F. Buelens, A. Riva and I met on March 26th in Antwerp at the impressing office of Frans (maybe 100 square meters overwhelmed with the collections of any kind of financial information on Belgium for that last two centuries). Frans showed us the database he has been working on in the last ten years, and we discussed the organization of the project.
In terms of database building, the following points (and likely some others) must be clarified:
– How can one convince participants to share the data they have built (and will build) ?
- Part of the answer is that they will be able to improve these data by including foreign details. But this may not be immediate…
- Another answer is that this would be a condition for accessing the European database.
- Another is to guarantee due reference to their work
- More suggestions welcome.
– How can one have enough coordination of data accumulation in order to make comparisons and European-level research possible ?
– How can participants be sure they will be able to access the data ? (both technically – at distance – and legally – without undue restrictions).
– How can participants be sure the University of Antwerp will provide the maintenance and security needed for the long term viability of the project ?
These questions should be given answers at the Paris meeting I plan to organize in September.
They can be debated on this blog up to that date.