Establishing a national research infrastructure for archaeology brings forth numerous inquiries. Here, you can find responses to the most frequently asked questions.
What is Swedigarch?
Swedigarch is a digital research infrastructure currently under development from 2022 to 2027. The primary objective is to enable data-driven analyses on archaeological information through greater interconnectivity between datasets, collections, records, and resources held by participating and associated organisations. The overarching goal is to facilitate greater usefulness of this information for data-driven analyses.
Swedigarch is not a standalone “database” or “web platform.” Instead, it serves as a digital infrastructure that connects various nodes within the digital landscape. By doing so, it allows for more efficient and expedient access to data that would otherwise remain isolated. The development process ensures that multiple entryways are created to cater to diverse user needs.
Archaeological data is inherently complex and heterogeneous, encompassing information about both historic and prehistoric sites and artefacts. Moreover, it includes documentation from excavations and surveys, as well as scientific analyses performed on natural and cultural materials. Presently, this data is scattered across different locations and organisations. However, by adhering to the FAIR data principles and utilising linked data, Swedigarch aims to reintegrate these fragmented parts into a cohesive whole. This integration enables a more comprehensive study of human and environmental history, thereby contributing to the promotion of a sustainable future.
Who can use Swedigarch? What does it cost?
Swedigarch welcomes anyone to utilise its resources, whether researchers, professionals from the public or private sector, or the general public. Access to the data is entirely free, with no restrictions, except for cases where certain data must be protected due to legal or ethical considerations.
It´s important to note that some data and media may have specific conditions for further dissemination or publication, such as citing the source or obtaining permission from the copyright holder. Always make sure to check the licenses and conditions associated with the data.
What data does Swedigarch have?
The data available through Swedigarch will expand throughout the development phase, as it forms part of our deliverables. Some data is already accessible though services that will be further developed to align with Swedigarch’s goals for FAIR and linked archaeological data.
The current data within Swedigarch includes:
- Results from scientific and laborative analyses on archaeological materials, such as paleo-botany, pollen, paleo-entomology, geoarchaeology, ceramic analysis, isotopes, and dendrochronology.
- Geodata acquired from archaeological excavations and surveys.
- 3D documentation of artefacts, sites and excavations.
- Information about artefacts and archival materials from various Swedish collections, presented as metadata, links and media.
- Information about ancient and historical sites and buildings, also available in the form of metadata, links and media.
How do I access Swedigarch’s data?
Facilitating data access is a key objective, and substantial effort will be devoted to its development over time. At present, Swedigarchs data resources are distributed across separate systems, with limited communication between them. Several search platforms are available for our various resources (e.g., SEAD, Dynamic Collections, Kringla, SHM sök i samlingarna, Fornsök, Arkivsök, Runor).
For proficient application programmers, data access from the collections and records aggregated by SOCH is possible through its open API. SOCH is being developed into a new version that will be able to aggregate data from all of Swedigarch resources, providing novel ways to access and analyse the data upon completion.
Can Swedigarch help me analyse the data?
Swedigarch will offer some web tools and services for analysing specific types of data, but it may not cover all research inquiries. Analysing extensive, complex, and heterogeneous data often necessitates specialised knowledge and skills in areas like programming, GIS (Geographic Information System), statistics, or data visualisation. In summary, Swedigarch provides data and free access methods, but not all services for data analysis.
If you plan to utilise Swedigarch data for research projects, feel free to get in touch to explore possible assistance. For inquiries, contact email@example.com.
What kind of data analysis can I make using Swedigarch?
At present, digital tools for analysis and visualisation are available primarily for data in the SEAD database or Dynamic Collections. We are actively working on solutions to enable various forms of analysis tailored to different data types. If you have ideas or suggestions for specific analysis methods you’d like to employ with archaeological data, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We aim to prioritise the needs of future research during Swedigarchs development, firstname.lastname@example.org. There is an open API for SOCH through which you can access and analyse metadata on over 10 million digital objects in Swedish museum and archive collections, and the Swedish Historic Environment Record. Further details can be found at SOCH.
Can Swedigarch help finance our digitalisation or project?
Unfortunately, no. Swedigarchs funding is solely designated for the development of the digital infrastructure. Additionally, the Swedish Research Council’s terms stipulate that its funding must be matched by equal co-funding from the consortium’s organisations. Consequently, Swedigarch cannot provide financial support for external digitalisation projects.
Can I deliver research data to Swedigarch?
If you possess data resulting from laborative or scientific analysis of materials, you may be able to make it accessible via the SEAD database. For more information, read more about SEAD.
Swedigarch itself is not a digital archive or repository, but rather a way of connecting such services through common vocabularies and linked data. However, other means of becoming part of Swedigarch are explained below.
Our organisation isn’t part of the Swedigarch project. How can we make sure our data is included?
Consider becoming a SOCH data partner. SOCH, maintained by the National Heritage Board, serves as a digital heritage service and it will act as the aggregator for Swedigarch data. Becoming a SOCH partner is free, but involves mapping data to the data model and establishing a public endpoint for data harvesting. For more details, visit SOCH.
Does Swedigarch have archaeological data from other parts of the world?
The primary task of Swedigarch is to ensure that archaeological data from Swedish sites become more accessible for research. However, information about artefacts, documents, and analyses on materials from other parts of the world will also be available through the infrastructure. Either because they belong to a SOCH data partner, or because analyses were performed by laboratories or researchers in Sweden who delivered their data to SEAD.
The availability of such data via Swedigarch ultimately depends on collaborations with the infrastructure’s associated resources.
Will Swedigarch deliver data to other infrastructures?
A key purpose for developing Swedigarch is to ensure the international accessibility and interoperability of Swedish archaeological data. Currently, Swedigarch already delivers data from SEAD to GBIF (Global Biodiversity Information Facility), and via SOCH to Europeana, the EU web portal for digitalised cultural heritage collections. Developing open API services and ensuring our data follows the FAIR principles, Swedigarch will become available to and compatible with many other infrastructures, from cultural heritage to the natural sciences.