The Digital Repository Service of the National Documentation Centre in Greece: a model for Digital Humanities data management and representation
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Digital Humanities lie at the crossroads between technology and humanistic research. Contemporary technological advances significantly open up new avenues for humanities study and new ways to utilize the output of humanities endeavors for the communities that benefit from it, be it communities of practice, the education system, citizen scientists and society overall. The following article describes the development cycle of a new cloud service the Greek National Documentation Centre (EKT) offers to the domestic cultural and science organisations. The National Documentation Centre (EKT) is one of the most important digital content stakeholders in Greece, facilitating Humanities research through robust e-infrastructures and widening access to digital collections. The article describes the Digital Repository Service development from planning to delivery, describes the various components of the service and addresses the issues of engaging with the community of users to address their documentation needs and preferences. As part of designing the service and workflows, a survey was conducted in the GLAM sector organisations in Greece, in order to assess user needs and understanding of new and emerging technologies, as well as discern possible volume of digital content. Extensive literature and similar trends review took place and it was funneled into designing the documentation strategy used for the Repositories. The accompanying suit of services was developed (eLearning, eKnowledgeBase) and the project rolled out initially with some pilots, then managed to create 28 repositories with rich, varied content. The Repository Service was developed through national and EU funding during 2012-2015 and aims to support knowledge producers (in the fields of culture, education, science and research) to organize, document and disseminate their content on an open access basis. Overarching goal of the project was to aggregate quality science and cultural content and disseminate through search portals and aggregators such as Europeana.