As of January 18th 2022, the team of the SSH Open Marketplace is proud to release its service into the (academic) wild! The SSH Open Marketplace is a discovery platform for resources relevant to academics, scholars, and students of the social sciences and humanities. The range of covered resources spans from tools and services, training materials, datasets, publications and workflows.
The content of the Marketplace relies on contextualisation and community curation
Two basic premises are important for the SSH Open Marketplace: (1) The contextualisation of its content. By this we mean a convenient discovery se rendipity for the user who looks up one specific search term and – ideally – lands in a comprehensive larger picture, consisting not only of (for example) a tool, but also a related tutorial, use cases or even contact information of the resource providers. (2) The SSH Open Marketplace encourages the community to contribute to its database. This appeal is not only directed at the providers or creators of individual resources but also at the user base. Every visitor of the Marketplace should feel encouraged to enrich its content, which may be an enhanced resource description, the correction of flawed metadata, or just linking the resource to another one. The providers and creators of individual resources are invited to use the Marketplace as a valuable extension of their visibility within potential user communities on a European scale.
After several population phases over the course of the SSHOC project and interoperability assured as reported here (https://zenodo.org/record/5871651#.YearRP7MJC0) , the SSH Open Marketplace has now reached ~5.000 records and is – with its final release – ready for the phase of community supported curation. The mass ingestions of dedicated sources – for instance the Programming Historian, the CLARIN Language Resource Switchboard, or the DARIAH resources (which are already on board) – will continue, but the impact of the community curation will be the main driving force for extending and enriching the database.
What is community curation?
Community curation might be as simple as a suggested correction or a comment to an individual item, but could also take more advanced shapes. New workflows, based on real research use cases and explaining step by step how to perform a task within the research data lifecycle are for example more than welcome in the SSH Open Marketplace. Offering a wide selection of useful material is key to attracting an open and active community. We believe our curated, context-driven approach will help researchers gain new ideas, useful documents, exciting tools to try out, and recommendations by peers from different research communities, institutions, and countries. We envision a lively community boosting the SSH Open Marketplace not only for the benefit of the SSH domain but also as an integral part of the larger European Open Science Cloud where it will align with many other disciplines. Any curation means are very easily possible using the “My account” dashboard of the Marketplace. It allows for a convenient user authentication using the EOSC Authentication and Authorization Infrastructure (AAI) with already existing user accounts such as Google, DARIAH, ORCIDid, EGI, OpenAIRE, or the account of your home institution.
A few words on the ownership of content in the SSH Open Marketplace
If you browse the Marketplace, you will recognise that the provenance of many records is related to certain third party sources. Let’s take the CLARIN Switchboard tool inventory as an example. These sources are usually maintained by owners or a dedicated community which we see as natural partners of the Marketplace.
For instance, CLARIN achieves a wider visibility for its services and resources through exposure in the Marketplace. This can be enhanced even more by relating the content of the tool inventory (to stay within our example) to other content, which either may not be owned by CLARIN or may not entirely match the collection scope of the Switchboard but could be useful for researchers from other research or data domains. To ensure a good relation with the “content owners”, we address them as stakeholders of the Marketplace and want to encourage them to contribute to the quality of “their content” in the Marketplace. This applies to stakeholder groups like CLARIN or DARIAH but also to individual researchers. Curation, be it a once-only occasion or a more frequent involvement as a moderator, is open for everyone.
Future plans & sustainability
The SSH Open Marketplace was developed within the SSHOC project, the Social Sciences and Humanities Open Cloud project. SSHOC is an activity within the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC) and connects, for instance, with the EOSC Catalogue & Marketplace and other services. Although the project funded development phase of the SSH Open Marketplace ends in April 2022, the service will be maintained and extended further on. The three European Research Infrastructures (ERICs) CESSDA, CLARIN, and DARIAH have taken responsibility for the SSH Open Marketplace and will work on extending the user base and the content of the service.
Have we sparked your interest in the SSH Open Marketplace? Please keep an eye on upcoming curation activities of SSHOC and make sure you get involved!
Visit the SSH Open Marketplace at: https://marketplace.sshopencloud.eu/
Author, Stefan Buddenbohm. Editors: Laure Barbot, Eliza Papaki, Melina Jander, Stephanie Parker