Humanities data can be rich and complex, non-standardised in format, without common or consistent metadata and ontologies, and can be subject to complex rights issues. Consensus and best practice regarding digitisation and metadata standards for common usage, that still retain the richness of different disciplines and data types, could enable open access to Humanities data, and facilitate data exchange and sharing between the wealth of archives, repositories and libraries across Europe.

The European Academies constitute a unique pan-European knowledge base that is trusted, non-partisan and long-term. The Academies therefore have an important contribution to make to debates regarding sustained digital infrastructures and project-funded artefacts, the achievement of long-term durable digital preservation, the societal responsibility for preservation of our digital cultural heritage, and research practices in the field of digital Humanities.

ALLEA Working Group E-Humanities

The Working Group E-Humanities identifies and raises awareness for priorities and concerns of the digital humanities, contributes to the Open Science and Open Access agenda from a humanities and social sciences perspective, and builds consensus on common standards and best practices in e-humanities scholarship and digitisation.

The Group’s recent report “Sustainable and FAIR Data Sharing in the Humanities” (2020) contains a set of suggestions on how to align digital data in the humanities with the FAIR principles. Its  first publication, Going Digital: Creating Change in the Humanities, made recommendations around archival sustainability and data training required for achieving Open Access and Open Data goals across the Humanities.

Going forward, the E-Humanities Working Group is focusing on the European Open Science and Open Research agendas, identifying growth opportunities for Humanities scholarship, as well as the contributions Humanities methodologies can make to truly opening research.

ALLEA Contact Person

Dr Mathijs Vleugel

Scientific Policy Officer


Central themes of the group include:

  • Digital best practices for the humanities
  • Managing humanities research data
  • Open Science and FAIR data in the humanities
  • International scientific collaboration
  • Dr Maciej Maryl (Chair), Institute of Literary Research of the Polish Academy of Sciences
  • Marta Błaszczyńska (Secretariat), Institute of Literary Research of the Polish Academy of Sciences
  • Dr Ilaria Bonincontro, The National Academy of the Lincei
  • Dr Beat Immenhauser, Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences
  • Professor Alexandra Lenz, Austrian Academy of Sciences
  • Dr Szilvia Maróthy, Hungarian Academy of Sciences
  • Professor Jeffrey T. Schnapp, Harvard University
  • Dr Ulrike Wuttke, University of Applied Sciences Potsdam
  • Drs. Joris J. van Zundert, Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences

Launch of the Sustainable and FAIR Data Sharing in the Humanities Report

The ALLEA Working  Group E-Humanities has launched the report “Sustainable and FAIR Data Sharing in the Humanities” at the 15th International Digital Curation Conference in Dublin on 18 February 2020. The publication provides key recommendations to make digital data in the humanities “Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable”, in line with the FAIR principles. The document is designed as a practical guide to help scholars, research funders, professionals and policymakers navigate the shift towards a sustainable data sharing culture.

Follow the discussion at #ALLEAFAIR #IDCC20

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