Elaboration of a Concept for an European Academies Internet Gateway
Background Information and Basic Idea
The European academies of sciences and humanities’ research significantly contribute to the study and preservation of cultural heritage and the cultural diversity and identity of Europe. With their long-term basic research projects, especially in the historical humanities and social sciences (SSH), they create important stores of knowledge. Still, the great potentials of an increasing digitalization to better access and exploit this wealth of knowledge are not fully being seized.
This has been revealed by the SASSH study (Survey and Analysis of Social Sciences and Humanities Research at the Science Academies and Related Research Organisations of Europe, Leathem & Adrian, 2015) conducted from 2013 to 2015 by the Union of the German Academies of Sciences and Humanities and the federation of All European Academies (ALLEA).
Therefore, the project of the Union of the German Academies of Sciences and Humanities “Aufbau eines europäischen Akademienportal”, funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) from October 2015 until June 2017 aimed to conceptualise the framework of a pan-European digital infrastructure, that improves the visibility and findability of the academies’ social sciences and humanities research and facilitates international cooperations.
For this purpose, the basic requirements of a future European Academies Internet Gateway for the Social Sciences and Humanities (short: AGATE) were mapped and possibilities examined for integration, reuse and scaling of existing services and solutions.
Concept for a European Academies Internet Gateway
With the publication of the concept in June 2017, the project was brought to a successful conclusion. The final report is accessible as digital publication with the title “AGATE: Concept for a European Academies Internet Gateway for the Humanities and Social Sciences” (Ulrike Wuttke, Carolin Ott, Dominik Adrian and Simon Worthington).
The conceptual exposé recommends a modular structure, building up on a central web portal for user entry. As an integral part of the portal, the recommendation envisages the development of a database that comprises detailed information about the research projects at European Academies and points to available digital resources, the “AGATE Knowledge Map“. At the same time, the web portal would provide guidelines that enable the users to enter or rather integrate the project information and digital resources into the “Knowledge Map” and offer focused information and resources on topics of special interest for the academies’ researchers such as Open Access and Open Data. In addition to online offers like FAQs and webinars it is recommended to develop, preferably in cooperation with strategic partners, individual workshops and trainings that meet the specific user needs, and could be promoted via the portal and channels of the partners. The enhanced integration of social media could strengthen and facilitate knowledge exchange and cooperation in the field of sustainable digital research and publication practices among the researchers of the European academies and beyond, as well as with pan-European infrastructures.
An executive summary of the final report can be downloaded here.