Our task areas

The work of the 4Memory consortium is organised into 6 "task areas" that – while working together in a coherent structure oriented on a series of overall goals – each address different aspects of our plans to improve research data management in the historically oriented humanities.

The task areas themselves define their own plans in "measures" that express the procedures, formats or structures through which they will work; in turn, these measures are built upon a series of  "tasks" designed to meet specific goals.

The document linked to here (pdf), offers an overview of the task areas, measures and tasks. It is intended to provide orientation to the community we represent -- the historically-oriented humanities -- about the specific plans and goals of the 4Memory consortium.

IMPORTANT: the overview document represents the current status of our consortium's plans and is subject to revision during the summer of 2020.

What follows is a list of our task areas, together with short descriptions of their aims and the respective task-area coordinators. Click on the respective task area to see a brief description of it and the names and email addresses of the respective task area coordination teams.


Task Area 1: Data Quality

The aim of TA1 is to create the basic conditions for data from the historically oriented humanities to be findable, accessible, interoperable and reusable (FAIR). Through a standardised and structured data quality, research data can be prepared and used for the possibilities of computer-based tools and analyses. It is necessary in this process to take account of the diversity of data types and formats, of varying levels of data quality, of discipline-specific workflows and of the source-critical methods that lie at the heart of historical research. TA 1 will work closely with the other task areas and with our community to develop and disseminate practical quality standards for historical research data.

Task-area coordination team:

Prof. Dr. Peter Haslinger (Herder Institut Marburg): haslinger@herder-institut.de

Prof. Dr. Helmuth Trischler (Deutsches Museum): h.trischler@deutsches-museum.de

Johannes Sauter (Deutsches Museum): j.sauter@deutsches-museum.de

Barbara Fichtl (Herder Institut Marburg): barbara.fichtl@herder-institut.de

Task Area 2: Data Connectivity

The basis for a digital knowledge space is the contextualisation of digital objects in order to connect all 4Memory-relavant data – from the analogue source to the digital presentation of results – and, through this approach, to foster transparency and traceability. Ensuring the connectivity of the 4Memory infrastructure will be accomplished by making research data linkable and interoperable. First, subject-specific normative data, taxonomies and controlled vocabularies will be used to connect research data with regard to its semantic content. Second, 4Memory’s data models and technical interfaces will be conceptualized with the aim of enabling connectivity within the 4Memory community, to other NFDI consortia, as well as with national and international archival and museum directory services, library catalogues and (subject) bibliographies.

Task-area coordination team:

Dr. Katrin Moeller (Historisches Datenzentrum Sachsen-Anhalt): katrin.moeller@geschichte.uni-halle.de

Dr. Silvia Daniel (Bayerische Staatsbibliothek): daniel@bsb-muenchen.de

Arnost Stanzel (Bayerische Staatsbibliothek): arnost.stanzel@bsb-muenchen.de

Task Area 3: Data Services

In both academic research and in memory institutions, the heterogeneous nature of historical research data and metadata (resulting from different datasets, tools, services, methodologies and procedures) and the necessity for both groups to find individual and project-based solutions to dealing with such data has led to the problem of "data silos", closed systems designed for single specific use-cases. TA 3 aims to address such shortcomings through measures tailored to the needs of the historically oriented humanities: 1) operating a set of key services in a reliable, sustainable manner; 2) making existing repositories, DH tools and data offerings interoperable; 3) providing services for reliable storage and long-term archiving of research data for the historically oriented disciplines; 4) ensuring the FAIRness of research data in 4memory.

Task-area coordination team:

Daniel Fähle, Landesarchiv Baden-Württemberg: daniel.faehle@la-bw.de

Dr. Andreas Neuburger, Landesarchiv Baden-Württemberg: andreas.neuburger@la-bw.de

Matthias Razum, FIZ Karlsruhe - Leibniz Institute for Information Infrastructure: Matthias.Razum@fiz-karlsruhe.de


Task Area 4: Data Literacy

Task Area 4 aims to enhance Data Literacy (DL) in historically oriented research and teaching by addressing the challenges and methodological implications of the digital turn for historical scholarship. TA 4 aims to develop a DL competence profile for historically oriented researchers and a sustainable and certified DL training catalogue comprising specific training courses and materials geared towards specific target groups. Data Literacy has a distinctive meaning for historically oriented disciplines: sound historical scholarship depends on a rigorous and careful application of the "critical historical method" as the basis for historical hermeneutics, historical knowledge production and the communication of knowledge about the past. Historians need to learn how to evaluate and to re-use historical research results produced with digital methodologies and based on digital source material.

Task-area coordination team:

Prof. Dr. Ursula Lehmkuhl (Universität Trier): lehmkuhl@uni-trier.de

Prof. Dr. Stefan Schmunk (Hochschule Darmstadt): stefan.schmunk@h-da.de

Marina Lemaire (Servicezentrum eSciences): marina.lemaire@uni-trier.de


Task Area 5: Data Culture

Dealing with the many demands brought by digitalisation amounts to a significant cultural change within the historically oriented disciplines. The task area "Data Culture" aims to promote the use and reuse of research data and the corresponding digital methods in the community and to advance the formation of a distinct data culture in historically oriented disciplines. Achieving this goal requires developing a common discourse about the demands, pathways and consequences of digitalisation for our disciplines, promoting the development and distribution of new competencies within the community, as well as the expansion of our instruments of information, opinion-formation and communication, which includes new procedures for reviewing research data and data-driven research. Securing and maintaining the quality of historical research data on the basis of established scholarly standards is a leading priority.

Task-area coordination team:

Prof. Dr. Eva Schlotheuber (Düsseldorf, VHD): eva.schlotheuber@uni-duesseldorf.de

Prof. Dr. Rüdiger Hohls (Humboldt Universität zu Berlin): hohlsr@geschichte.hu-berlin.de

Prof. Dr. Torsten Hiltmann (Humboldt Universität zu Berlin): torsten.hiltmann@hu-berlin.de

Task Area 6: Participation and Steering

Task area 6 has particular responsibilities with regard to the governance structure of 4Memory, its relationship to the NFDI as a whole and the coordination of 4Memory's overall activities. A steering committee within the task area organises key elements of the 4Memory governance structure (details of which will be made available soon) and takes important decisions regarding the consortium's strategic development. A series of offices within the task area handle 4Memory's external communications, maintain its relationships with other consortia, coordinate task-area activities (especially with regard to cross-cutting topics), evaluate the progress of the consortium's measures and tasks, conduct day-to-day operations, manage financial disbursements and supervise 4Memory-wide technical developments.

Task-area coordination team:

Prof. Dr. Johannes Paulmann (Leibniz-Institut für Europäische Geschichte, Mainz: 4memory@ieg-mainz.de)

PD Dr. John Carter Wood (Leibniz-Institut für Europäische Geschichte, Mainz: 4memory@ieg-mainz.de)

Thorsten Wübbena (Leibniz-Institut für Europäische Geschichte, Mainz: wuebbena@ieg-mainz.de)

Fabian Cremer (Leibniz-Institut für Europäische Geschichte, Mainz: cremer@ieg-mainz.de)