The RESILIENCE panel held at the annual conference of the European Academy of Religion on the FAIR Data principles and how to benefit was a great experience, and it tastes for more. That is why we decided to offer an online version of the presentations in the form of a webinar, so that more scholars can profit from it.
Terms like FAIR Data (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable), Open Science Cloud, data management etc. may sound technical and therefore may not attract directly the attention of scholars, but the RESILIENCE team was able to convince the audience of the immense possibilities working with FAIR principles offers. Roxanne Wyns (LIBIS/KU Leuven) in her presentation: “The FAIR principles connect to Open Science, that aims to make scientific research freely available to other scholars and to society. It is an extra opportunity for high-quality research because it makes the whole research process more transparent.” She clarified that the process of research data management includes several steps: starting with the research proposal, and then through collecting, processing, and archiving data, to giving access and to reusing data. RESILIENCE is aiming to assist researchers throughout the whole process, so that they can consume and create FAIR data.
Federico Alpi (Fscire) looked at the topic from the perspective of a researcher and agreed with the words of Roxanne Wyns in the following way: “We do research because it continues, not just for one project, but because centuries from now people will be able to read what we did.” In his opinion, there is nothing to be afraid of as it comes to the acronyms and jargon. Knowing rules of proper data management is fundamental in his eyes, also concerning sustainability and being quoted. Sharing research in a fruitful way is becoming easier. “There are tools that already help us, it will save time. Let’s take advantage of them.”
In her presentation, Lieneke Timpers (KU Leuven) stated, that applying Digital Humanities to theology and Religious Studies is an emerging field. Actual developments in the field can be described as a “digital turn”, providing a different lens of looking at experiences. Now digital technologies is becoming the lens, opening many possibilities to researchers to do better research, to make their research better findable. Lieneke: “What we can do is to find a way to interact with all the data, this is how we can make the best of Religious Studies in the digital age.”
After the panel one of the participants said: “Why isn’t this place filled with 500 scholars who need to know this?” thereby making it clear that he understands the importance of the FAIR principles for researchers. Therefore, the RESILIENCE team decided to offer an online version of the presentations in the form of a webinar, so that more scholars can profit from it. The webinar is expected to be made available in mid-July 2023.