3 Consultations on DH Initiatives

CSDH/SCHN seeks input from DH researchers to inform responses to 3 policy initiatives, of which you are probably already aware.  Please send any thoughts to sbrown@uoguelph.ca by Friday, Dec. 6. You are also of course invited to provide individual responses on any of these initiatives.

SSHRC Open Access policy document:


This is a policy that will have major implications for how we publish and how open access is handled in Canada.

  1. Fund a significant research programme into the range and sustainability of OA business models, focussing especially on those appropriate for disciplines outside STEM. Gold OA is seriously problematic for humanities disciplines.
  2. Require deposit, upon acceptance, in an institutional repository or open-access repository with full metadata.
  3. Recommend extending the policy to individually authored chapters immediately.
  4. That cv formats for grant applications and requirements for grant-end reports be modified to require researchers to report on the repository of deposit and/or the OA status of journal publications.
  5. We also need funding streams to support non-traditional forms of digital scholarly publication.
  6. We need to involve libraries as major stakeholders in the publication and curation of OA scholarship, particularly with respect to SSHRC subventions and CFHSS society structures.

Tri-Council+ Paper On Digital Scholarship (or Big Data, as it’s being called):


  1. The humanities at least need data, most of which we don’t have or aren’t allowed access to. We need a national digitization strategy, particularly with respect to heritage, and an integrating infrastructure that will provide access to the results of local digitization initiatives . repurposing, sharing and collaboration with respect to data is key. The big policy gap in this area, and particularly with respect to non-consumptive use of copyright or licensed datasets, must be addressed. We need libraries to champion researchers’ rights to use big licensed datasets in this way.
  2. The major gap in Canadian computing infrastructure is big storage/an academic cloud.
  3. Adopt a bottom-up approach that leverages knowledge, practices, policies emerging from local initiatives and consortia into national policy.
  4. Funding agencies need policies requiring data management plans and OA policies for research data.
  5. Data management plans should be required of all project proposals with a digital component, and the arrangements for archiving or ongoing management need to be part of final reporting of grant outputs. However, a definition of what constitutes data will be required, particularly in the humanities. Data policies need to require not only open access but standards compliance, in order to facilitate archiving and interoperability. Data management plans should require funding applications to address the question of the standards that the project will adopt, as well as its approach to metadata and documentation.
  6. Funding agencies also need more infrastructure/tools programs that support humanities tools and prototyping. The new SSHRC program architecture does not provide a clear funding stream for small/experimental tools and prototyping as opposed to larger infrastructure.
  7. Recognize that software and tools, as part of the ecosystem of digital scholarship, are frequently funded by public money, and that policies should address the desirability of open-sourcing and documenting such software (there is no mention of open source anywhere in the document) so that others can benefit from it, and research and infrastructure resources be optimized. This will be much more complicated (even) than devising OA policies given the CFI stress on public-private partnerships and commercialization, but it needs to be addressed.

Compute Canada Strategic Plan:


See the links to the Executive Summary and an overview of the Draft Strategic Plan.

Please consider attending a town hall meeting or an online session to articulate your needs for advanced research computing (note that this does not have to be specifically HPC). The current Compute Canada leadership is showing itself keen to reach out to humanities and social science researchers as it devises this plan for the next five years, including renewal of the existing CC infrastructure. Our community has not been extensively served by CC in the past and they need guidance as well as indications of interest.  If anyone is hosting or knows of an event between now and the end of January that will bring together a significant number of DH researchers, please let me know.

Thanks in advance for any input you are able to provide at this busy time of year.

Susan Brown
President (English)