Core Services

Core services are mature services owned by RESILIENCE to support the Religious Studie community alongside decentralised (in-kind) services and the implementation of existing resources from the wider European e-Infrastructure landscape. Decentralised services can be provided in-kind by consortium members or can be implementations based on the collaboration with other research infrastructures or e-Infrastructures.

During the remainder of the PPP (Preparatory Phase Project), RESILIENCE will continue to expand on the short-term service strategy based on the work being done in WP2 Services and WP3 Users to determine what is available for further implementation in the broader European landscape as well as what is needed by the community. Once the ERIC status has been reached, the community will be involved more directly in expanding the services strategy by integrating discussions on the topic in RESILIENCE initiatives. FAIR should be a guiding principle in the entirety of the RESILIENCE service catalogue, making sure that core and decentralised (in-kind) services and research products are:

  • findable by well described metadata,
  • accessible by well described service conditions and documentation,
  • interoperable by making sure the researcher can access and export data into a machine readable and preferably standard format so it can be published and shared with the community in a FAIR way,
  • reusable by providing clear licensing information on how data or software can be used by others.

For digital objects, including data and software, open-source licences should have preference, though GDPR and other legal restrictions such as 3rd party rights might sometimes require an “as open as possible, as restricted as necessary” approach. To ensure the interoperability of the service catalogue, the EOSC Interoperability Framework is an essential point of reference to enable interoperable.

Core Services Progress

Besides relying on in-kind services, RESILIENCE is also preparing and setting up some core services during the PPP based on existing initiatives in the European e-Infrastructure landscape, work done in previous projects and new initiatives.

Horizon-Zen: Data Repository Community for FAIR Data Publication

One service in the wider European research landscape whose potential for the Religious Studies community was recognized early on was Zenodo. Zenodo is a general-purpose open repository developed under the European OpenAIRE program and operated by CERN. It allows researchers to deposit research papers, data sets, research software, reports, and any other research related digital artefacts. For each submission, a persistent digital object identifier (DOI) is minted, which makes the stored items easily citable. A RESILIENCE community on Zenodo can play an important role in fostering open access and open data practices among the RS researchers by giving them an accessible platform for publishing their data and results that also helps researchers receive credit by making the research results citable. Promoting the use of Zenodo among Religious Studies researchers has many advantages. The FAIR principles are incorporated in the platform. It is not only intended for datasets but also publications, posters, presentations, etc. This can help bring in more users to the platform because those are still more common in the Religious Studies community than research datasets.

Transnational Access

The RESILIENCE Transnational Access (TNA) Fellowship Programme offers physical and virtual access to a number of European institutions and libraries. Its aim is to facilitate and foster easy access to sources, resources, expertise and services for researchers in RS. The TNA hosts grant access to their collections of manuscripts, rare books, documents and materials. Furthermore, RESILIENCE aims at matching all successful TNA applicants with relevant scholars who can provide tailored expertise. Transnational Access is the first service offered by RESILIENCE to the Religious Studies community because there is a consistent need for better access to sources, resources, expertise and services in the RS community and because the implementation could benefit from experiences and expertise gained during the TNA program in ReIReS, a Horizon 2020 program that ended in 2021.

Data Hub and Discovery Environments

To resolve the need for a data hub and discovery environment that gives access to a wide variety of digital objects, RESILIENCE has two good services (Ixtheo and RelReSearch) available among its partners. ReIReSearch was developed in the context of ReIReS to provide a platform where disparate digital resources and databases relevant to Religious Studies are searchable in a unified and standardised way. To address the growing need of scholars to discover large sets of data easily and efficiently, ReIReSearch was designed to explore data from different providers on a single platform. Because RESILIENCE shares this goal to provide fast and high-quality access to research data on religion and to ensure that this valuable service will not only remain accessible to the RS community but can also continue to expand, RESILIENCE adopted ReIReSearch in its service catalogue. This guarantees the hosting and maintenance of the platform while also offering possibilities for the implementation of more functionalities and the inclusion of new collections.

To further complement the discoverability of research materials for the RS community, RESILIENCE also has an agreement with University Library Tübingen who manage the Index Theologicus, an international bibliography of Theology and Religious Studies.21 While ReIReSearch mainly focuses on the discoverability of digital resources and datasets that are generally used as primary sources, IxTheo is primarily a database for research publications but they have also expanded to include original sets of research data. With University Library Tübingen as an Associate Partner, RESILIENCE can build a close working relationship with the providers of free and open access service to the worldwide scholarly community with financial support from the German Research Foundation (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft).

RDM Support

During the RESILIENCE Design Phase (2019-2021), the current research practices in Religious Studies were examined with the help of both surveys and interviews. Their results were presented and discussed in ‘D3.2 – Report on data management roadmap’.These research practices were also situated in the broader context of trends and evolutions in the FAIR data landscape. This comparison between the state of art in RS and best practices in the wider landscape concluded with a roadmap for RESILIENCE to improve data management practices in RS:

Both the survey results and interviews made it clear that, although researchers in Religious Studies are aware of the existence of certain data management solutions and tools, they do not very actively look into using them. RESILIENCE can help fill this gap by providing trainings and guidelines that direct scholars to community best practices and useful data management solutions. A helpdesk can provide
support to researchers who are interested in making their data FAIR compliant while technical solutions are still being planned or developed. This can also help increase community engagement. Considering the variety of research data, practices and topics in Religious Studies, a stronger European network can improve data management practices that are particular to smaller research communities within Religious Studies

Source: Deliverable D2.1, Services Preparation and Implementation Strategy, version 29.03.2024