About the CDS
“Digital Scholarship” comprises the many different ways in which researchers can make use of digital technologies for the purpose of academic research.
While digital data are becoming available in ever growing quantities, the methods, techniques and instruments that can be used to analyse and visualise these data simultaneously become more and more sophisticated. These developments can have profound implications for the ways in which research is conducted. The new scientific and scholarly approaches that are emerging increasingly rely on the availability of big data and on interdisciplinary collaboration. Studies at the forefront of these changes often require new methods, new techniques or new instruments. Importantly, these developments have implications not only for the research itself, but also for the ways in which results (such as publications, data and software) can be disseminated and curated, both during and after research projects.
The central objective of the CDS is to support and to facilitate digital scholarship within Leiden University, in close collaboration with other centres of expertise, with research institutes and with national and international research support organisations. The CDS keeps a close watch on the latest technological innovations, and builds a physical environment in which researchers can freely explore new methods and techniques, and in which they can collaborate with other researchers, potentially from other disciplines. During such experiments, researchers can make use of state-of-the-art collaborative environments, they can disseminate their own results in innovative ways and they productively reuse existing data and software. The CDS informs scholars about the possibilities and the limitations of the use of data, and it can give advice on a wide range of topics, including copyright, user licences, and legislation. During all phases of the research process, the CDS proactively provides support, in a way that is fitting to the needs of individual research projects.
Storage and access to data and associated metadata: Repository infrastructure
The CDS manages a repository infrastructure in which objects and metadata can be preserved for the long-term. Specific groups of objects can be made available as a separate collection, and the access to these objects can be either fully open, or more restricted. The objects and metadata can be requested by other parties through standardised exchange protocols, APIs and persistent identifiers. In addition, the repository infrastructure enables an effective reuse of the objects and of the associated metadata.