An Information System for administration, documentation and promotion of cultural instances


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Synthesis-Core is a cultural information system for scientific and administrative documentation of cultural entities. It supports a generic and flexible workflow for documentation, provides an online work environment specifically designed to document entities (tangible or intangible) and cultural processes (scientific and administative), e.g. collections of objects and audiovisual material of cultural content, museum objects, works of art, monuments, archeological sites and places, scientific instruments, scientific works, etc. and for all types of access e.g. administrative, scientific, etc. It is also multilingual and provides data exchange in XML / RDF with other systems, web presentations, etc. The use of XML / RDF in data exchange offers information validity, longevity and interconnectivity.


What does the scientific and administrative documentation include?

The scientific documentation includes the cultural data that concerns a cultural instance, for example the creator, the date and the place of creation, its style, its use, its discovery, its correlation with other cultural instances, people, historical events etc. The data model of Synthesis-Core is fully compatible with ISO 21127.

The administrative documentation includes all the data that concerns the administration procedures of a cultural entity such as exhibitions, movements to and from other cultural entities, ownership etc. Synthesis-Core follows Spectrum international standard.


System Characteristics

The system exploits multi layered architectures, open source software, international standards XML and RDF technologies, and provides remarkable capabilities as described below:

Data organization

The information about the entities is organized in electronic forms and catalogs, which:

  1. Provide great flexibility to the structure of each document
  2. Allow the data model to be semantically structured
  3. Allow the diversity of structure of documents resulting from the type of cultural entities
  4. Allow the dynamic exploitation of the data in cultural sites in the internet
  5. Allow the creation and coexistence of multiple documents for a cultural object in more than one language
  6. Is best practice for data exchange between cultural information systems

The semantic model of the data is fully compatible with ISO 21127.

Synthesis-Core supports the documentation for cultural entities, such as:

  1. Cultural objects (movable, immovable, tangible and intangible)
  2. Collections of cultural objects
  3. Image files digital or not (photos, drawings, maps, studies, etc.)
  4. Audio files (radio shows, podcasts, etc.)
  5. Audiovisual material files (video from events, speeches, concerts, documentaries, promotional material, etc.)
  6. Scientific instruments
  7. Scientific work / procedures
  8. Administrative procedures (acquisition, granting of rights, uses, lending, travel, valuations, etc.)
  9. Bibliography
  10. Archives
  11. Collections
  12. Exhibitions
  13. Testimonials
  14. Persons
  15. Organizations
  16. Departments
  17. Places
  18. Materials
  19. Events

Forms related to new entities can be created, while it is possible to expand existing forms.


System Functions

Synthesis-Core provides functions to the users for:

  • Creating and managing forms: creating a new form, viewing a form, editing a form, translating a form, copying a form, deleting a form, assigning a form to a user / author, requesting a "unpublished" form, publishing an "unpublished" form, rejecting form, withdrawal of a published form, etc.
  • Form editions: create a new form edition (for a conceptual entity), view all editions (created for that form).
  • Interconnectivity and data exchange: single or bulk XML / RDF data export, bulletin template export, single or bulk content import (loading multiple digital files and metadata files from XML / RDF and ms-excel files), Thesaurious Terms support, Ontology support and data extraction based on mappings.
  • Documentation of entities in more than one language: Greek and English are supported, while it is possible to add additional languages.
  • Relation of entities to other entities: the system provides the possibility of multiple correlations between entities.
  • Management functions: vocabulary management, backup and restore.


It also provides the following subsystems:

  • XML Form Editing Subsystem (FeXML editor): editing XML files with advanced features such as showing / hiding fields, renaming field labels, using XML Map, etc.
  • Reports component: ability to create and use reporting templates and export information in various formats such as pdf, doc etc.
  • Map subsystem (GIS component): ability to display and search information on a map and / or on different cartographic backgrounds
  • File viewer subsystem (Media Viewer component): the ability to display files of different types (image, text, audio, video) in a single way and support for additional functions such as zoom in / out, download etc.
  • Cloud component: Provides cloud services, with the ability to use a private cloud based on nextCloud open source software.
  • Statistical analysis subsystem for quality and content management (Statistics component): ability to collect statistical data for better quality control and supervision of content management.


Additionally, in terms of file management, Synthesis-Core supports the ability to store files of different types (image, text, audio, video, etc.) in an internal storage structure or using cloud services.

It also provides increased levels of information security and confidentiality. This is achieved by using secure network connections (https protocol), user authorization / authentication mechanisms, and data encryption. At the same time there is harmonization with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR compliance).


Types of users

Synthesis-Core supports a security system that takes into account user groups with different permissions. The roles that can be assigned to a user are the following:

  • System administrator (performs administrative functions such as backup, backup, etc.)
  • Agency / Department Administrator (performs functions related to an organization, such as managing users, delivering newsletters to authors, publishing newsletters, etc.)
  • Author (performs the basic documentation functions of an agency/ orginization)
  • Reader (can only read allowed content)

Synthesis-Core user authentication is based on open source software, which allows single sign-on  (SSO), an authentication scheme that allows a user to connect with a single ID to any of the many relevant but independent software systems.


Process Model

Synthesis-Core supports specific worklows that can be customized to meet the requirements of an organization. The process model supported by Synthesis-Core allows (inter alia) users - members of an organization or external partners of an organization to create, edit, publish and withdraw cultural-entity forms.

An example of a workflow is as follows: The organization's documentation coordinator (or someone with similar responsibilities) can create entityforms for  information entry. These forms are assigned to editorial teams or individual users (authors) in order to collect, edit and record information about the subject. Once the information processing  is complete, one of the members of the editorial team or the individual user "marks" the form for publication (the form is marked as "under publication" and ceases to be available for editing). The agency's documentation coordinator (or someone with similar responsibility) publishes it. If for any reason the form is not published, the form is returned to its authors for review or revision, marked as "unpublished" and the reason why it was not published is optionally noted, and its authors can edit it again and request re-post it. If for any reason a published form needs modification, the author may ask the organization's documentation coordinator to withdraw it. The form is then returned for review to its authors, who can edit it and request its re-publication.

Each author can view and edit the forms of which he / she is an author. It can also view (but not edit) the forms of other authors of the institution. Published forms can be viewed by all system users without being able to edit them. The information entered in the forms is conceptually structured and allows an author-user to select the sections he or she is interested in documenting.


Interconnection capabilities

Synthesis-Core provides the ability to interface with other systems for the information exchange. The interface can be achieved using the Synthesis-API (REST-API), which offers the basic search, access and content management capabilities provided by the software. In addition, data can be exported and made available for use by other content management systems (CMS, etc.) and / or other databases (RDBMS, noSQL, triplestores, etc.).




The functionality, the features and the use of Synthesis-Core in the following:



For more information contact Chrysoula Bekiari