Humanities' Asset Management System


What is GAMS?

GAMS is an OAIS compliant asset management system for the management, publication and long-term archiving of digital resources from the Humanities. It enables scholars, researchers and students to manage and publish resources from projects with permanent identification and enriched with metadata.
Design and development of GAMS are carried out by the Centre for Information Modelling in cooperation with multiple partners inside and outside the university, with regards to the specific requirements of humanistic research.
The repository is fully OAIS (Open Archival Information System)-compliant and covers the full life cycle of digital objects from receiving the SIP (submission information package), archiving the AIP (archival information package) and delivering the DIP (dissemination information package) to the public.
With regard to the archived data we work towards the FAIR data principles: "data should be Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Re-usable".

What technologies are used?

GAMS was conceived and developed on the basis of the Open-Source project Fedora (Flexible Extensible Digital Object Repository Architecture) and has been continuously improved in the course of cooperative projects, addressing the specific needs of university research. A Java application for object management and data curation was developed: This Cirilo Client offers applications which are particularly suited to being used as tools for mass operations on Fedora repository objects, such as ingest or replacement processes. It also fulfills a lot of functions with regards to metadata enrichment and quality control of the resources.
Further integral technologies include Apache Cocoon, Blazegraph, Apache Lucene, Apache Solr, PostgreSQL and Loris IIIF image server. Special attention is paid to the platform independence and open source policies of the included software.

Which data formats are accepted?

GAMS is based on XML (eXtensible Markup Language) -based standards and technologies for data storage and representation. If the data in question does not conform to any XML-based international standard, the repository will implement suitable workflows for the conversion of the content in agreement with the project partners.
The main focus of the data collection is on textual resources, the preferred format for which is XML. For text and metadata, the Centre uses (among others) the following standards: TEI (Text Encoding Initiative), LIDO (Lightweight Information Describing Objects), DC (Dublin Core), METS/MODS (Metadata Encoding and Transmission Standard/Metadata Object Description Scheme), RDF (Resource Description Framework), SKOS (Simple Knowledge Organization System). This list of preferred formats is reflected in the use of dedicated content models for the respective standards. The Cirilo Client then checks the well-formedness of the XML and validates the document against the given schema to ensure conformity.
The JPEG, JPEG2000 (Joint Photographic Experts Group), PNG (Portable Network Graphics) and TIFF (Tagged Image File Format) standards are accepted as formats for images; lossless formats are preferred for long-term preservation. The selection of the format, the necessary quality and the metadata contained for the respective project is made in consultation between the repository and the depositor. If necessary, the repository can carry out or advise on a conversion.

How can data be deposited, which data is collected?

Data can be deposited mainly in the context of a collaborative research project. Each project is accompanied throughout its duration by a metadata manager who oversees the workflow, data modelling, ingest and publication. This approach guarantees high data quality suitable for both publication and long-term archiving. At the same time, continuous supervision from ingest to publication avoids many pitfalls. Ideally, all important points are already defined in the data management plan at the beginning of the cooperation project.
The research data come from all humanities disciplines. Particular emphasis and expertise is placed on the topic of digital scholarly editions based on XML/TEI and corresponding visualisation and processing, i.e. the source material "text" in any form.
If one would like to deposit new data in GAMS, the logical path is therefore a joint funding application with the Centre for Information Modelling. For the transfer of already existing data, an estimate of the effort and thus of the costs can be made at the Centre if there is appropriate expertise to be able to integrate the data.
Sample deposition agreement
Sample data management plan

How are data continuously curated and preserved?

The stored research data are secured for at least 10 years in accordance with the research data policy of the University of Graz and the requirements of most funding bodies. A very high level of data curation is normally achieved by monitoring data creation. All data are subject to the same regulations for long-term preservation.
The development and maintenance of the project-specific web interfaces for the presentation and analysis of the data is in any case secured for the duration of the cooperation. We already try to take into account in the development that these will remain continuously available and usable even after the end of the funding period and are currently achieving good results in this respect. However, in the fast-changing world of web development and in the event of security problems, no further guarantees can be given. This affects however only the project-specific web interfaces; the data itself remains unaffected and available in any case.
For the addition or revision of existing data and interfaces, a customized estimate for the necessary effort must be carried out individually.

Commitment to Open Access

We support open access to all sources of human knowledge and cultural heritage (cf. Berlin Declaration and Open Access Policy of the University of Graz). In order to realize the vision of a globally accessible representation of knowledge, it must be sustainable, interactive, transparent and openly accessible. For this reason, the data available via GAMS is published - in agreement with the depositors - under the most open Creative Commons license possible (CC-BY or CC-BY-NC). The derived Dublin Core metadata are licensed under CC0.
If the research data is sensitive data (e.g. personal data), the repository ensures that such data sets are not accessible or only accessible with appropriate protective measures (e.g. anonymisation) (cf. privacy policy of the University of Graz).
Should the repository become aware of a violation of intellectual property or personal rights in the context of the data made available, access to the data sets concerned will be blocked immediately and the depositors will be informed in order to take appropriate steps.

How can the data be accessed?

For users, usually the first point of access will be the graphical user interface created specifically for the project in question. It will offer suitable ways of interacting with the data in question. In addition, you can browse the Fedora backend at
To systematically harvest or integrate data, use our OAI-PMH interface at and query it according to the PMH (cf. the documentation here). Currently, three metadata prefixes are supported: oai_dc (Dublin Core), oai_europeana (Europeana Semantic Elements) and oai_edm (Europeana Data Model).
With regard to images, all image data stored in the repository can be delivered via a IIIF-compatible image server. To this end, use the syntax{object PID}/{image PID}/{IIIF query}, e.g.,1000,2880,2000/pct:15/0/default.jpg.
In agreement with the partners, data can also be contributed to various aggregation services like Europeana, CorrespSearch, Pelagios or Nomisma. The legal status of the data and objects in question are clarified with the project partner; usually all resources are available under a non-commercial Creative Commons license (Creative Commons BY-NC 4.0). The Centre also offers consulting and expertise in the fields of IPR (Intellectual Property Rights) and licensing.

How are data objects persistently identified?

Internally, data objects go by a persistent identifier (PID) in the form of a standardized project related permanent link. In addition, the infrastructure includes a Handle server, offering the possibility to assign an identifier in this system (prefix 11471).

What does the workflow and data life cycle in GAMS look like?

The following figure illustrates the data life cycle in the GAMS repository.

GAMS workflow and data life cycle
GAMS workflow and data life cycle

Is GAMS a trusted digital repository and how is it certified?

GAMS was first certified as a trusted digital repository in alignment with the principles of the Data Seal of Approval in 2014. Since 2019 we carry the CoreTrustSeal. In 2020, GAMS was officially recognized as a CLARIN B Centre. GAMS is also registered with the Registry of Research Data Repositories and OpenDOAR.

Where can I learn more about the infrastructure and is it reusable?

The whole infrastructure is available as an open source software package as a contribution to DARIAH-EU at Extensive documentation can be found on this site

Release: 2018
Last Update: 2022-04-05