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Managing Arts and Humanities Data


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"I'm not a scientist, I don't have any research data": Managing arts and humanities data. Presented at the Research Data Network workshop, St Andrews, 30 Nov 2016

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Managing Arts and Humanities Data

  1. 1. “I’m not a scientist, I don’t have any research data”: Managing arts and humanities data Nicola Siminson and Julie Ramage, GSA Jeremy Barraud, UAL Wednesday 30th November 2016
  2. 2. Ramage, Julie and Hards, Lorna (2016) Becoming Awesomestow - profiling investments in cultural assets and creative quarters in British towns and their impact on regeneration. Nesta, London. Ramage, Julie and Hards, Lorna (2015) Becoming Awesomestow - profiling investments in cultural assets and creative quarters in British towns and their impact on regeneration. The Glasgow School of Art - Reid Building, 11-26 April 2015 [Show/Exhibition]
  3. 3. So what are the challenges? “… I am not sure what constitutes research data… What is data? I mean, I talk to you about my data as a researcher, but for the institution, what does it consider data? Would it be conference proceedings, would a performance be data even if it was not recorded, sometimes I don’t record my performances…”
  4. 4. One definition "Anything which is used or created to generate new knowledge and interpretations. ‘Anything’ may be objective or subjective; physical or emotional; persistent or ephemeral; personal or public; explicit or tacit; and is consciously or unconsciously referenced by the researcher at some point during the course of their research. Research data may or may not lead to a research output, which regardless of method of presentation, is a planned public statement of new knowledge or interpretation." Garrett, 2012:
  5. 5. Data management challenge • Research data in the arts is not so easily defined as in STEM subjects • Researchers need to learn to identify and define what is data in their processes • Researchers are not used to packaging and sharing data • Management of highly diverse content and formats • New and developing field – no real best practice in place
  6. 6. Policy aims • To ensure that staff involved in the research process are aware of their data-related responsibilities • To ensure that the University meets its obligations with regard to research data management, as defined by research funders • To make explicit the University’s institutional commitment to good research data management practice • The policy is supported by a set of procedures and institutional awareness raising and training activities
  7. 7. What we’re doing at UAL • UAL Data repository • Training • Data management planning • Community of Practice
  8. 8. UAL Data Repository • Holds UAL research data for all research projects where there is a need to store and share the supporting research • Research Council-funded projects with a Data Management Plan • Tested with existing, tricky data •
  9. 9. ROCOCO project • File formats - as open source as much as possible for wider access and preservation issues • File sizes – maintaining quality of digital files against file sizes • Organisation - needs to be logical and cohesive, contextual • Labelling of individual files • Legal considerations: IP, copyright, Data Protection, release forms
  10. 10. Data management planning • Established workflow as part of Data Management Policy • Workflow covers, pre-award, post-award and post-project stages • Bespoke support for each application
  11. 11. Community of Practice • Introduction to data management • Case studies • Visiting institution: Glasgow School of Art • Metadata discovery • File formats
  12. 12. Future developments • Further repository enhancements to fit the needs of the researchers • New methods of marking and visualising the data • Developing best practice in the curation of data • Educating practice-based researchers on the need to organise and share their data
  13. 13. What we are (and have been) doing at the GSA • GSA RDM Policy – and roadmap document • Training and comm.s • sessions for staff – and research students • one-to-one conversations • blog posts • RDM pages on GSA’s VLE • GSA RDM Stakeholder Group • participation in projects (KAPTUR; VADS4R)
  14. 14. How do you get Art & Design researchers to engage with RDM, if there are few external drivers / sticks (e.g. very little RCUK funding)?
  15. 15. Sharing experiences and ideas for engaging with arts and humanities researchers?
  16. 16. Useful information • GSA RDM Policy: information/institutional-policies/ • KAPTUR: and • VADS4R: • RADAR: • RADAR blog: • Contact details: • • •