The Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences Data Enhanced Virtual Lab (HASS DEVL/RDC) establishes workflows across national capabilities and research institutions for a more cohesive and interoperable landscape.

As the HASS infrastructure landscape is characterised by high value but fragmented data, tools and services, the approach will use high-value engaged exemplars to focus and drive interoperability of data, tools, and services for researchers working across social sciences, linguistics, and historical studies. 

The project will also give the HASS community the ability to publish their own tools for use through the Virtual Laboratory, Tinker. All activities within the project will be supported by skill-building opportunities and community building.

The project involves partners coming together from national capabilities and research institutions across Australia to create the new tools and services.

Start date 1 February 2018
Expected completion date 31 December 2019
Investment by ARDC $825,000
Lead node
1 Recruitment of HASS Digital Champions
Recruitment of 12 HASS Digital Champions and delivery of a two day’ train the trainer’ event, focussing on digital research skills and tools, as well as digital tools pedagogy.
2 Initiating community engagement
Delivery of five Digital Humanities Pathways events in capital cities around the country, enabling 76 presenters to share their research or participate in discussion panels, stimulating and inspiring audiences of researchers, students, GLAM and eResearch professionals, policy and decision-makers.
3 Delivery of ‘recipes’
Delivery of other ‘recipes’, delivered as text descriptions and notebooks, introducing HASS researchers to workflows and approaches around common digital research challenges,including transcription, text analysis and others.
4 Delivery of reference datasets
Delivery of three reference datasets, shared between national platforms, transformed to implement FAIR data principles.
5 Prepared and published workflows
Prepared and published workflows around Named Entity Recognition (NER) and geocoding of reference datasets, testing interoperability challenges and utility of tools.
6 Development of a Data Curation Framework
Informed by input from researchers and data custodians, and by test cases using reference datasets.
7 Delivery of the Tinker workbench
An online platform for accessing digital tools, collaboration environments, case studies, and other handy resources.
8 Online access to workshop materials
Publication of workshop materials online through the Tinker workbench for public use.
9 Maintain the technology platform
The Tinker workbench has initiated a flexible and modular working and collaboration environment that will benefit from further refinement. Researcher skills will be informed by the development of example notebooks that use Tinker Studio and demonstrate how it can be used to access a number of research data sources. A number of agile collaborations will produce notebooks that analyse and visualise relevant reference data sets. The notebooks will demonstrate how digital techniques can be used in HASS research.
10 Continued work on the Data Curation framework
The development of the draft Data Curation Framework started in the latter half of the 2018 project. In 2019, the Data Curation Framework will be completed and validated by applying it to specific data sets as exemplars. Data curation recipes will be tested and published as a model for researchers to use and emulate.
11 Continued training
Training will be delivered by the project through hybrid (online and face-to-face) workshops as well as training events organised by Champions to benefit their local HASS communities. Training resources delivered by the project will be made available online to HASS researchers via the Tinker workbench.
12 Continued community engagement
Regular Tinker eNewsletters will continue, and a Digital Humanities Pathways event will be hosted in Perth in May 2019. The project will continue to support the HASS Champions to build and deliver training content within their respective communities. Organisation and participation in conferences for sectoral researcher engagement such as opportunities are Digital Research Infrastructure for the Arts and Humanities (DARIAH) Beyond Europe (Canberra, March 2019) and International Association for Social Science Information Services and Technology (IASSIST), (Sydney, May 2019).
13 Future vision and engagement with national partners
Tinker will actively engage with national partners and research communities to develop a future vision of a national digital research infrastructure for HASS. This will identify opportunities to better support digital HASS researchers.
14 Big data in the humanities” workshop - October 2019
Organised In coordination with the Australian Academy of the Humanities and AARNet, the workshop will explore the interface of Humanities/Social Sciences data such as the use of social, multimedia, archival and crowd-sourced data with administrative and other quantitative social data. Based on identified use cases and some of the challenges they encounter, the workshop will result in a discussion paper.
15 Roadmap for Digital Cultural Heritage
In additionto the continued support of the Computational Linguistics group, HASS DEVL will coordinate with Flinders University to support a new Digital Cultural Heritage group. The group will develop a roadmap and conduct an audit of current data and technologies relevant to their areas of research.
16 Platform as a Service - Dec 2019
This will be co-developed with the EcoCloud Project team. The 2018 DEVL project saw the ecocloud Platformbe redeployed and rebranded as the HASS Tinker Studio. This activity will build upon lessons learnt during this body of work and work towards a Platform as a Service model with formalised deployment and configuration steps. To do this, the EcocloudProgramand the HASS DEVL will share in an appointment for a developer resource. This will see a launch of our Platform as a Service Framework, with customised configuration steps and increased resilience across the platforms due to more formalised skill sharing.

Core features

Platform and tools
A central digital workspace that included tools for transcription, text analysis and georeferencing/mapping into one place.
Data curation and interoperability
Automated data workflows between the Australian Data Archive (ADA) and AURIN, Trove and Alveo, and the Prosecution Project and Trove, combined with wide ranging input from the community of data custodians to inform the development of a data curation framework, making HASS data more FAIR.
Support and self guided training
Development of recipes and workflows to support self-guided researchers seeking to use tools and data through the Tinker workbench.

Who is this project for?

  • HASS researchers and students
  • Collecting sector such as galleries, libraries, archives and museums (GLAM) professionals
  • eResearch professionals
  • Policy and decision-makers
  • Anyone working in or interested in the HASS space

What does this project enable?

  • Increased interoperability between existing HASS infrastructure, and provide a online ‘storefront’ to existing and new tools and services
  • Lowering barriers to entry for HASS infrastructure through the development of a single entry point website, Tinker. This now enables HASS researchers who have novice to intermediate skills access to working with digital tools and data
  • Through community engagement, the project has built connections between institutionally, professionally or geographically isolated researchers engaging in data-driven research
  • More joined up data landscape
  • Data curation for better reuse, reproduction, and publishing of research data sets
  • Game changing skills and training activities
Australian Data ArchiveVisit
Griffith UniversityVisit
The National Library of AustraliaVisit
The University of MelbourneVisit