TDCC Social Sciences and Humanities

The Social Sciences and Humanities (SSH) landscape is well populated with infrastructural activities and services. There are dozens of places within the SSH where data for research are available. However, at present, it is still not easy for researchers to find out what data are available or where they can best store their own data. Connections across the entire domain are still lacking. Also, the use of computational methods in the SSH is a growth process that, as in other domains, is not without its challenges.

The Thematic Digital Competence Center (TDCC) for the Social Sciences & Humanities (SSH) is one of the three thematic networks next to TDCC-NES and TDCC-LSH. It aims to bring together many stakeholders to create a solid and sustainable network platform. The aim of the TDCC-SSH is to facilitate researchers to manage data and software in a FAIR manner. The TDCC-SSH will contribute to this aim through the identification of bottlenecks and initiating projects to mitigate these bottlenecks. 

The coordination team of the TDCC-SSH consists of the Network Manager and the Community Coordinator. Click here for the contact details.

Read the TDCC-SSH Roadmap here.

Identified bottleneck areas

  1. Increasing the percentage of findable, accessible, interoperable and reusable (in short: FAIR) research data and software. 
    • Low-threshold, small-scale FAIR data projects for researchers and data stewards are bottleneck projects which will lead to an expansion of knowledge and will quickly yield a large quantity of FAIR SSH datasets.
    • The setting up of a funding programme that offers repository services and other organisations the opportunity to improve the FAIRness of the datasets entrusted to them and to set up their work process in such a way that datasets still to be deposited will also be optimally FAIR. If so desired, this could lead to repositories being eligible for a CoreTrustSeal certification. 
    • An increasingly important desire for data-driven research is interoperability within the domain and across the boundary of domains. That primarily requires that the dozens of classification systems, thesauruses, vocabularies et cetera used in the domain are identified, and made findable and searchable.
    • The TDCCs and the eScience Center will collaborate in addressing the FAIRness of software in e.g., the development of guidelines for researchers concerning sustainability of the research software, the development of specific courses and instruction material in areas such as publishing software, software citation, and software licences and copyright.
  2. Raising awareness of researchers about the importance of FAIR data and software. 
  3. Enhancing the level of knowledge in the area of digital data used in the SSH and the usage of SSH-oriented tools, aimed at researchers as well as data stewards. 
  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. 
    • In certain areas of the SSH, researchers struggle with limitations that arise from privacy and copyright legislation. There is a need to exchange knowledge, experiences and practices and to record these in a knowledge bank that can be consulted in the future. The problem of ownership also fits in this bottleneck project. In the bottleneck project the TDCC-SSH will investigate, together with a group of researchers involved, how this can best be realised and take steps towards its realisation.
    • Various universities and other institutions are working on legislation tools that indicate what is and is not permitted by law when working with sensitive datasets. In this bottleneck project, these endeavours are inventoried and it is examined whether it is efficient to combine the efforts.
  5. Building and maintaining an open and inclusive network, involving all relevant parties, as a vehicle for making 1-4 happen. 
    • The TDC- SSH will realise an online presence where community members can find each other, organise network events and workshops.b. Together with local DCCs and Open Science Communities the TDCC-SHH will organise national kick-off meetings and a series of smaller physical events. And give presentations at events organised by third parties.