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Europeana Research

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Presentation by Alastair Dunning

Presentation by Alastair Dunning

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    Europeana Research Europeana Research Presentation Transcript

    • Europeana Research Alastair Dunning The Hague, January 2013
    • What’s the problem ? The Research Community, particularly the burgeoning digital humanities community, are one of the obvious natural end user groups for Europeana Yet current Europeana.eu portal is not really a destination site for scholars Europeana Research is the solution to this. So what precisely is Europeana Research ?
    • Defining Europeana Research Um ... we don’t quite know at the moment. But we do have some places to start and potential options to follow
    • 1. Helping researchers find non-digitised content Via the European Library (the Europeana hub for libraries), we have access to >100m bibliographic records drawn from European national libraries Apex (the hub for archives) is aggregating finding aids from archives throughout the continent. Unlike, the existing europeana.eu portal, Europeana Research could work on make such descriptions interoperable and allowing researchers to search through non-digitised content For example: the current CENDARI project is gathering archival descriptions and library metadata related to World War One and holdings of medieval manuscripts
    • 1. Helping researchers find non-digitised content Pros: Can build on existing TEL collection Defined scholarly need Technically not too complex (except for metadata) Cons: Defined scholarly need exists but is a bit niche Ingestion of new content is slow and incremental Metadata interoperability is complex Needs richer metadata than present ?
    • 2. Building corpora of digitised primary sources But will a focus on non-digitised content meet scholarly demand ? Europeana Research could concentrate on collecting corpora of related material that benefits from aggregation (full-text documents, digging into data type datasets) This would allow scholars much greater power in resource discovery. One current example: The Europeana Newspapers project will aggregate historical newspapers and allow end users to search through full text and metadata (similar to Chronicling America)
    • 2. Building corpora of digitised primary sources Pros: Meets scholarly demand and expectations Early ingest of important corpora could create quick wins and visibility Fits in with Cloud and Newspapers project Cons: Technical complexity, particularly in terms of storage Different formats (e.g. newspapers, manuscripts) require interface tweaking Where to start ? Focus on collection certain collections at the start may alienate certain domains Plenty of work to curate collections
    • 3. Building tools to exploit digital content Europeana Research could also ensure access to aggregated content is exposed via APIs This would allow third parties to build scholarly tools related to such content For example, tools that would permit the online visualisation, transcription or analysis of metadata and content that is held centrally by Europeana. An example: A third party could build on a transcription tool on a set of printed documents held in Europeana. The resulting transcription would be added to the metadata Europeana has for that object
    • 3. Building tools to exploit digital content Pros: Tools are developed and maintained by third parties. Burden of sustainability is not on us Can enrich content in new ways – this might also persuade content owners to share more content with Europeana Fits in with Cloud project Cons: Depends on ingest of content (i.e. slide number 2) for tools to be effective
    • 4. Providing a safe house for in copyright material Much digitised content is of interest to scholars but behind rights agreements Europeana Research could act as a safehouse for cultural institutions and rights holders who are happy to share their content for research purposes but not for ‘general’ use Europeana Research could provide the necessary trust and authentication mechanisms to channel content to the scholarly community (or indeed other specific communities)
    • 4. Providing a safe house for in copyright material Pros: Meets definite scholarly and publishers’ need Europeana perhaps the only body that can do this at an international level Partially fits in with Cloud Cons: May require complex technical requirements (e.g. authentication) Might possible be for a small user group within research community ? Going against an open philosophy ? Complex licensing arrangements
    • 5. Linking primary source objects with secondary sources Europeana Research could take the metadata from Europeana.eu and enriches it to the links from secondary sources (e.g. journals, monographs, theses) These enriched links are represented in an advanced version of Europeana.eu For example, the metadata for a painting would be enriched with links to journal articles where that painting is mentioned Pros : Meets scholarly need for searching over different datatypes Cons: Complex to extract entities. End service is nice to have but not essential.
    • 6. Hosting reference data Europeana Research hosts thesauri, ontologies and other reference services developed by digital humanities projects (e.g. The Pelagios project of classical world place names, http://pelagios-project.blogspot.nl/p/about-pelagios.html_ For example, dictionary of European historic place names could be maintained by a third party but published by Europeana Pros : Meets scholarly need for sustaining references sources Europeana is one of few trusted bodies that could play this role Cons: Perhaps a niche demand End service is nice to have but not essential.
    • 5. Linking primary source objects with secondary sources Europeana Research could take the metadata from Europeana.eu and enriches it to the links from secondary sources (e.g. journals, monographs, theses) These enriched links are represented in an advanced version of Europeana.eu For example, the metadata for a painting would be enriched with links to journal articles where that painting is mentioned
    • The Opportunity - How we will achieve this Europeana Cloud project - 3 year project starting in 2013 Building a shared back-end infrastructure for trusted members from Europeana’s network of cultural heritage institutions. It will explore some of the issues raised in this presentation • Developing a Europeana Research platform • Ingesting and then providing access to content not just metadata • Building tools on top of content and metadata • Expanding the Europeana Data Agreement for content
    • What we need to do today – The Vision What is our vision for Europeana Research ? What do we want to achieve in 6 months 18 months 36 months In the long term all the options are interesting and worth following. But to have any kind of impact, we need to be able to offer engaging content / metadata for researchers. Moving quickly to achieve some early wins will be vital for Europeana Research / TEL.
    • I hope that makes a little bit of sense