The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) has awarded a Digital Humanities Implementation grant to the AAI to support data publishing services with Open Context. The 2-year, $261,056 project supports collaborative research and development to enable scholars to relate datasets with other data published on the Web (i.e. Linked (Open) Data methods).
Digital Humanities Implementation grants aim to fund innovative projects that have successfully completed a start-up phase and are “well positioned to have a major impact.” The AAI recently completed research, funded by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, to develop Data Refine, a system for evaluating, annotating, and linking online datasets. Previously, the AAI received funding from the NEH to explore researcher needs around data sharing, a major outcome of which was the “data sharing as publication” model advanced by the current project.
Current funding will demonstrate how publication processes can help improve the discoverability, reuse, and longevity of primary scholarly materials. The AAI team will collaborate with archaeologists working in the Mediterranean region to further develop workflows to publish archaeological datasets as Linked Open Data. Though demonstrated with a theme of ancient trade and exchange, the project’s tools and workflows are applicable in any field needing better data dissemination. A major project outcome is a generalized model for publishing well-documented and reusable scholarly data. The success of this model lies in its outward orientation. Rather than working toward monolithic centralization, this approach enables researchers to participate in a growing and widely distributed humanities information ecosystem.