The Preparing DARIAH: The digital research infrastructure for the arts and humanities in Europe ( ) project is a major initiative in the field of cyber-scholarship in the European Union, the grand vision for which is to facilitate long-term preservation of and access to Arts and Humanities research information. A necessary step towards this goal is to develop appropriate object and process models for the planned digital humanities infrastructure in DARIAH. The expert forum on Scholarly activity and information process forms part of DCU's work within the conceptual workpackage of DARIAH (WP8), based on a combination of scholarly information behaviour literature survey with qualitative research on how arts and humanities researchers interact with information. It contributes to the development of a process model of scholarly information work, and also feed into the specification of an object model for information resources and scholarly objects pertinent to humanities research, an important factor in determining digital infrastructure requirements for scholarship.

The programme is organized in six sessions; the first will focus on overall conceptualization; the following four sessions will identify and discuss particular issues, approaches and themes; and the final session will review the findings and questions emerging from the expert forum as a whole.

 Each session will have a duration of two hours. Two or three experts will be entrusted with the responsibility of addressing key issues, raising relevant questions, or proposing schemes, theories, formalisms or possible solutions relevant to the topic of each session. They may do so by delivering a short opening presentation, inviting comment, and incorporating criticism and suggestions in a subsequent statement; by putting forward and critiquing a case study, or broader empirical material; by introducing, spearheading and steering participants through a collective activity, e.g. a whiteboard modeling exercise, or a bottom up elicitation of experiences or viewpoints. The chairs/rapporteurs of sessions 1-5 will coordinate planning, in order to harmonize proceedings on the basis of the experts’ proposals; the chair of the final session will develop a dialogue-driven format on the basis of brief summaries of proceedings introduced by the chairs/rapporteurs.

 Thursday, 10 June 2010

 Session 1: 9.45 am – 11.45 am

Conceptualising and modeling the scholarly information process

Chair/rapporteur: Panos Constantopoulos
Designated experts: Costis Dallas, Jenny Fry, Cesar González-Pérez

 A felicity condition for digital infrastructures in the arts and humanities is that they should serve the changing information requirements of scholarly research. A pertinent and useful account of these requirements depends, necessarily, on a sound conceptualization of the scholarly information domain: what it consists of, and how its various components – such as particular “designated communities”, research methods, tools, and information objects of various kinds, are connected. This session will attempt to identify pertinent approaches, conceptualizations and directions for understanding and modeling the scholarly information process, incorporating object models where necessary, dealing with both normative and descriptive (empirical) aspects of scholarly information practice, and identifying the properties of  a useful scholarly information activity model for humanistic scholarship.


Session 2: 12.00 noon – 2.00 pm

The objects of scholarly information practice

Chair/rapporteur: Cesar González-Pérez
Designated experts:
Manuel Dries, David Arnold

Scholarly information practice involves acting upon diverse information objects: primary data, “thick” descriptions and digital surrogates of social/cultural objects, and aggregates thereof (such as archaeological assemblages, or archival finds), classifications, authorities and other conceptual entities and schemes established by scholarship, and strictly defined scholarly objects such as research papers, monographs, corpora and catalogues. In practice, these are manifested through different metadata standards, formats, resource types, and also genres, of digital information objects (including geographic, 3D, dynamic multimedia and other complex objects), amenable to or served by different tools and services. This session will attempt to chart the landscape, identify priorities, and make sense of the dependencies between different kinds of scholarly activities and contexts, diverse information objects and the tools and services useful to support their access and management in the scholarly process.

Lunch: 2.00 pm – 3.00 pm

Session 3: 3.00 pm – 5.00 pm

Scholarly primitives

Chair/rapporteur: Simon Mahoney
Designated experts: Agiatis Benardou, Stuart Dunn, Seamus Ross

Scholarly primitives have been the most widely, and perhaps inconsistently, used concept in discussions of scholarly information practice: the notion has been summoned, amongst others, as a synonym for research method; as an empirical instance of a particular information activity; or, as an elementary “building block” of information operations underlying particular information activities across scholarly processes and domains. Issues to be addressed in this session include the verifiability and extensibility of the notion of scholarly primitives, the conceptualisation of their scope and specialisations, the elucidation of the mereological structure of scholarly information activities with regard to primitives, and the relationship between primitives on the one hand, and tools and services on the other.


Session 4: 5.15 pm – 7.15 pm

Scholarly information activity as curation process

Chair/rapporteur: Seamus Ross
Designated experts: Wendy Duff, Panos Constantopoulos

Scholarly activity emerges at the same time as variable empirical practice by researchers, and as the instantiation of – typically procedural - normative models of what constitutes “good” scholarship in different disciplinary, theoretical and methodological traditions. The information aspects of this activity go beyond information seeking, and, increasingly in the digital era, involve the active curation of information objects, from data to publication: their identification and classification, annotation and aggregation, and what may be called knowledge enhancement in general. This session will focus on elucidating the “value chain” linking research goals, in particular disciplinary traditions, with scholarly processes, and research methods, served by particular services and tools, and the conditions for ensuring proper digital curation and future “fitness for purpose” of scholarly information as it is actively used by scholarship.


Friday, 11 June 2010


Session 5: 9.45 am – 11.45 am

User requirements from humanities research

Chair/rapporteur: Peter Doorn
Designated experts: Simon Mahony, Hans Kamermans, Notis Toufexis, Alexandra Bounia

Contemporary arts and humanities scholarship demonstrates tremendous diversity and vitality, at a time of increased use of digital resources, tools and services: from analysis-driven, hypothetico-deductive approaches to information-intensive hermeneutic, idiographic textual scholarship. The emerging field of digital humanities is host to an equally varied constituency of practitioners: from innovators and early adopters expanding the bounds of what is possible using ICT, to mainstream users of established repositories, services and tools. On the basis of case studies and surveys, as well as prospective foresight, this session will focus on identifying, assessing and prioritising, amongst the wide scope of possible user requirements, those that are most pertinent as guidelines for the specification of planned digital infrastructures for arts and humanities.


Session 6: 12.00 noon – 2.00 pm

Discussion, lessons learned, implications

Chair: Costis Dallas

A dialogue-driven session, based on summaries of previous sessions by their chairs/rapporteurs, and on identification of key issues emerging, consolidation of conclusions from different issues discussed, and implications for the DARIAH project.