A challenge for historical research: making data FAIR using a collaborative ontology management environment (OntoME)

Tracking #: 2523-3737

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Francesco Beretta

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Special Issue Cultural Heritage 2019

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Full Paper
This paper addresses the issue of interoperability of data generated by historical research and heritage institutions in order to make them re-usable for new research agendas according to the FAIR principles. It outlines a methodological approach allowing to integrate data stemming from different lines of inquiry and belonging to different epistemological levels. After introducing the symogih.org project’s ontology, it proposes a description of the essential aspects of the process of historical knowledge production. It then develops an epistemological and semantic analysis of conceptual data modelling applied to factual historical information, based on the foundational ontologies Constructive Descriptions and Situations and DOLCE, and discusses the reasons for adopting the CIDOC CRM as a core ontology for the field of historical research, but extending it with some relevant, missing high-level classes. Finally, it shows how collaborative data modelling carried out in the ontology management environment OntoME makes it possible to elaborate a communal fine-grained and adaptive ontology of the domain, provided an active research community engages in this process. With this in mind, the Data for history consortium was founded in 2017 and promotes the adoption of a shared conceptualization in the field of historical research.
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