Cyberinfrastructure for Humanities and Social Sciences

December 20th, 2005 by Ross Scaife

The draft report of the American Council of Learned Societies’ Commission on Cyberinfrastructure for Humanities and Social Sciences is now available for public comment. Core recommendations:

  1. We need to nurture and validate digital scholarship and digitally literate scholars.
  2. We need public and institutional policies that foster openness and access.
  3. We need open standards and the tools to use them.
  4. We need centers for innovation, research, and archiving.
  5. We need extensive and reusable digital collections.
  6. We need to restructure the funding model for the humanities and social sciences.
  7. We need leadership.

Some welcome language to be found under discussion of the second category:

And while scholars advocate public and legal policies of openness and access, they must similarly urge these policies within their own communities: universities need to consider the impact of their technology transfer and intellectual property policies; university presses and scholarly societies need to envision dissemination models that reflect academic values and lobby for the resources they need to live up to those values; museums need to make their digitized surrogates freely available. All parties should work energetically to ensure that the fruits of scholarly research and analysis are accessible to all those who might use them— from a student preparing a high school project to a parent trying to understand the issues in a school board debate to a tourist about to visit Rome and wanting to understand its art and architecture.

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