The Humanities move towards Open Science

Subject:  Arts and humanities
An open laptop with an open book on top
17/07/18

The UOC Library reports on the projects and infrastructures presented at the Open Science & The Humanities conference organized by the University of Barcelona.

For some time now, the experimental science disciplines have embarked upon an open movement, with open science (open access, open data, etc) as their destination. Not to be left behind, the Humanities have fostered new European projects and networks geared towards open science, some of which featured in the Open Science & The Humanities conference.

Gema Santos and Sebastiano Giorgi-Scalari from the UOC Library attended the conference, which was organized by the University of Barcelona in collaboration with Ep.net, SIRIS, CEIPAC, ERC and the European Commission. The programme was structured in three sessions moderated by Bernardo Rondelli from SIRIS Academic and Ignasi Labastida from the University of Barcelona.

Good practices

The first part of the conference featured the presentation of projects that bring together the more traditional Humanities studies with the very latest technology.

Of note was the paper by Paul Ayris (University College London) about UCL Press, a sustainable model for open access publication of dossiers, books and scientific articles. The University combines open access to contents with sales of alternative formats, such as EPUB, hardback and paperback editions. This way, UCL Press covers the publishing costs while maintaining its commitment to open access; in fact, its latest collection of books has had over a million downloads in less than two years.

In addition, Diana Roig (Universitat Oberta de Catalunya and Oxford Internet Institute), presented the UOC's MapModern project, focused on the impact of twentieth-century Spanish and Portuguese literary networks and cultural mediators. Thanks to an open and collaborative tool, a drawing was created using dynamic maps that combines the semantic technologies of the internet, such as LinkedData.

​The following are some of the projects presented during the Open Science & The Humanities conference:

European infrastructures

​The second part of the conference focused on examples of European networks. Along with Europeana, Clarin and ARIADNE, DARIAH is a specific example of how the European Union is preparing for the leap to open access with infrastructures devoted to the collection and dissemination of knowledge generated by European research. Its focus is the interoperability, enriched semantics and interconnection standards for the reuse of academic scientific projects from their data sets and from all of the information generated by public funding.


Gema Santos holds a PhD in Information Science in the Knowledge Society from the University of Barcelona and a master's degree in the Information and Knowledge Society from the UOC. Her professional experience is as a documentalist, teacher and researcher. ​

Sebastiano Giorgi-Scalari has a master's degree in Digital Content and Business Communication from the International University of Language and Media in Milan, and a master's degree in Digital Content Management from the University of Barcelona. He has spent his career in education and in institutional repositories.

Author