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3th and 4th COST-WWIH Think-Tank-Meetings, 2012

Data preparation in view of transfer to Virtual Research Environment

Report of 2 COST-WWIH Think-Tank-Meetings
Huygens ING, The Hague; 9–13 July and 3–7 September 2012

Discussions during the Bucharest workshop (April 2012) and the Fourth Training School (The Hague, May 2012) had generated the idea that we should organise, during the summer of this third COST year, two meetings comparable to the “Interconnectivity” Think-Tank-Meetings we had in September 2011 and January 2012. Both have indeed taken place; here a short report including the Protocol we have been testing and discussing during these meetings.

While the “Interconnectivity” meetings had the objective of confronting researchers’ needs and developers’ solutions, in order to prepare the new research infrastructure announced in the Memorandum of Understanding (see reports), we now in fact anticipated the decisions concerning the new infrastructure having led to a successful proposal. Indeed a proposal will be submitted this week with CLARIN NL. If granted, the structure to be built will be beneficial to the whole Action, as comments and experiences of all Action members have been taken into account. The future VRE (Virtual Research Environment) will include a number of important innovations, at least these ones:
(a) the new data model;
(b) the interconnectivity with a number of related projects; and
(c) faceted search which will be implemented at the interface.

In view of the (c) “faceted search” feature, we have now been handling the preparation of the data. In view of their being transferred to the new VRE, they needed to be checked and cleaned up so that those parts of information which are presently included in text fields, can be presented in a uniform and systematic way – easily to be made usable for faceted search. This will allow much more subtle approaches of the material, and will make us progress importantly – if at least the presentation of the data corresponds to this new form.

This adaptation required discussions between researchers participating in the collaboration, so that the categories to be selected do indeed correspond to the research needs of the members and to the objective of the research we are preparing. This is why two relatively small groups of dedicated and already involved (young) researchers have discussed the way in which the data are presently entered in the WomenWriters database, and prepared the new ways in which we will adapt and standardize them, making them appropriate, uniform and usable in the next version of the database (VRE).

During the two Think-Tank-Meetings of this summer (July and September), work on the database records and discussion of steps to be taken have been directly linked together. The output was (globally as had been planned):

  • about 1000 “cleaned up” records for the literatures/receptions concerned – c. 600 first group: authors; c. 400 second group: receptions. (The “receptions” discussions were much more complicated, which justifies the smaller outcome.)
  • a list of categories, subcategories and topoi to be used for faceted search – to be used as a protocol (see Annex 1) for the further cleaning up and standardizing work to be carried out by trainees or paid assistants (at Huygens ING or elsewhere).

Decisions taken

  • We decided that participants in these Think-Tank meetings (and other Action members) would (according to possibilities of course) take responsibilities for the quality of (part of) the database content. In particular now the following members will be responsible for parts of the database:
    • Jasmine Westerlund: Finnish data
    • Pedro Urbano: Portuguese reception data
    • Jelena Bakic: Italian data
    • Begona Regueiro: Spanish reception data for G. Sand
    • Isabel Lousada : Portuguese writers’ data
    • Others hopefully to follow. Names will also be announced in the database page of the NEWW website.
  • We decided we would try, each of us, to use elements of the standardizing template for a brief research (test) of our own material. (The Protocol is included as an Annex in the longer version of this report, to be found in the Action site.) This might lead to a common presentation for the Poznan conference – showing what has been done during the July and the September meeting.


  • Tanja Badalic (SI)
  • Janouk de Groot (NL)
  • Sofija Nemet (SE)
  • Pedro Urbano (PO)
  • Isabel Lousada (PO)
  • Lucyna Marzec (PL)
  • Aspasia Vasilaki (GR)


  • Astrid Kulsdom (NL)
  • Jasmine Westerlund (FI)
  • Begona Regueiro (SP)
  • Pedro Urbano (PO)
  • Hilde Hoogenboom (RU)
  • Biljana Dojcinovic (SE)
  • Amelia Sanz (FR)
  • Jelena Bakic (IT)
  • Anne Birgitte Ronning (NO)
  • Janouk de Groot (FR)

SvD, October 2012

  • Conferences and activities > COST meetings > Think-Tank-Meetings summer 2012

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