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Research infrastructures in the Humanities: Key Policy Issues

Malta, 25 September 2013

Seminar convenors: Carla Basili, Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, Italy; Joseph Cannataci, University of Malta; Oleksandr Pastukhov, University of Malta

Organising Secretary: Anna Perin ( - Chiara Faggiolani(


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14:00–15:30 Setting the scene

Carla Basili (National Research Council, Italy – Sapienza University, Rome)
Research Infrastructures in the European context

Arianna Ciula (European Science Foundation: Standing Committee for the Humanities) [TBC]
Research Infrastructures in the work of the ESF Standing Committee for the Humanities

Kseniya Khovanova Rubicondo (Council of Europe)
The Benefits of Expanding e-Infrastructures for Cultural Policy Making in Europe

Rossella Caffo (Director of the Central Institute for the Union Catalogue of the Italian Libraries)
DARIAH, The Digital Research Infrastructure for the Arts and Humanities

Mario De Marchi - Edoardo Lorenzetti (National Research Council, Italy)
Advanced Research Infrastructures in the Humanities and Cultural Heritages: the R&D Information System for SMEs of the Italian National Research Council

15.30–15:50 Provocative position paper
  Raivo Ruusalepp - Milena Dobreva - Krassimira Ivanova (National Library of Estonia - University of Malta - Bulgarian Academy of Sciences)
Digital Curation Roadmaps: a Policy Instrument in the Making
15:50 – 16:10 Coffee break
16:10 – 17:10 Round table: The role of the Memory Institutions in the Development of Research Infrastructures for the Humanities

Lorna Hughes (University of Wales)
A Digital Public Space for Wales at the National Library of Wales

Zdeněk Uhlíř (National Library of the Czech Republic)
Manuscriptorium as a Part of Research Infrastructure

Nemanja Kalezic - Stanislava Gardasevic (National Library of Serbia)
The Legal Deposit of Digital Copies of Printed Material in Serbia, policy and practice in the National Library of Serbia

Alice Nemcova (Prague Office of the OSCE Secretariat)
The Beauty and the Beast: Declassifying Restricted Materials Using Open Access Media

Andy O'Dwyer (BBC)
Access & Preservation models - audio-visual collections

17:10-18:30 Case studies and novel directions

Simon Merceica - Francis Cassar (University of Malta)
The Challenges of Medieval Arabic and Muslim Narratives to the Eurocentric world of Digital Humanities

Luca Lanzillo (National Research Council, Italy)
A thematic resource collection for the Medieval Art: metadata issues

Panayiota Polydoratou (Department of Library Science and Information Systems, ATEI of Thessaloniki)
Open Data, Data Journals and the Role of Policies in Scholarly Publication

Angela Repanovici (Transilvania University, Romania)
Institutional Repositories as Research Infrastructures: key policies and case study at Transilvania University

Charlie Abela (University of Malta)
Open data and the HOMER project

18:30 – 18:45 Conclusions and future steps

Call for Papers

Research Infrastructures constitute an effective response to the demands for globalisation and technological evolution that solicit today's scientific research. Indeed, the needs for economies of scale combined with the new technological opportunities, and the globalisation of scientific research are now pushing towards maximizing the sharing of research data also through the development of Research Infrastructures.

Humanities Research, which so far has reacted - albeit more slowly than other disciplinary domains - to technological innovation, is called today also to cope with the current economic and globalised environment.

In this context, Digital Libraries - which have proved to be particularly effective as powerful technological tools for both individuals and research groups - need to show their power also as knowledge sharing resources among distributed communities of research. Digital Libraries, in fact, considered as the frame for Thematic Research Collections, are potential Research Infrastructures making accessible large bodies of diverse material and allowing multi-disciplinary access to and analysis of research material distributed through space and time.

What is the current offering of Digital Libraries within this context, and how they can be enhanced to serve as Research Infrastructures? To what extent – and what sort of Information Policies – could stir this process? Who should be the initiators for work on such policies – researchers, funding bodies, the citizens?

The Seminar, starting from analysing both the problematic aspects, and the enabling factors regarding Digital Libraries as Research Infrastructures, aims to address this range of issues and identify policy and research priorities that can facilitate the fruition of Digital Libraries as Research Infrastructures in the Humanities.

Given the purpose of the Seminar, it would be desirable to discuss how specific cases of Digital Libraries could serve as Research Infrastructures, in terms of critical, enabling and driving factors.

The Seminar is organised by the Ceris Institute of the Italian National Research Council in collaboration with the Information Policy as well as the Library, Information and Archive Sciences Department of the University of Malta, as a satellite event of the TPDL2013 Conference, to be held in Malta on 22-26 September 2013.

The Seminar is part of the research activities of the Information Policies in Science - (IPS) project, coordinated by the Ceris Institute, and aimed at mapping and comparing scientific information policies in and for the European Research Area. Information habits, as well as the processes of knowledge sharing, transfer and use in the Humanities and in the digital Humanities are major areas of focus of the IPS project.

Submission details

Guided by the rationale of the "Information Policies in Science" project, the Seminar focuses on the theme of Digital Libraries as Research Infrastructures in the Humanities and on their various aspects of policy concern. Topics, therefore, include but are not restricted to:

  • Research Infrastructures in the Humanities: long-term access and preservation
  • Knowledge Sharing in the Humanities
  • Thematic Research Collections in the Humanities
  • Information Policies in the Humanities
  • Copyright and knowledge sharing
  • Policy agendas on Research Infrastructures in the Humanities
  • Digital Humanities: disciplinary issues
  • Community Legal Framework for a European Research Infrastructure Consortium: requirements, benefits, barriers and recommendations
  • Training and education in the domain of Research Infrastructure and the Humanities: needs and offering.

Abstracts of no more than 300 words should be sent to or or by no later than 10 June 2013.

Platinum sponsor

Government of Malta - Ministry for Finance

Golden sponsor

Malta Tourism Authority Visit Malta

Springer LNCS
JCDL 2013, Indiana, USA
ICADL 2013, Bangalore, India
MTSR 2013, Thessaloniki, Greece
SIGIR 2014, Gold Coast, Australia
ELPUB 2014, Thessaloniki, Greece

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Organized by the University of Malta in partnership with COST - European Cooperation in Science and Technology.

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