Code of Practice

Metagrid is a project that creates an online-network of resources for research in the humanities. It is coordinated by the Diplomatic Documents of Switzerland (DDS) for the Swiss Academy of Humanities and Social Sciences (SAHS), with support from the Historical Lexicon of Switzerland (HLS). The project is part of the SAHS’s long-term initiative to create a digital infrastructure for the humanities.

The Metagrid web-service allows for links to be created, maintained, and analysed that connect the same persons in different websites and databases.


1. Goals of the project

Metagrid aims to contribute to an improved national and international connectivity and utilisation of research in the humanities and social sciences. For this purpose, the project develops an encompassing Metagrid network in which scientific databases are connected with each other.


2. Goals of the code of practice

The code of practice is aimed at our project partners, which is to say, at external projects that wish to become part of Metagrid. By signing the code of practice, project partners commit themselves to adhering to its contents.

The code of practice details the central tenets that apply for all participants in terms of content, structure, and technical principles. The code of practice thus guarantees the successful operation and the sustainability of the project.


3. Principles

Metagrid relies on federal structures in the development and maintenance of data, that is, it is based on independent data production by individual projects that remain in charge of scientific quality control. Successful operation of the web-service depends on the efforts of all participating database projects. All project partners declare that they will contribute by independently carrying out regular data maintenance. They make a commitment that their data maintenance for the web-service will meet the highest standards of quality and follow scientific procedure.


4. Project partners‘ duties

Project partners directly and permanently make available for the public the contents that they provide and connect. In particular, they guarantee the availability of their entities through a permanent and unambiguous URL.

To ensure the efficient automated accessing of project partners’ websites by the Metagrid-crawler, project partners provide a sitemap of their data. Automated accessing of the site is to be guaranteed by the project partners and must not be blocked.

Project partners guarantee the quality control of Metagrid’s concordance and the regular editorial review of their data on Metagrid.

Project partners install the widget in their own environment themselves. The labelling of the widget to be used is defined by the project coordinators in the Metagrid handbook. Project coordinators DDS and HLS must be listed first in each widget. The selection and listing order of other project partners to be displayed remains free.

Project partners must give the details of a person who can be contacted with feedback and in case of technical or content problems.


5. Services and duties of Metagrid

The project coordinators guarantee the operation and maintenance of tools and servers, as well as a long-term backup of the concordance.

Metagrid provides at least the following services:

Metagrid Widget: The widget serves to display the concordances between project partners on the basis of the API.

API and editing-tool: All services of Metagrid are provided through a programming interface (API), which allows project partners to integrate Metagrid functions into their own applications, if required. In addition, all project partners are given access to a web-based interface for day-to-day management of the concordance.

Metagrid-handbook: An online handbook details technical recommendations for best practice with regard to making available data to Metagrid.


6. Commitment to open access

Project partners recognise the utility for the scientific community of an open, multilateral networking and deployment of research in the humanities and social sciences. For this reason, Metagrid and all participating project partners are dedicated to the principle of open access. The concordances created are provided as open data under a Creative Commons licence BY-NC-ND 4.0.


7. Amending and applying the code of practice

The project coordinators are responsible for amending the code of practice.

The project coordinators can determine measures in case of individual project partners infringing upon the code of practice.


8. Certification as an official project partner

Project partners can have the implementation of the Metagrid widget in their environment reviewed by the project coordinators, to subsequently become official partners. They then have the right to use the official Metagrid logo, which identifies them as a «Member of the Metagrid Network».