Erzsébet Tóth-Czifra

Published On


Page Range

pp. 235-266

Print Length

31 pages

10. The Risk of Losing the Thick Description

Data Management Challenges Faced by the Arts and Humanities in the Evolving FAIR Data Ecosystem

This chapter explores some of the aspects underlying the domain-specific, epistemic processes that pose challenges to the FAIRification of knowledge creation in arts and humanities. Tóth-Czifra argues that the FAIR principles (findability, accessibility, interoperability, and reusability) have been designed according to underlying assumptions about how knowledge creation operates and communicates. This causes issues in productive reuse of digitised cultural heritage resources and legal barriers can prevent institutions from sharing metadata online, which can further skew research towards what is easily available and free to find online. However, standardisation of shared metadata can also have epistemological challenges and affect the systems of discovery and knowledge creation — a price which Tóth-Czifra argues is too high. She argues that in order to be truly reusable, data should achieve autonomy from their curator, and by bringing scholarly communication, data sharing and academic publishing together, we can reach a more sustainable research data management ecosystem. Relying on domain-relevant community standards as well as increasing the social life of data is critical to avoid having deposited datasets being buried in isolated ‘data tombs’.