Tag Archives: digital cultural heritage

W-log #5: Digital Humanities in Italy, reproducibility in Cultural Heritage, managing and converting data, modelling

What happened? From the 28th to the 30th of May, there was the annual conference of the Italian Association for Digital Humanities and Digital Culture (in Italian, Associazione per l’Informatica Umanistica e la Cultura Digitale, a.k.a. AIUCD). It is the main meeting of national experts in Digital Humanities (DH) research, discussing methods, trends, tools, and data on the topic for three days. The complete proceedings of the conference will be published soon and made available on the website. This year was organised at the Monastery of San Nicolò l’Arena, an incredible complex of Baroque buildings, which is also the headquarters of the Department of Humanities Sciences of the University of Catania.

What I did. In the context of the AIUCD 2024 conference, there have been a few presentations of works (I am involved as a co-author) describing the research we are conducting around DH. Sebastian, Alice, and Bianca have presented a work that analyses reproducible research in the context of the humanities domain, presenting the creation of a digital twin of a temporary exhibition (which was already introduced in the previous log). Arcangelo has introduced HERITRACE, a semantic data management system tailored for the GLAM sector, based on SHACL for data modelling and the OpenCitations Data Model for provenance and change tracking. Last but not least, Arianna has shown a workflow she is implementing for creating replicable metadata schema crosswalks to facilitate the preservation and accessibility of cultural heritage in the digital ecosystem based on the RDF Mapping Language (RML) and surveys for abstracting and reformulating domain-specific knowledge. In addition, I was also approached about possible uses of the FRBR-aligned Bibliographic Ontology (FaBiO) in the context of GLAM institutions. It was a very interesting intake, with exciting collaborations in the following months.

What to read. Among the various possible new readings to suggest as a consequence of the latest knowledge gained within the AIUCD 2024 conference, I would like to highlight an excellent open-access book, published by the wonderful Open Book Publishers, about DH and modelling, which was presented in one of the talks of the conference:

Ciula, A., Eide, Ø., Marras, C., & Sahle, P. (2023). Modelling Between Digital and Humanities: Thinking in Practice (1st ed.). Open Book Publishers. https://doi.org/10.11647/obp.0369

W-log #2: Italian situation on digital cultural heritage, semantic artefacts, science and society

What happened? One year ago, the Italian Ministry of Culture published some guidelines that imposed heavy payments, even for scientific publications derived from publicly funded (e.g. by the European Union) research, in case of (re)use of images of state-owned cultural heritage objects (CHOs). These guidelines were contrary to the indication of the European Union on the digitisation of cultural heritage, which pushed for years to implement measures to guarantee the broadest possible openness and compliance with FAIR (findable, accessible, interoperable, reusable) principles of digitised CHOs (DCHOs) that are in the public domain for any purpose – the motto here is: what is in the public domain stays in the public domain. Thus, a few weeks ago and after several months of objections, the Italian Ministry of Culture revised its guidelines to relax the conditions for applying such heavy payments in case of scientific publications. However, we are far from the goal, considering that there are still massive restrictions, regulated by law, on the application of open access licenses (e.g. the Creative Commons CC0, CC-BY, CC-BY-SA) to these DCHOs, which is a mandatory requirement in several funding programmes, including Horizon Europe.

What I did. As the corresponding author, I’ve finalised the bureaucracy with the publisher for an open-access publication of a work co-authored with Andras, Clement, Emanuele, Fajar, Ivan, and Oscar, just published in Scientific Data. The article, entitled A maturity model for catalogues of semantic artefacts, is entirely focused on the key components that enable the implementation of semantic interoperability, i.e. semantic artefacts, that are a machine-actionable formalisation of a conceptualisation enabling sharing and reuse by humans and machines. In particular, we reflected on the catalogues where semantic artefacts are stored – i.e. web-based systems that foster the availability, discoverability and long-term preservation and maintenance of semantic artefacts – and provided a set of twelve dimensions for measuring the maturity of such catalogues.

What to read. Since its introduction, in the last lecture of my course on Open Science within the second-cycle degree in Digital Humanities and Digital Knowledge, I invite an expert to talk about the current status of Open Science in Europe. This year, continuing with the tradition of the previous course editions, I had the pleasure of having a friend of mine, Elena Giglia, who gave a presentation entitled Open Science: in dialogue with society. My reading suggestion for this week is the slides of her talk that have been deposited on Zenodo:

Giglia, E. (2024, May 7). Open Science: In dialogue with society. Open Science course, a.a. 2023/2024, Digital Humanities and Digital Knowledge, University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy. https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.11127310