HERMES - Humanities Education in Research, Data, and Methods

Project graphic: HERMES - Humanities Education in Research, Data and Methods Shirley Sidharta, CC BY SA 4.0

As part of the joint project HERMES - Humanities Education in Research, Data and Methods, Mainz University of Applied Sciences is actively involved in setting up a data competence centre designed specifically for researchers from the humanities and cultural sciences as well as employees from the GLAM field.


The availability and importance of data and data science methods is constantly increasing in humanities and cultural studies research as well as in cultural and memory institutions. This results in an enormous need for training, further education, practice-oriented counselling and interdisciplinary networking. HERMES is responding to these needs and will address them in nine specific formats. The formats are open to all interested researchers from the dissertation phase onwards, regardless of their level of expertise in the field of data literacy and their career stage.

In HERMES, nine academic institutions from Hesse and Rhineland-Palatinate are jointly establishing places for learning, research and networking where data skills are not only taught, but also critically reflected upon and further developed.


Together with Philipps University Marburg, Mainz University of Applied Sciences is responsible for implementing the two practice-oriented formats Data Carpentries and Data Challenges. Data Carpentries is an established training format in the field of data science under the umbrella of the non-profit organisation The Carpentries. Basic skills in storing, analyzing, recording, and enriching digital (research) data are taught. As part of HERMES, the existing Data Carpentries courses will be evaluated and re-utilised and new ones developed with the aim of creating a curriculum specifically for the needs of researchers from the humanities and cultural sciences. In addition, the content is taught in a practice-orientated way in one-day workshops and summer/winter schools.

The format of the Data Challenges, on the other hand, aims to promote the processing of questions in the humanities and cultural studies on the basis of large data sets using algorithmic analysis methods, particularly in the field of machine learning, and thus to advance methodological developments. In the form of a competition, interdisciplinary teams compete to work on the solution to a specified problem over a set period. This format is primarily aimed at a target group that already has experience in working with data science methods and would like to apply them innovatively in practice. A total of three Data Challenges will be publicly advertised during the HERMES project period.

The HERMES joint project and its project partners are also in close contact and dialogue with the National Research Data Infrastructure (NFDI e.V.) and in particular the humanities and cultural studies consortia in order to create synergies and strengthen networking within the digital humanities and cultural studies.