Huma-Num is the French national research infrastructure for research data in the Humanities and Social Sciences.
Huma-Num is built on an organization that combines a technical infrastructure with the needs of research communities. This combination makes it possible to provide services for research data by drawing on external skills, at national and European levels, in order to guide their evolution as closely as possible to needs in the context of open science.
Huma-Num is part of the French national strategy on research infrastructures roadmap, and as such has been awarded the IR* label. IR* Huma-Num is a joint venture involving the CNRS, Campus Condorcet and Aix-Marseille University, and is also involved in the COMMONS EquipEx. With its NAKALA data repository, it is one of the reference centers in the national Research Data Gouv ecosystem for open science. Taking an active part in the ongoing construction of the European Open Science Cloud, IR* Huma-Num is also France's national coordinating institution for DARIAH ERIC (European Research Infrastructure Consortium).
IR* Huma-Num’s missions
The main mission is to offer services for digital data at all stages of the research data life cycle: from collection to preservation, drawing on a network of partners and national and international scientific communities.
Research projects and communities of practice in the Social Sciences and Humanities (SSH) based in France.
A technical infrastructure designed for SSH research data
The IR* Huma-Num IT infrastructure is housed at the IN2P3-CNRS computing center in Villeurbanne.
This facility offers services and tools adapted to research data throughout its lifecycle:
- secure storage and tools for data processing ;
- a platform for publishing research data: NAKALA ;
- an international search engine and assistant for SHS data and publications: ISIDORE ;
- a long-term data preservation service implemented with CINES.
Methods and Tools to support and enable research projects
One of today’s main challenges is to help research projects improve the quality of the data and metadata they produce. The IR* Huma-Num has set up a support process combined with a training program to guide the choice of formats, data repositories and organization with an overall goal to help research communities publish datasets in compliance with FAIR principles. The IR* Huma-Num has been awarded the "Thematic Reference Center" label for the Social Sciences and Humanities, as part of the national "Recherche Data Gouv" initiative.
A network of national and international partners
All these support schemes for the implementation of open science can only be developed with the close involvement of user communities.
At national level:
Accredited and supported by the IR* Huma-Num, the Consortiums-HN are true networks of expertise and they play an essential role in the construction of the infrastructure, drawing on their skills to guide the evolution of the infrastructure as closely as possible to the needs of the communities.
Cooperation with national communities also relies on the network of Huma-Num correspondents in the Maisons des Sciences de l'Homme. This network provides a natural link with the research projects supported by these regional infrastructures.
IR* Huma-Num is also a partner of the BnF DataLab, a service for researchers wishing to work on BnF's digital collections.
At the international level:
IR* Huma-Num coordinates France's participation in the European research infrastructure DARIAH. The aim is to promote national services at European level, notably via the SSH Open Market Place, and to act as a link between national and European communities in order to build up networks of expertise and facilitate participation in European projects (eg. SSHOC, EOSC-PILLAR, TRIPLE).
IR* Huma-Num supports the construction of the OPERAS infrastructure.
These activities are all part of the French contribution to the construction of the Social Sciences and Humanities part of EOSC.
IR* Huma-Num is developing partnerships with Canada as part of the CO-SHS initiative.
Ongoing reflection on new services to be developed
Given the rapid and far-reaching changes in research practices over the last few years, it is essential to have a forward-looking view of the evolutions currently underway, so as to be able to anticipate future uses. With this in mind, IR* Huma-Num has created the Huma-Num Lab, a hub for researchers, research and development activities, innovation and valorization.