RDO support


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A presentation given by Stephen Woodruff, a Resource Development Officer in the College of Arts at the University of Glasgow.
The presentation was made at the 'Managing Archaeology Data and Documentation' event on Monday 7th march.

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  • Overview of a Technical Appendix will draw upon examples of successful bids
  • others in Hatii and in English Language. We work as a team – likely to pass the buck if you ask a question
  • NERC = Natural Environment Research Council ESRC = Economic and Social Research Council These require data management plans, which are one component of a technical appendix Small websites that serve only to provide information about a project are exempt, but fairly rare (your research outputs are likely to be delivered in some digital form)
  • Work in Word to check character count and avoid Je-S website TIMING OUT I’ll use the standard AHRC technical appendix format to structure this short talk, but the points raised should be relevant to any funding application that includes a digital output.
  • Reporting structure, division of responsibilities, deliverables File formats, documentation Technical expertise, hardware/software/training requirements Advice sought on preserving access to the data, sustainability & 6. Are smaller sections that I’ll cover shortly
  • - So you may omit non-technical responsibilities - Especially highlight members of proposed steering committee with technical expertise - ‘Management & reporting Structure’ is one of the longest sections (2000 characters)
  • Planning = requirements capture, looking into the current state of things Evaluation = testing. Bear in mind that those closest to the project will feel most at home working with its outputs. You’ll know how to get the best out of your own research data!
  • d. Again, focus on the technical expertise in your steering committee. Likewise, if your PI or Co-I(s) have technical backgrounds, their explicit contribution to the monitoring process might be explained
  • Stress that the PI/researcher will work closely with the technical people on this to ensure that content created is both intellectually sound and technically appropriate
  • The Dublin Core set of metadata elements provides a small and fundamental group of text elements through which most resources can be described and catalogued. Using only 15 base text fields, a Dublin Core metadata record can describe physical resources such as books , digital materials such as video , sound , image , or text files, and composite media like web pages .
  • e.g. HATII and its reputation for research in the area of digital curation and membership of organizations such as the DCC HATII’s previous projects include Mapping Sculpture, theGlasgowStory, the Whistler project, etc…
  • Examples: server maintenance, set-up of project workstations and laptops, RAID-5 disks configurations, SAN Mobile example for new hardware
  • VADS = visual arts HATII also partners in DCC, OPF, DPC AHDS = Arts & Humanities Data Service
  • Circumstances: personalisation, user generated content Testing = usability, widening access
  • Database right: originality in the selection of the contents and the result of substantial investment
  • Research: digital curation, web technologies, digitization Examples: Mapping Sculpture & PLANETS (15 million euro)
  • RDO support

    1. 1. RDO? HATII
    2. 2. Providing technical support during research projects <ul><li>Introduction </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Resource Development Officers </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>who, what, where </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Writing a Technical Appendix </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>What is a Technical Appendix? </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Overview of a Technical Appendix </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Support </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>What do we mean by ‘technical support’? </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>How HATII can help </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Who else is there? </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>
    3. 3. Software Support <ul><li>HATII has research and development staff whose expertise is in, amongst other things </li></ul><ul><li>archival studies </li></ul><ul><li>data access and user interfaces </li></ul><ul><li>database design </li></ul><ul><li>programming </li></ul><ul><li>project management </li></ul><ul><li>all contacted via RDOs </li></ul>
    4. 4. RDO <ul><li>Resource Development Officers </li></ul><ul><li>Jean Anderson – English Language </li></ul><ul><li>Graeme Cannon - Hatii </li></ul><ul><li>Neil McDermott - Music </li></ul><ul><li>Stephen Woodruff - Hatii </li></ul>
    5. 5. RDO <ul><li>RDO were once part-faculty posts </li></ul><ul><li>Now departmentally funded (?charged) </li></ul><ul><li>Collegial help always </li></ul><ul><li>Larger efforts – </li></ul><ul><ul><li>partnership, not &quot;tech support&quot; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>technical appendix </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>need to be added to project as Co-investigator </li></ul></ul>
    6. 6. Writing a technical appendix <ul><li>What is a technical appendix? (I) </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Documentation that forms part of your application to the AHRC (and to some extent the NERC, ESRC…) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Required for any application that involves the creation of a digital resource (website, database, app) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>An opportunity to demonstrate that your proposed project team possesses the know-how to deliver on the technical aspects of your project </li></ul></ul></ul>
    7. 7. Writing a technical appendix <ul><li>What is a technical appendix? (II) </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Submitted online via the Je-S system, along with the rest of your application </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>18 or so core questions to be addressed, with strict character limits on your answers </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>However, additional attachments – ‘visual evidence’ – may be provided e.g. organizational structures, Gantt charts </li></ul></ul></ul>
    8. 8. Writing a technical appendix <ul><li>Overview of a technical appendix </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Questions divided into six sections: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Project management </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Data development methods </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Infrastructural support </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Data preservation and sustainability </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Access </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Copyright and intellectual property issues </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>
    9. 9. Writing a technical appendix <ul><li>Overview of a technical appendix </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Project Management </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Management & Reporting Structure </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>You may wish to refer to the Project Management section of the Case for Support </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Focus is on delivery of the technical aspects of the project </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>May consider including details of the project steering committee </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul>
    10. 10. Writing a technical appendix <ul><li>Overview of a technical appendix </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Project Management, cont’d </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Project timetable </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Might refer to a Gantt chart, or provide a textual overview of the proposed timeline </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Make provision for planning at the beginning of the project and for evaluation at the end </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul>
    11. 11. Writing a technical appendix <ul><li>Overview of a technical appendix </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Project Management, cont’d </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Project deliverables </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Includes the obvious technical outputs (website, database) </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Might also include ancillary technical deliverables such as the results of any evaluation and your documentation </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Monitoring process </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Seems reasonable to refer back to the management section </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Role of the steering committee may be expanded upon </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Might also include existing line management structures (outside proj) </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul>
    12. 12. Writing a technical appendix <ul><li>Overview of a technical appendix </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Data development methods </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Content selection </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>This will largely be driven by the researcher, but should probably be developed in conjunction with the systems developer or equivalent </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Consider things such as maintaining high-resolution archival copies of images in addition to those intended for everyday web consumption, for example </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul>
    13. 13. Writing a technical appendix <ul><li>Overview of a technical appendix </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Data development methods cont’d </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Data/file formats </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Emphasise open standards and compliance </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Consider well-supported open source tools (e.g. MySQL) over proprietary solutions </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Think about metadata (e.g. Dublin Core) where appropriate </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>XML is a W3C standard and a preferred archival format for text-based material </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul>
    14. 14. Writing a technical appendix <ul><li>Overview of a technical appendix </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Data development methods cont’d </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Documenting the resource </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Good documentation can help ensure life of any digital output beyond the end of the project </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Might include the requirements specification as well as any user manuals or even contextual help </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Be aware that requirements will likely shift somewhat over the course of any project: documentation should be updated to reflect changes </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul>
    15. 15. Writing a technical appendix <ul><li>Overview of a technical appendix </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Data development methods cont’d </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Advice sought </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Lots of locally-available expertise, in addition to external contacts </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Collaborators with established form in the field can carry considerable weight </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Consultation with projects using similar methods </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Again, we have a wealth of successful projects within the university to highlight </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul>
    16. 16. Writing a technical appendix <ul><li>Overview of a technical appendix </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Infrastructural support </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>This is where technical support – e.g. Arts Support or IT Services – come in </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Software & hardware support, including hosting websites and databases </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Back-up facilities, redundancy, etc. </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>This is also where you might justify the acquisition of new hardware </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul>
    17. 17. Writing a technical appendix <ul><li>Overview of a technical appendix </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Data preservation & sustainability </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Demonstrate that you have sought advice from relevant organizations </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>External: JISC Digital Media, VADS, National e-Science Centre, Digital Curation Centre (DCC)… </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Internal: HATII, University of Glasgow Archive Services </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Following the cessation of AHDS funding, institutions are encouraged to preserve and maintain resources “in house” </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Project partners may play a role </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Open standards and open source software are also worth mentioning (again), with particular reference to sustainability </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>
    18. 18. Writing a technical appendix <ul><li>Overview of a technical appendix </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Access </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Publicly-available, free-to-use website is most obvious digital output </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>However, user registration might be required in certain circumstances </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Should state aim to adhere to Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) guidelines </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Avoid extraneous or proprietary technologies where possible </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Thorough testing can help ensure that digital outputs such as websites are widely accessible </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul>
    19. 19. Writing a technical appendix <ul><li>Overview of a technical appendix </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Copyright & IP issues </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Plenty of advice available: </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>JISC Legal, JISC Digital Media (formerly TASI), UK Patents Office, and the University's Research & Enterprise Department </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Issues to consider include: </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Assertion of Database Right </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Assertion of the project team’s right to claim authorship </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Proper permission sought and acknowledgement given where other authors’ materials are used </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul>
    20. 20. Where to get help <ul><li>Where to get help </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What do we mean by ‘technical support’? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Good IT support is essential: </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Server maintenance </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Sourcing new hardware </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Dealing with your researchers’ technical queries </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>A good technical partner is equally important if there’s a digital component to your project: </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Writing the Technical Appendix </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Developing bespoke databases, novel user interfaces, websites & other tools </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Providing intellectual input and technical advice </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li> A collaboration with your technical partner </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>
    21. 21. Hardware & Networking <ul><li>HATII's Support Team </li></ul><ul><li>Mike Black </li></ul><ul><li>Louise Pollock </li></ul><ul><li>Chris McGlashan </li></ul><ul><li>Raymond Brasas </li></ul><ul><li>all contacted via http://helpdesk.arts.gla.ac.uk/ </li></ul>
    22. 22. Where to get help <ul><li>Where to get help </li></ul><ul><ul><li>How HATII can help </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Within the College of Arts, IT support is based at HATII </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>But we are also technical partners in many, many projects </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Our research and teaching helps inform the work we do </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Partners in a wide range of projects, from interdisciplinary collaborations within the university to large-scale EU-funded programmes </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>
    23. 23. Thanks! <ul><li>Thanks! </li></ul><ul><ul><li>HATII George Service House 11 University Gardens </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>http:// www.gla.ac.uk/departments/hatii / </li></ul></ul>