for DARIAH, we started populating it with DARIAH-relevant content from the Research Infrastructure’s primary information hub, the French HAL repository. From here, all the records that contain the term ‘DARIAH’ in any of their metadata fields had been added to the dashboard. The DARIAH-relevant Zenodo groups have also been identified and are integrated with the dashboard. This allows the monitoring of the growth of DARIAH’s self-archiving and self-publishing practices from a single discovery hub.

Step 2:

Building interoperability frameworks to harvest DARIAH data services

A research infrastructure is by its very nature a meta-organization: it has a bird’s eye view and it can incorporate perspectives from different disciplines and different national communities. The OpenAIRE research community dashboard amplifies this perspective as it enables exploring and bringing together content from both generic repositories and from the national repository services.

As a result, content types that are important for the arts and humanities communities, such as the digital critical edition, became visible on European horizon and beyond disciplinary silos as parts of the OpenAIRE research graph. We included content from these services, such as NAKALA and TextGrid. that are directly affiliated with DARIAH and added the rest of their content to the bigger OpenAIRE Digital Humanities and Cultural heritage collection.

Step 3:

Fetching in the DARIAH Zotero library

Finally, the Research Community Dashboard can also be considered as a tool that helps to monitor the dynamism of the research infrastructure and allows us to develop a better understanding of how the DARIAH research objects shape/impact the arts and humanities research landscape. To this end, we needed to check its compliance (or complementarity) with DARIAH’s current publication monitoring workflow. Currently, a DARIAH Zotero library is used for this purpose. For the time being, this is a manual workflow applied to decide which records are associated with DARIAH loosely (e.g. only mentioning DARIAH or DARIAH services, events) or strongly (coverage of DARIAH events, works resulted by the use of DARIAH services, works published by DARIAH Working Groups or DARIAH-affiliated authors etc.) and the integration of this latter group to the OpenAIRE DARIAH dashboard is happening on retroactive basis started from 2020 going backwards. One entry barrier is that publications without PIDs are impossible to be added to the dashboard. 

The inclusion of relevant items from the DARIAH Zotero library to the DARIAH dashboard makes it possible: 

  • To trace these outputs in a richer context that goes beyond the scope of publications in the traditional sense;
  • To interlink these scholarly objects with other related digital scholarly objects and enrich them; 
  • To keep statistics about the proportion of content types, the projects or growth of Open Access publishing within DARIAH through the years.

Conclusions:

Building interoperability with central, European discovery frameworks is key to make thematic services and knowledge production in their associated disciplines visible and valued on a shared European horizon.

For this, building metadata crosswalks from local services to the OpenAIRE guidelines and standards are crucial. On the one hand, this is an iterative process where active support from the OpenAIRE team was essential. One the other hand, this requires both insider knowledge about the service and a birds-eye perspective on the bigger landscape to which the service in question is becoming connected.

Because such interoperability frameworks operate along a standard of a common denominator, they necessarily come with losing a certain level of richness of the integrated material. Users should be aware of this common denominator nature of discovery frameworks, and keeping provenance information clear and rich by design is essential. This is an especially valuable asset of the OpenAIRE Research Community Gateways. 


This article is based on the extended case study 'Reducing the fragmentation of publication landscape in the Humanities', written by Erzsébet Tóth-Czifra (Open Science Officer at DARIAH), which can be found in the OpenAIRE Use Cases section. Any errors or misrepresentations in this summary are the responsibility of OpenAIRE, not of the original author. 

Webinar

OpenAIRE Open Access Week 2020 Webinar: 

Public release of the OpenAIRE-DARIAH Community gateway

Use case

This article is based on the case study 'Reducing the fragmentation of publication landscape in the Humanities': the DARIAH use case'.

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