In recent years, the role and meaning of research data in the humanities have gone through profound changes. Gigantic quantities of data have become available through the digitisation of historical documents, literary works, structured information and visual objects. Much of this digital data is increasingly gathered within shared infrastructures. It is often required to adapt and structure the content of this data, in order to optimise it for research purposes.
This is all the more applicable to the humanities, where research data is characterised by an enormous diversity and heterogeneity. Data often differs by location, period and social context, and shows wide variations in vocabulary, format and completeness. Only when this data is interlinked and the idiosyncratic classification is converted into common structures does it lend itself for new research questions and hypotheses.
Data management has therefore rapidly become a basic condition for much humanities research. Having already started in the 1980’s under headers such as ‘history and computing, today the national and European research funders increasingly emphasise the importance of accessibility, compatibility and reusability of research data. Sharing data therefore becomes increasingly important in the humanities. The Humanities Cluster wants to support and promote this development. The Humanities Cluster therefore has the intention to bring together all data activities of the three institutes.