Union of the German Academies hosts kick-off workshop for AGATE project

On 13 June 2016, around 30 experts from European science academies, infrastructures in the fields of Digital Humanities and Social Sciences, and related infrastructures met at the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities (BBAW), to discuss the “Chances and Challenges of a European Internet Gateway for the Social Sciences and Humanities ”.

The Union of the German Academies of Sciences and Humanities currently coordinates  the project “Elaboration of a Concept for a European Academies Internet Gateway for the Social Sciences and Humanities (AGATE)”, conducted in close collaboration with ALLEA. The workshop’s objective was to share experiences and know-how, identify common chances and challenges of the proposed AGATE, and to pinpoint synergies and possibilities for future collaboration (click here for the workshop programme).

Participants from left to right: Ulrike Wuttke, Laurent Romary, Istvan Monok, and Beat Immenhauser

Participants from left to right: Ulrike Wuttke, Laurent Romary, Istvan Monok, and Beat Immenhauser

The workshop opened with a session dedicated to the “Status Quo of digital Research Practices and Publications at the European Academies today”.
Several representatives of European academies gave insights into the challenges the digitisation process is posing to their academies’ SSH-projects, available solutions and desiderata. There was agreement that the long-term perspective and relevance of this research output creates particular requirements regarding the sustainability of digital

research methods and publication practices. Against this background, the AGATE initiative is considered a welcome opportunity to exchange knowledge and highlight best practices amongst the European academies to develop a joint digital agenda that ensures the leading position of the academies’ SSH research during the digital turn.

In the afternoon session four experts discussed fundamental aspects of the proposed AGATE with the workshop participants, amongst them representatives of the European Infrastructures DARIAH, CLARIAH(NL)/CLARIN, Europeana, and OpenAire. The participants agreed that AGATE has to be more than a technical solution. Its relevance lies equally in the support of digital research practices and network-building amongst the academies. Therefore, the second workshop which will take place on 16 January 2017 at the BBAW, will focus on practical information concerning digital research and publication practices, such as standards and good practices, legal issues, and other relevant topics. It will be aimed at researchers, ICT and digital library experts, and other interested parties from European Academies. Suggestions can be conveyed either to the scientific coordinator of the project, Dr Ulrike Wuttke (wuttke@akademienunion-berlin.de), or directly to the ALLEA Berlin office (secretariat@allea.org).