Published December 10, 2019 | Version v1.0
Project deliverable Open

SSHOC D3.1 Report on SSHOC (meta)data interoperability problems


The SSHOC project aims to build a Social Sciences and Humanities Open Cloud (SSHOC) as part of the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC) by implementing a cloud-based infrastructure. The goal is to provide a recognisable and accessible environment for data, tools, services and trainings, and to maximise data reuse through Open Science and FAIR principles.

In line with these goals, this report provides an inventory of data formats and metadata standards that are currently used and relevant for the research infrastructures currently managed by the SSHOC main stakeholders, recommendations of specific formats and standards for increasing interoperability, and prioritisations for providing conversion services and planning solutions.

In the context of this deliverable, selected experts from the SSHOC stakeholder's infrastructures were interviewed about research data and metadata use in their respective infrastructures. Special attention was paid to interoperability aspects.

The interviews and the desk research indicated both the diversity of the SSHOC communities and the diversity of metadata standards used and needed. Therefore, this deliverable recommends a variety of metadata standards and data formats. The recommended metadata standards include domain specific metadata standards for each domain but also Dublin Core and relaxed DataCite for all domains.

The diversity of SSHOC communities is also shown in their data: there is a large selection of different media types and an enormous selection of data formats. The recommended data formats include a small selection of data formats for some general media types e.g. images, text annotations. The format for controlled vocabularies was also examined and SKOS was selected as the recommended format. It is worth noting that hardly any recommendation can fulfill all the use cases, so other metadata standards, data formats and formats for controlled vocabularies may still be used when necessary.

The priorities for providing conversion services and planning solutions were decided based on the interviews and on the needs from other SSHOC tasks. The challenges and solutions are analysed for each SSHOC community and both the priority and the needed actions are specified. We expect the prioritisation to change in the course of the project with the appearance of new requirements.

Beyond WP3, this document is relevant to WP4, WP5, WP7 and WP9. Ongoing discussion between the work packages and tasks is needed.

The authors of this report wish to thank the interviewed informants for their time and valuable contribution.


Final version approved by the European Commission on 18 November 2019


D3.1 Report on SSHOC (meta)data interoperability problems (approved 18Nov2019).pdf

Additional details


SSHOC – Social Sciences & Humanities Open Cloud 823782
European Commission