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Sarah Higgins: Challenges in Educating Digital Curation

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Presentation during World Digital Preservation Day 2018 and International Conference 'Memory Makers' organised by DPC and the Dutch Digital Heritage Network

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Sarah Higgins: Challenges in Educating Digital Curation

  1. 1. Digital curation: Challenges in educating for a new discipline Sarah Higgins sjh@aber.ac.uk IMLA: Department of Information Management, Archives and Libraries Aberystwyth University Memory Makers - Digital Preservation Skills and How to Get Them 29th-30th November 2018 – Amsterdam Museum
  2. 2. The nature of a discipline Memory Makers - Digital Preservation Skills and How to Get Them 29th-30th November 2018 – Amsterdam Museum ‘The disciplines characterize, classify, specialize; they distribute along a scale, around a norm, hierarchize individuals in relation to one another and, if necessary, disqualify and invalidate.’ (Foucault, 1975, p.223)
  3. 3. Digital curation – a new discipline Memory Makers - Digital Preservation Skills and How to Get Them 29th-30th November 2018 – Amsterdam Museum Object of research Professional bodies Theories and concepts Specialist language Specialist tools and research methods Body of knowledge Higher or further education Data DPC,DCC,NCDD(now DigitalHeritage Network),NDIIPP, UKOLN OAIS,DCCCuration LifecycleModel, PREMIS,TDR,Audit andCertification EuropeanProjects,JISC FundedProjects, NDIPP(libraryof Congress),NSF OAIS,DROID,COPTR, OPF Preservica, Archivematica Universities (DigCCurr,DigCurV) Development of digital curation as a discipline (Higgins, S. 2018 - after Bawden & Robinson, 2012; Krishnan, 2009)
  4. 4. Digital curation –applied in a single paradigm Memory Makers - Digital Preservation Skills and How to Get Them 29th-30th November 2018 – Amsterdam Museum Academic areas differ according to: (a) concern with a single paradigm (hard vs. soft), (b) concern with application (pure vs. applied), and (c) concern with life systems (life- system vs. non-life system)’ Biglan’s Taxonomy of Academic Disciplines (Biglan, 1973, p.204)
  5. 5. Digital curation - a practical discipline Memory Makers - Digital Preservation Skills and How to Get Them 29th-30th November 2018 – Amsterdam Museum Characterisation of academic disciplines (after (after Becher & Trowler, 2001, p.36)
  6. 6. Digital curation – professional/academic partnership Memory Makers - Digital Preservation Skills and How to Get Them 29th-30th November 2018 – Amsterdam Museum The academic to professional feedback loop of a professionally orientated discipline (after Cohen & Lloyd, 2014; Eastwood, 1994; Krishnan, 2009)
  7. 7. Digital curation – a sub-discipline? Memory Makers - Digital Preservation Skills and How to Get Them 29th-30th November 2018 – Amsterdam Museum The academic and professional focus of information science (after Capurro & Hjørland 2003)
  8. 8. Digital curation – or a meta-discipline? Memory Makers - Digital Preservation Skills and How to Get Them 29th-30th November 2018 – Amsterdam Museum Digital curation as a sub-meta-discipline of information science (Higgins, 2018)
  9. 9. Memory Makers - Digital Preservation Skills and How to Get Them 29th-30th November 2018 – Amsterdam Museum • A sub-discipline of information science? – Post-graduate or undergraduate? – Part of an integrated scheme with another discipline? – Taught as single module within an information science scheme? – Possibly an optional topic? • A discipline in it’s own right? – Taught as a dedicated degree scheme? Educating in digital curation where does it sit?
  10. 10. Memory Makers - Digital Preservation Skills and How to Get Them 29th-30th November 2018 – Amsterdam Museum Validation 1: External quality assurance Quality Assurance Agency – sets and monitors standards of UK higher education • Subject Benchmark Statement: Librarianship, Information, Knowledge, Records and Archives Management, 2015 • Generic information management skills except: ‘Understanding of the preservation implications of digital materials (digitised and born-digital) and the ability to design or specify appropriate systems for digital preservation’ (p.10 / 22). • DigCurV, DigCCurr – specific curricula development Educating in digital curation validation challenges
  11. 11. Memory Makers - Digital Preservation Skills and How to Get Them 29th-30th November 2018 – Amsterdam Museum Validation 2: Internal quality assurance Robust committee processes • Departmental level – how does it fit with current staff / skills? • Faculty level – can we collaborate across faculty? – Not – computer science, management, history, film and TV …. etc. • University QA level (for full scheme) – What on earth is this? – Where’s the QAA Statement? – Is there really a market for this? Educating in digital curation validation challenges
  12. 12. Memory Makers - Digital Preservation Skills and How to Get Them 29th-30th November 2018 – Amsterdam Museum Validation 3: Accreditation bodies Paperwork and visits every 5 years • CILIP – Professional Knowledge and Skills Base (PKSB) • Generic information management or cross- disciplinary skills • ARA - Operating Procedures and Assessment Criteria of the Archives and Records Association Qualifications Accreditation Panel • Format neutral archive management skills • Digital curation only mentioned for pre-course experience of students or pre-academic experience of staff Educating in digital curation validation challenges
  13. 13. Memory Makers - Digital Preservation Skills and How to Get Them 29th-30th November 2018 – Amsterdam Museum Potential applicants typically: • Looking for generic skills archive / librarian education • Concerned about course accreditation • From humanities backgrounds (love books / old things) • Think ‘digital’ will make them more employable (but don’t really like it) • Have low IT skills • Outreach to the IT capable Educating in digital curation applicant challenges
  14. 14. Memory Makers - Digital Preservation Skills and How to Get Them 29th-30th November 2018 – Amsterdam Museum • IT support – open source support, licensing, common desktop • Suitable IT lab space – enough seats, enough space for physical items • Forensic lab – enough cables and monitors! • Practical projects – scope and size Educating in digital curation internal challenges
  15. 15. Memory Makers - Digital Preservation Skills and How to Get Them 29th-30th November 2018 – Amsterdam Museum Typically a post-graduate ‘conversion course’ – students have limited prior knowledge/experience – starting from 1st base • 1 year full-time (2-5 years asynchronous distance learning) • 120 taught credits, 60 credits dissertation ‒ if part of an information science scheme digital preservation may be only 10 or 20 credits ‒ clearly defined learning outcomes ‒ assignments – academic and professional activities • 8-10 hours contact time per week for 30 weeks for full scheme – mix of lectures, seminars and practicals – 20 total if part of a wider scheme Educating in digital curation employer challenges Theory Policies and processes Roles and responsibilities Standards and technologies
  16. 16. Memory Makers - Digital Preservation Skills and How to Get Them 29th-30th November 2018 – Amsterdam Museum Educating for a profession NOT training for a task • IT skills limited? • Employer confusion – want graduates to hit the ground running on tasks • Need someone to do a task they can’t? • Little workplace mentoring for new graduates? Educating in digital curation employer challenges
  17. 17. Digital curation as a discipline … next steps Memory Makers - Digital Preservation Skills and How to Get Them 29th-30th November 2018 – Amsterdam Museum Statement of ethics Defined Curriculum Appropriate accreditation and validation Appropriate applicants Better graduates Chartered practitioners Academic domain Professional domain Digital specific
  18. 18. Bibliography Memory Makers - Digital Preservation Skills and How to Get Them 29th-30th November 2018 – Amsterdam Museum Bawden, D., & Robinson, L. (2012). What is information science? Disciplines and professions. In Introduction to information science. London, UK: Facet Publishing. Retrieved from http://mesharpe.metapress.com/index/N9774121111G60L5.pdf Becher, T., & Trowler, P. R. (2001). Academic tribes and territories (2nd ed.). Philadelphia, USA: SRHE and Open University Press. Biglan, A. (1973). Relationship between subject matter characteristics and the structure and output of university departments. Journal of Applied Psychology, 57(3), 204–213. https://doi.org/10.1037/h0034699 Capurro, R., & Hjørland, B. (2003). The concept of information. Annual Review of Information Science and Technology, 37, 343–411. https://doi.org/doi:10.1002/aris.1440370109 Cohen, E. B., & Lloyd, S. J. (2014). Disciplinary evolution and the rise of the transdiscipline. Informing Science: The International Journal of an Emerging Transdiscipline, 17, 189–215. Retrieved from http://www.inform.nu/Articles/Vol17/ISJv17p189-215Cohen0702.pdf Eastwood, T. (1994). Archival theory: What is it and why is it important? Archivaria, 37, 122–130. https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.322.7301.1536 Foucault, M. (1975). Discipline and punish: The birth of the prison. Vintage Books. Retrieved from https://zulfahmed.files.wordpress.com/2013/12/disciplineandpunish.pdf Higgins, S. (2018). Digital curation: the development of a discipline within information science. Journal of Documentation, 74(6), 1318–1338. https://doi.org/10.1108/JD-02-2018-0024 Krishnan, A. (2009). What are academic disciplines? ESRC National Centre for Research Methods NCRM Working Paper Series, 3(9). Retrieved from http://www.forschungsnetzwerk.at/downloadpub/what_are_academic_disciplines2009.pdf

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