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TDCC Social Sciences and Humanities

The social sciences and humanities (SSH) domain is broad and heterogeneous. In the Netherlands, at least 26 academic main disciplines can be distinguished and there are 52 SSH faculties at Dutch universities with a total of 16,000 staff (not including NWO-I or KNAW). The number of BA and MA students registered for SSH courses has been steadily increasing and is currently at almost 150,000. The SSH domain serves more than half of all students who are registered at universities.

Most researchers in the sector make wide use of digital infrastructures. In many cases, this simply means searching for and finding information in databanks. While a growing number of researchers also makes use of advanced computational techniques to form, process, analyse, enrich and link complex datasets. Many of them use one of the two large Research Infrastructures (RIs) – CLARIAH and ODISSEI.

The availability of optimally FAIR datasets and software is a necessary condition for the proper functioning of these RIs. However sophisticated the tools, powerful the computers and organised the infrastructures are, incomplete data will yield limited results.

As such the activities of the TDCC SSH will focus on increasing the use and reuse of data and software. We’ve identified five bottleneck areas to facilitate this.

Bottleneck Areas

  1. Increasing the amount of findable, accessible, interoperable and reusable (in short: FAIR) research data and software. 
    • Support low-threshold, small-scale FAIR data projects for researchers and data stewards which will lead to an expansion of knowledge and will yield new FAIR SSH datasets.
    • Support organisations to improve the FAIRness of their datasets. And help set up their work processes in such a way that new datasets are optimally FAIR.
    • Help identify various classification systems, thesauruses, vocabularies, et cetera used in the domain and make them findable and searchable.
    • Help address the FAIRness of software by supporting the development of guidelines, courses and material in areas such as publishing, citation, licences and copyright.
  2. Raising awareness amongst researchers about the importance of FAIR data and software. 
  3. Enhancing the awareness of available digital data and SSH-oriented tools
  4. Addressing a number of pressing issues related to the collection and usage of data, like privacy and copyright legislation and the high costs of collecting and producing digital data. 
    • Support knowledge exchange, sharing experiences and practices and find a way to record these in a knowledge bank.
    • Support ways to inventory and share work being on legislation tools that indicate what is and is not permitted when working with sensitive data.
  5. Building an open and inclusive network, as a vehicle for making 1-4 happen. 
    • Realise an online presence for the community
    • Organise network events and workshops

Read the full TDCC-SSH Roadmap here.

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