Edeltraud ASPÖCK1 / Guntram GESER2
(1Austrian Academy of Sciences, Institute for Oriental and European Archaeology, Vienna, Austria/ 2Salzburg Research, Salzburg, Austria)

Keywords: research infrastructure, datasets, culture of data sharing

This paper provides background information to the session and addresses the following questions: What is an archaeological research infrastructure? Why do we set up ARIADNE (Advanced Research Infrastructure for Archaeological Dataset Networking in Europe), and what will the archaeological research community gain from it? What are the challenges of the project and how are we going about to solve them?
Research infrastructures are facilities, resources and related services used by the scientific community to conduct research. In archaeology, digital research infrastructures exist in several European countries providing access to data from diverse areas including for example archaeological sites, images and scientific measurements.
Within the EU FP7 project ARIADNE (www.ariadne-infrastructure.eu) a virtual data infrastructure will be set up integrating archaeological datasets distributed across European institutions. Existing datasets will be made accessible for use (re-)use trans-nationally via new web-based services through a common interface.
The aim of ARIADNE is to develop useful research services and to facilitate collaboration among archaeological research groups in Europe and beyond. Best practice in ICT-enhanced methodologies in archaeology will be identified and shared. ARIADNE will also be connected to related European initiatives, e.g. the Digital Research Infrastructure for the Arts and Humanities (DARIAH).
Making datasets accessible, e.g. search across institutions and research domains, poses technical and conceptual challenge. Data are held in many different forms and in a number of languages. Therefore technical problems have to be solved to allow communication at machine level, and semantic interoperability has to be achieved based on unambiguous definition of archaeological concepts.
Moreover, commitment to a culture of data sharing is necessary, including to make data available, but also to be able to rely on data provided by others.