Academy of Finland has granted Fin-Clariah and Dariah-FI infrastructure funding that secures the development of this social science and humanities infrastructure for the next two years. This is an important step to strengthen digital humanities and social science research towards the future and sees also the establishment of a new infrastructural element, Dariah-FI, in Finland.

Today is a notable day in Finnish infrastructure development in social sciences and the humanities (SSH). Academy of Finland has announced that it has funded our Fin-Clariah application (see the roadmap). Getting this funding for the next two years at this point is important because after the example of Netherlands and Poland, we join our Clarin and Dariah efforts together in Finland. I want to underline a new element in this infrastructure. Fin-Clarin has existed in Finland for some time, but Dariah-FI funding is new, it aims to build new elements for SSH research and it takes us closer to joining Dariah-EU. At the same time, it needs to be underlined that we are consciously bringing research in the humanities and social sciences closer together.

As the current chair of the Digital Humanities in the Nordic and Baltic Countries -organisation, I see it important to think about this development in Finland also in the Northern European context. We, the researchers in the smaller (and why not larger) European countries, need to think about SSH infrastructure development as a process towards reproducible and scalable workflows, starting with the important little things, like how long it takes to form a national network for this kind of undertaking. Hence, I wanted to share this timeline of what I see as crucial steps for Finland to get to the point where we are now with respect to Dariah-FI.

Timeline for Dariah-FI

  • June 2015: Liber conference London, “Towards Open Science”: sat next to Mike Mertens (who had started as a director of Dariah-EU) at the conference dinner. Agreed to investigate possibilities to work together with Dariah-EU.
  • Autumn 2015: Faculty of Arts investments at UH on digital humanities scaled up (deans Arto Mustajoki and Hanna Snellman), collaboration with Eetu Mäkelä with respect to infrastructure development started
  • April 2016: Mike Mertens visited University of Helsinki to discuss possibilities of collaboration with Dariah-EU
  • May 2016: Heldig (Helsinki Centre for Digital Humanities) founded; Eero Hyvönen director, Jouni Tuominen coordinating researcher
  • 2016– Joining Dariah-EU Working Groups
  • 2016–2017: Dariah-FI survey of use of digital methods among early career humanities researchers in Finland (after Dariah-EU surveys) by Inés Matres, leading to a publication “State of Digital Humanities in Finland
  • October 2016: keynote presentation at Dariah-EU conference in Ghent, collaboration with Sally Chambers started
  • 2017–2019: joined DESIR Humanities at Scale: Evolving the DARIAH-ERIC, Horizon2020 project led by Dariah-EU (our part: development of Dariah in Finland) with Maija Paavolainen and Tuuli Tahko
  • 2017– Collaborative Partner agreement between University of Helsinki Dariah-EU (renewed in 2021); also Aalto made the same agreement
  • October 2017: Dariah-FI workshop for serious building of national consortium, Jennifer Edmond from Dariah-EU joined us as keynote speaker
  • 2017– Dariah Nordic Hub development
  • 2018– Building a consortium for Dariah-FI application covering the Finnish Universities, CSC, National Library of Finland and National Archives
  • 2019: Academy of Finland Infrastructure application (made it to the final round, but not funded)
  • 2020: Planning a roadmap together with large national partner pool and Fin-Clarin as Fin-Clariah (supported by dean Pirjo Hiidenmaa; accepted to the Academy of Finland Infrastructure Roadmap)
  • 2020: HSSH institute at University of Helsinki founded, Risto Kunelius director
  • 2021: Writing an application together with all the partners as Fin-Clariah for FIRI, director Krister Lindén (successful)
  • 2022– Putting the roadmap to practice and continue the process for joining Dariah-EU

We are really excited to be building OUR infrastructure together with people in Dariah-FI and Fin-Clarin as Fin-Clariah.

Mikko Tolonen