Cultural Heritage Data Reuse Charter: the Mission Statement

Several European organisations (APEF, CLARIN, DARIAH, Europeana, E-RIHS) and European projects (Iperion-CH, PARTHENOS) involved in the cultural heritage domain are working together to set up principles and mechanisms for improving the use and re-use of cultural heritage data issued by cultural heritage institutions and studied and enriched by researchers. The first step in this endeavour is the definition of generic principles that CHIs and researchers could both adhere to.

What follows is the first public version of the principles that have served as a basis fro a general survey on their acceptability and are planned to provide a background for further elaboration and implementations.

Reciprocity

Principle

Both Cultural Heritage Institutions and Researchers agree to share content and knowledge equally with each other, making use of data centres and research infrastructures.

Commitment

A Cultural Heritage Institution grants Researchers and/or Research teams full access to both their digital and non-digital assets, for use in accordance with the rights statement attributed to them. Researchers and the institutions hosting their research data agree to offer to the originating CHI any output or enrichment of the source material.

Interoperability

Principle

Cultural Heritage Data will be made accessible in a form that facilitates reuse of the data for research. Formats should work and be interoperable for both scholars and CHIs.

Commitment

When sharing their data, digital collections or data descriptors, Cultural Heritage Institutions will do so in accordance with international standards, frameworks and interoperability protocols. Researchers and Research Institutions will share any resulting research using compatible Cultural Heritage Institution international standards, frameworks and interoperability protocols.

Citability

Principle

Cultural Heritage data and any resulting research need to be fully citable to increase their visibility and impact. Relevant data citation standards should be applied.

Commitment

Cultural Heritage Institutions and Researchers, when presenting data, will adopt data citation practices that are human and machine readable and support scholars in directly referencing any evidence on which their research claims may rely.

Openness

Principle

Cultural Heritage data should be shared under an open license whenever possible, taking into account existing copyright and any restrictions due to national legislation and privacy issues.

Commitment

Whenever possible, Cultural Heritage Institutions will share their data under open licenses to facilitate its use, adhering to the Public Domain Charter and Copyright. They will make use of world standards such as Creative Commons or Rightsstatements.org. Where an open license is not feasible the CHI will endeavour to use a license that allows full access for research. A researcher or research infrastructure making use of Cultural Heritage Data will make all interpreted results, visualisations and related research outputs available under equivalent open licenses.

Stewardship

Principle

Long-time preservation, persistence, accessibility and legibility of cultural heritage data should be a priority.

Commitment

Cultural Heritage Institutions, Researchers and Research Institutions will take the necessary steps and precautions to guarantee long-term stewardship of the original item or record and the resulting research. Whether primary digital surrogates or further representations, forms or enrichments, the various parties involved in the creation and curation of cultural heritage data, will ensure a proper hosting and preservation of all contents.

Trustworthiness

Principle

The provenance of Cultural Heritage data and any consequent research should be clear, up to date, openly available and therefore trustworthy.

Commitment

Cultural Heritage Institutions, Researchers and Research infrastructures will put best effort into documenting the provenance of the data that they share, including records of any relevant materials, equipment, techniques, procedures and protocols used. They will attribute any resources used and flag any issues of authenticity or missing data and will also alert to any defamatory use of Cultural Heritage data.


Author: Laurent Romary

Directeur de Recherche at Inria ISO TC 37, chair data models for digital humanities, standards, TEI, XML, open access

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