27 April 2020


For more than a year now, DARIAH has been leading the creation of the SSH Open Marketplace, a first-class research environment offering tools, services, training materials, research papers and other useful resources for digital researchers, particularly those working in the social sciences and humanities. If you missed the first development steps, this interview will be helpful. To ensure the SSH Open Marketplace matches the requirements of its users – i.e. you: researchers, students, librarians, data stewards, and IT professionals, we try to involve you wherever possible. In this post we describe our participatory design approach, share our timeline, and explain how you can participate in the development.

If you'd like to participate in one of the opportunities outlined below, please email us at 

Participatory Design

Our participatory design approach started last year when we interviewed researchers about their needs. This helped us to ground the system specifications into strong and accurate (prod-)user needs. Workshops were also organised to collect feedback on the first version of the SSH Open Marketplace. An example is the “Being FAIR” workshop in Göttingen last January. 

Our Timeline

Here are the next milestones to keep in mind if you’d like to contribute to the creation of the discovery portal:


  • In June 2020 we will release the Alpha version of the SSH Open Marketplace. Although this will be mainly an internal release for SSHOC project partners, we will share some previews and sample paths more broadly - starting with a virtual session at the ICTeSSH Conference on 30 June.  Join us! 
  • To gather comments and recommendations on subjects like interface design, development use cases, governance model, and curation workflow, we will run a webinar and organise a Twitter takeover in coordination with the SSHOC communication team. We envision several other virtual or real events towards the end of the year in association with the CLARIN Conference, the EOSC Symposium (October), and the DARIAH Annual Event (November).
  • The next important milestone will be the Beta release of the SSH Open Marketplace in December 2020. This will be the first public release. We will still be months away from the final version, but having a Beta release out in the open will be important to kickstart community involvement. In addition to exploring the portal’s content, users will be able to suggest additions, changes or content updates, thus helping to improve the quality of the data showcased in the Marketplace.
  • A new series of (virtual or in-person) events will be identified. We are especially looking for hands-on events focused on specific research communities interested in contributing to the portal.  Want to suggest an event we should attend? Please get in touch with us! 
  • We’ll also work on a communication toolkit to help anyone interested to spread the word.
  • In December 2021 the final SSH Open Marketplace will be released. This version will address user recommendations collected during the previous year. Several SSHOC partners have already agreed to maintain and sustain the portal after the end of the project. An editorial team and mechanisms to ensure community uptake will be implemented and continuity will be ensured via a shared governance model embedded in a light and clear curation workflow allowing any scholar to contribute if they so wish.


Your Contribution

When and how can you be involved in the creation of the SSH Open Marketplace?

  • As an Alpha or Beta tester: right now, if you follow the different upcoming events by subscribing to the SSHOC newsletter following the SSHOC Twitter account and by registering as a SSHOC user.
  • As a contributor: from December 2020 on you’ll be able to suggest new content in the portal and/or to enrich existing items.
  • As a member of the editorial team: between December 2020 and December 2021 an editorial team will be created. Its composition and mission still need to be refined, but we’ll probably have a mix of people suggested by the institutions engaged in the sustainability of the Marketplace and an open call for participation. The most active contributors could also become members of the editorial team.

All users involved in the SSH Open Marketplace as testers, contributors, or members of the editorial team will be acknowledged and cited for their contribution and, when possible, other rewarding models will be considered.

Stay tuned! The next post will explain in detail what sources have been identified to populate the SSH Open Marketplace, how they have been prioritised, and how we are working on their incorporation!


Authors: Stefan Buddenbohm, Laure Barbot, Frank Fischer 

Editors: Tracey Biller, Friedel Grant, Eliza Papaki