The task of the DaSCH is to promote and support the generation, use and long-term availability of research data in the humanities in Switzerland. The focus is on making research data in the humanities available online over the long term in the most direct and easy-to-use way possible and supporting researchers in using them for further research projects ("re-use of research data"). The DaSCH operates the necessary infrastructures (a so called "keep-alive" archive) and supports researchers in using this infrastructure. In order to reach this goal, the DaSCH offers the following services:

Long term hosting of research data

The infrastructure of the DaSCH is designed to host and keep accessible complex qualitative research data (e.g. any kind of databases and associated digital objects such as digital texts, images, movies, audio). The data has to be migrated to the infrastructure (both hardware and software) maintained by the DaSCH. All data will be held with a minimal redundancy of 6 identical copies at two geographically different locations in Switzerland (based on switchEngines) for an undefinite amount of time. Access to the data is provided by an API based on widely adopted standards (e.g. RESTful based on JSON-LD, IIIF, RDF, TEI/XML etc.) and through a generic web interface.

Data import

Basically, there are two ways to use the DaSCH infrastructure for research projects that have to preserve their digital data: either the digital research data is transferred after the end of the project ("post mortem"), or generated and stored directly with the help of the DaSCH infrastructure during the course of a research project ("in vivo" or "ab ovo"). In either case, the DaSCH offers various services:

  • "post mortem"
    The DaSCH will perform an analysis of the data structure and of the data itself, migrate the data model to the DaSCH infrastructure and then transfer the the data by developing appropriate migration scripts [1]. The data can then be accessed using the generic virtual research system "SALSAH" (see for the current version. This version will soon be replaced by a new version offering many more features and being ready also for mobile devices).
  • "in vivo", "ab ovo"
    The digital data is created and maintained directly in the DaSCH infrastructure from the beginning of the project ("ab ovo") or during the course of the project ("in vivo"). In either case the DaSCH provides the following services:
    • data modelling: The DaSCH provides in close collaboration with the reseachers the data modelling of the projects data for the DaSCH infarstructure.
    • data transfer ("in vivo" only): The DaSCH is able to develop appropriate scripts or programs to migrate already existing data into the DaSCH infrastructure.
      virtual research environments: The DaSCH develops, again in close collaboration with the researchers, special research environments adapted to the specific needs of a given project. The DaSCH will use a modular aproach with reusable software components (based on Angular modules) in order to provide on one hand an efficient development process and, on the other hand, guarantee the longevity of the application.

Reuse of existing research data

Digital research data managed by DaSCH is usually accessible to everybody[2] and can be accessed by a citation using a persistent identifier, through a generic browser interface or using a RESTful interface. The DaSCH is able to support researchers to access the data hosted by the DaSCH. It can provide documentation, training or support the development of applications that integrate or linked to data hosted by the DaSCH. Please note that the data is usually provided according to the CC-BY 4.0 license, but restrictions due to copyright issues or personal rights may apply in some cases.
Goto list of existing projects

Special frontend development

Often, a specialized user interface is necessary to facilitate browsing, search and re-use of complex information. In these cases the DaSCH is able provide the development of such project specific portals/applications. These portals/applications will also be maintained on a long-term basis.

Data Management Plans (DMP)

Researchers that decide to use the services of the DaSCH from the grant writing phase on will be supported in creating the Data Management Plans required by some funding orgranizations (e.g. SNSF).

Consulting & training

The DaSCH provides consulting and training for dealing with research data in the Humanities to individual researchers, research groups and members of research projects that are located in Switzerland, are related to Switzerland or are funded by Swiss sources.

Cost of the services

post mortem

In the case of a "post mortem" project where

  • the project team has dissolved and no financial means are available anymore, and
  • the project data is considered to be have a high potential for future re-use,

the cost will be covered by the mandate from the SERI and SAHSS.

in vivo, ab ovo

Service Cost
Initial consulting of customers in connection with data acquisition and data retention with DaSCH free
Rough analysis of data and requirements of applicants free
In-depth technical and content-related data and database analysis CHF 125/h
Specific advice and consulting by digital humanities specialists CHF 125/h
Data cleansing and setting up import scripts, quality assurance and testing CHF 125/h
Data Modeling and Design CHF 150/h
Data hosting during the course of a project CHF 1000 / TB & year

Due to the mandate by the SERI and SAGW, the first 2 days (16 working hours) of work can generally be waived for research projects.

  1. If the data is inconsistent or contains errors, the DaSCH has only very limited capacities to correct these errors and does so only if either the data is of very high value or the required effort is small. ↩︎

  2. Due to copyright restrictions, personal rights or to retention periods some data may not be publicly available. In such cases, please contact the DaSCH team or meet us at the Bernoullianum in Basel. ↩︎