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Swiss Art Research Infrastructure (SARI)

Open Research Data Environments for the Arts (ORDEA)

The project Open Research Data Environments for the Arts (ORDEA), funded by swissuniversities, was initiated by the University of Zurich (Swiss Art Research Infrastructure, SARI), ETH Zurich (gta Institute), the University of Basel (DHLab) and the University of Bern (Digital Humanities) (2022-2024). The partners involved aim to create environments that simplify and streamline the production, publication and re-use of research and holding data in art history and other related disciplines.

The project aims at overcoming a pivotal problem of working with online collections of images and other resources: although researchers have access to many digitised artefacts from various archives and museums, the possibilities for examining these items and their contextual information have not yet been fully exploited. In particular, the re-use of research and holding data in accordance with the FAIR principles remains a challenge. For example, the lack of access and the lack of a common ontological basis and easy-to-use tools for structuring and re-use of the data.
The project team aims to counteract this issue and offer a wide range of tools that enable the production, visualisation, analysis and re-use of research and holding data. Suitable and internationally recognised standards for data, ontologies and their modelling will be integrated. The participating institutions will use their expertise and bring together tools and pipelines that have already been realised or will be developed as part of the project.
Specifically, the common framework will include:

  1. simplified integration and re-use of common but complex ontologies such as CIDOC CRM
  2. tools and workflows for referencing and linking data
  3. tools and workflows for the integration of research and holding data
  4. tools for linking semantic and visual data and providing semantic data analysis

In this way, researchers can adapt ontologies and semantic data themselves, integrate them into their research and share them with others without any special prior knowledge of data modelling and analysis. The production and publication of research data follows common standards so that the data can be linked with that of other research projects, in particular with holding data from the GLAM sector. Researchers also gain further insights from their data with the help of computer-assisted analysis of visual artefacts and visualisation in the form of knowledge graphs.  

The project is generously funded by swissuniversities. Matching funds are being contributed by the University of Zurich, ETH Zurich, University of Basel and University of Bern.


Author: Muriel Heisch