08 Nov 2011

Pelagios: An Information Superhighway for the Ancient World

The Open University is leading a project that aims to connect Ancient World resources online. By providing guidelines and plans for annotating, cataloguing and visualising references to ancient places, Pelagios2 assists people working with the ancient world to make their resources more discoverable, accessible and usable to other researchers and the general public.

Dr Elton Barker, Lecturer in Classical Studies from The Open University and Principal Investigator, said: “Our original project (Pelagios) has enjoyed great success in bringing together data from various ancient world projects, so that scholars and members of the public are able to discover different resources that reference an ancient place of interest. With the additional funding, we’ll be able to formalise that process into providing a ‘digital toolkit’ for those people who produce the data—not just universities but also museums, libraries, etc¬, so that anyone can add their data to the Pelagios superhighway.”

Pelagios 2 has received £153,496 from JISC, as part of its 13/11 Resource Discovery Programme. The co-investigators for the project are Leif Isaksen, Research Fellow at the University of Southampton, and Rainer Simon, Senior Researcher at the Austrian Institute of Technology, with input from the University of Oxford, University of Cologne, King’s College London, the American Numismatic Society and the University of Reading.

Editor's Notes
• The OU supports a vibrant research portfolio and in the UK's last Research Assessment Exercise (RAE 2008), the University climbed 23 places to 43rd, securing a place in the UK's top 50 higher education institutions. Results showed that more than 50% of the University’s research is internationally excellent (3*), with a significant proportion world-leading (4*).

• The Open University is the UK’s largest university and the world leader in distance education, and celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2009. It has more than 260,000 students in over 40 countries. Of these, some 1,200 are postgraduate research students.

• The latest edition of the Open University’s Research Highlights brochure can be downloaded from:

• Open Research Online (ORO), the University’s freely accessible repository of research publications, is available at: Since its launch in 2006, it has been visited by over 1.6 million people from more than 200 countries, and is currently ranked the fifth best higher education repository in the UK by the Registry of Open Access Repositories (ROAR).

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