BISHOPS Belgian Infrastructure for Social Sciences and Humanities Open Science

2019 > 2022

Promotor(s) : Rolande Depoortere (NAB) ; Johan Van der Eycken (NAB)

The BISHOPS project focuses on developing an interfederal support infrastructure for open research data in human and social sciences.

Due to financial limitations, it is important that researchers make optimal use of scarce resources by building as much as possible on previous achievements. In this way, duplication of effort can be avoided. In this context, it is important to focus on sharing research data. This development is in line with an open data policy that is becoming increasingly important, but also involves risks. Among other things, there is a need for a qualitative framework and a structure that offers protection to the researcher (e.g. intellectual property).

BISHOPS (Belgian Infrastructure for Social Sciences and Humanities Open Science) was launched with this goal in mind. This project complements the SODA project (Social Sciences Data Archive), which aims to set up a data archive according to the criteria defined by the Consortium of European Social Science Data Archives (CESSDA). The SODA-Data Archive makes it possible to store research data from the social sciences and make them available to the researcher again.

With BISHOPS, we will adapt this infrastructure to make it suitable for wider use, with an emphasis on the human sciences. In this way we want to avoid the loss of valuable and laboriously collected research data in the human sciences. Institutions which fund research such as the Research Foundation - Flanders (FWO), Fonds de la Recherche scientifique (F.R.S.-FNRS) and Belgian Science Policy Office (BELSPO) share this vision.

In order to achieve these objectives, the BISHOPS project will:

  • Analyse the needs and requirements for future users.
  • Analyse the metadata standards used by the various scientific disciplines.
  • Design an infrastructure adapted to the needs of the users.
  • Provide a training for users and communicate the best practices.
  • Set up a business model so that the sustainability of the infrastructure will be guaranteed.


Funding: BELSPO

Partners: Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium / Royal Institute for Cultural Heritage (KIK-IRPA) / Meise Botanic Garden.