Drawing: Interpretation / Translation at University of the Arts London

The following blog post has been written by John Murtagh, Project Officer JISC Kaptur and JISC eNova at University of the Arts London.

Drawing: Interpretation / Translation, an exhibition curated by Professors Paul Coldwell and Stephen Farthing from Chelsea College of Art and Design, University of the Arts London, presents

a range of approaches to drawing, demonstrating how the medium can be used to explore ideas from the conceptual through to the observational. (1)

It features the work of Jordan Baseman, Paul Coldwell, Mark Dunhill & Tamiko O’Brien, Mark Fairnington, Stephen Farthing, James Faure Walker, Rebecca Fortnum, Paul Ryan, and Chris Wainwright.

A private view on 8 December included a panel discussion between the artists Dino Alfier, Eleanor Bowen & Paul Ryan about the work on display and the drawing process. Additionally there was a ‘Manual Setting: A Sketchbook Performance’ whereby the artists displayed their sketchbooks for viewing which revealed the chrysalis of ideas and thoughts in the process of producing a drawing. The notes, thoughts, and ‘doodlings’ were fascinating to look at alongside the finished drawings. A real process of artistic creation laid bare and something which I think is unique in the production of ‘research data’.

In Manual Setting visitors leaf through sketchbooks together with exhibitors: artists, scientists and writers. This enacts the viewing of a notebook as a hand-held, shared and performative activity. Who is revealed during this process of showing and being shown? An enquiry is made concerning intimacy; and the border between personal and private; as well as the provisionally sketched and the finished. (2)

Images as well as transcripts from the some of the sketchbooks from the exhibition can be viewed on Flickr.


1. Drawing: Interpretation / Translation

2. Manual Setting – at Danielle Arnaud, London


#jiscmrd programme launch – Commonalities

Simon Hodson, JISCMRD Programme Manager, has asked all projects to do a short blog post about commonalities.

View from the National College for School Leadership, Nottingham. Photo: MTG

Kaptur has previously highlighted the commonalities with the first round of JISCMRD programme funding (2009-11) and how we plan to use training materials produced by Project CAiRO and also have spent time looking at JISC Incremental. The commonalities identified so far from the JISCMRD Programme launch are:

1. Disciplinary

The session on the last day put a few of the projects together in an ‘Arts and Humanities’ group. Some of the projects that are particularly relevant to us are:

2. Pilot infrastructure

Kaptur is one of 17 projects in Strand A of the JISCMRD programme (Simon Hodson’s blog post on this) – we are therefore seeking to both learn lessons from more experienced projects in this strand (who had previous JISCMRD funding or links) and also find out how similar pilot projects are approaching things.

3. Approach

  • During the Programme Launch there was a lot of talk about DCC tools including DMP Online, DAF, and CARDIO – look out for a future blog post about our environmental assessment methodology.
  • Also keen to learn lessons from the MaDAM project, which is now MiSS (MaDAM into Sustainable Service) – http://www.miss.manchester.ac.uk/ (great URL!)
  • Research360@Bath looks good too!

Please let me know if I have overlooked any projects that are relevant to Kaptur – we are interested in engaging with other projects and welcome feedback!


#jiscmrd – Kaptur’s post on benefits and metrics #KRDS

Simon Hodson, JISCMRD Programme Manager, has asked all 18 month JISCMRD projects to write a blog post about the key expected benefits that each project will achieve, and what metrics we will use to evidence these at the end of the project.


Following a presentation by Neil Beagrie, Director of consultancy at Charles Beagrie, the JISCMRD projects were provided with a ‘Summary of Benefits Identified by the RDMI Projects’ and a ‘Summary of Metrics Identified by the RDMI Projects’. We were invited to select three benefits and then match these up with the appropriate metrics, making sure to include both quantitative and qualitative metrics for each benefit. I would like to emphasise that the following has not been discussed within the project team yet and is subject to confirmation.


  1. Sustainability of research data infrastructure.
  2. Change to user practices.
  3. Mitigating organisational risks.


  1. By each institution creating and approving its own Business Costs and Sustainability plans; the ultimate proof is in the longevity of the research data infrastructure. Qualitative data will be gathered through the Steering Group meetings which will include high-level senior staff across the four institutions. Quantitative data may include percentage or estimated cost savings/efficiencies for central services and/or departments.
  2. By taking a snapshot of existing practice at the four institutions through the Environmental Assessment report and then through maintaining user engagement throughout the project and taking snapshots at key stages to monitor progress. Qualitative data will be gathered through the interviews undertaken as part of the Environmental Assessment report, and through ongoing engagement e.g. through working groups and/or focus groups. Quantitative data will be gathered in the following ways: online questionnaires and/or feedback forms to record the impact on working practice of the project, these would be undertaken at key points e.g. we are planning an online survey in January, and would also gather feedback after training events; if online training materials are created then usage statistics will be gathered.
  3. By taking a snapshot of existing practice at the four institutions through the Environmental Assessment report and then through maintaining user engagement throughout the project and taking snapshots at key stages to monitor progress. Qualitative data will include a range of stakeholder examples of improved risk management e.g. organisational practice before Kaptur and how this has changed during/afterwards. Quantitative data may include a percentage improvement in routine back-up of data, and/or a percentage improvement in research data management awareness and policies/systems.

Neil emphasised that when using the KRDS tools it is a good idea to do initial work by one individual and then work this up in a project team context. Therefore the points raised in this blog post will be discussed at our next meeting in early January and possibly again at the Steering Group meeting. Neil also mentioned that it was important to adapt the tools to your project needs. From reading the documentation I am also aware of the need to start with the benefits framework tool prior to moving on to the value chain and benefits impact tool. The work done by other projects giving example worksheets is really useful, in particular the UK Data Archive and the Archaeology Data Service. Reference: Report and Presentations from the JISC Digital Curation/Preservation Benefits Tools Project Dissemination Workshop

#jiscmrd Programme Launch – Tips from Brian Kelly

Links (via @briankelly)

Tips from Brian Kelly

  1. Instead of having a separate website and blog, integrate the web pages into the blog or vice versa.
  2. Think about what will happen to the blog if you leave or what happens after the end of the project.
  3. Use the ‘about’ page to really say how you are going to use the blog e.g. your blogging practices and approach and why – see Blog Policies.
  4. Write a ‘Communications Strategy’.
  5. Engage with high impact channels in the following ways: think of a human interest angle to your story; be proactive in seeking opportunities e.g. if there is a relevant news story that your project relates to in some way.
  6. Write a ‘Press Release from the Future’ as a way of setting where you want to be and then working out how you will achieve it.

How we are planning to use these for Kaptur

  1. Plan to integrate website/blog; our Technical Manager is back in mid-January so may ask him to set up a wordpress.org via our website instead of the current wordpress.com (will require re-directs obviously and not ideal so will think about it first).
  2. We are working towards a Data Management Plan for our project’s research data including the blog, a blog post about this will be forthcoming.
  3. We have now updated our About page to include a blog policy.
  4. Although the JISC Project Plan has various plans within the document such as a Dissemination Plan (ours is available here: Kaptur Project Plan (PDF)), Brian was talking specifically about how to target those channels that are high impact e.g. Times Higher Education, radio, and TV. See point 5 for tips.
  5. The visual arts researchers that we are engaging with at each of the institutions have the potential to address these points, subject to the research criteria we are applying of ‘informed consent’. We will look out for these opportunities.
  6. This is on my ‘to-do’ list e.g. ours may include ‘having an article in Times Higher’

On a side note, I chose to use SlideShare for Kaptur based on reading Brian Kelly’s blog post about SlideShare, which I then blogged about for a different project back in May: Identifying impact with SlideShare

I have also begun using Storify after Brian showed me how the Event Amplifier uses this. A Storify has been created for this week’s Kultivate event on Linked Data.

#idcc11 data re-use – how can metadata stimulate re-use?

The following blog post has been written by Anne Spalding, Kaptur Project Officer, University for the Creative Arts, about one of the pre-conference workshops on Monday 5th December 2011, held at the 7th International Digital Curation Conference, “Public? Private? Personal? Navigating the open data landscape”.

This workshop was organised and hosted by the LIBER http://www.libereurope.eu/ working group on e-science.  This particular workshop is the second of the four workshops they are running.   The first part of the session was given over to presentations from a variety of speakers.  David Giaretta, Director of the Alliance for Permanent Access http://www.alliancepermanentaccess.org/  gave the keynote address outlining the importance of preserving data and access to this information.  See also Riding the Wave report available at http://cordis.europa.eu/fp7/ict/e-infrastructure/docs/hlg-sdi-report.pdf

Rob Grim from the University of Tilburg spoke about the Open Data Foundation (ODaF) http://www.opendatafoundation.org/  and presented an interesting diagram illustrating four key areas in which libraries can be involved with data:  data availability, data discovery service, access and accessibility and delivery services.  Dave Reynolds from Epimorphics (a company which specialises in linked data) outlined an example of the work they have been doing with the Environment Agency on the quality of bathing water:  http://www.epimorphics.com/web/projects/bathing-water-quality .  The final presentation was from Karen Morgenroth of the Canada Institute for Scientific and Technical Information, who outlined the work of Datacite http://datacite.org/

There then followed a lively discussion about how libraries can support the infrastructure and access to research data.  Within our group this then led to a debate about the purpose and function of libraries in general.

#idcc11 delivering post-graduate research data management training

The following blog post has been written by Anne Spalding, Kaptur Project Officer, University for the Creative Arts, about one of the pre-conference workshops on Monday 5th December 2011, held at the 7th International Digital Curation Conference, “Public? Private? Personal? Navigating the open data landscape”.

After introductions there were presentations on various research data management projects which looked at data management training provision across a variety of subject areas.  All the materials created by UK institutions are available via JORUM http://www.jorum.ac.uk/ as well as through the institutional or project websites.

Robin Rice presented information about MANTRA, an online training programme aimed at both PhD students and early career researchers.  http://datalib.edina.ac.uk/mantra/  Sue Childs from Northumbria University talked about DATUM which is used to promote research data management skills in health studies.   http://www.northumbria.ac.uk/sd/academic/ceis/re/isrc/themes/rmarea/datum/  Data Train was presented by Anna Collins of Cambridge University.  Her talk compared and contrasted the two approaches taken for the subjects of Archaeology and Social Anthropology.   The students had to write a data management plan as part of the training which was assessed by the relevant department.  http://www.lib.cam.ac.uk/preservation/datatrain/

Laura Molloy spoke briefly about DMTPsych http://www.dmtpsych.york.ac.uk/ and then Stephen Gray presented Cairo (Curating Artistic Research Output) which produced a post graduate module for Managing Creative Arts Research Data http://resources.jorum.ac.uk/xmlui/handle/123456789/15706   The final presentation was given by Rebecca Koskela from the University of New Mexico about DataONE (Data Observation Network for Earth).  https://www.dataone.org/  One of the roles of DataONE is to preserve and maintain access to scientific data particularly in the area of environmental sciences.   They are also working to provide training in all elements of the data life cycle and engaging with relevant stakeholders.  DataONE is working to link things together and accessibility is key.

Breakout sessions followed which covered the themes of a) creating and repurposing discipline-specific learning materials, b) modes of delivery, and c) engagement with postgraduate training programmes.  After each group had reported back various themes emerged from the breakout sessions.

One of these was about roles and responsibilities for research data and management, within the UK, DCC and JISC are in a good position to provide a framework and structure. All the UK projects above are in JORUM but not linked together in a harmonised way.  There is a lack of cohesion.  Another factor is language and terminology; it is about translating the language of information handling into words that are used by researchers.  Timing of research data management programmes is key, as is building relationships.   There was some discussion about the benefits of online and face to face delivery of programmes.  This subject is likely to becoming increasingly important with distance learning becoming more prevalent.  One can always develop hybrid programmes with online content followed by face to face meetings.  It is important to create a university wide policy around data management.  Programmes in data management cannot be produced in an hour and a suggested ratio was for one hour of deliverable material, allow ten hours preparation time.  It is worthwhile taking time and taking the ‘long view’.  Embedding is another key factor in the success of the programmes.   It is clear that in order for the management of research data and programmes teaching these skills to be successful awareness needs to be raised with students, senior management, librarians, academics, IT and possibly other stakeholders.

Laura Molloy then presented recommendations from the DaMSII (Data Management Skills and Support Initiative) at the University of Glasgow.  http://www.dcc.ac.uk/training/data-management-courses-and-training/skills-frameworks  and/or http://www.rin.ac.uk/our-work/researcher-development-and-skills/data-management-and-information-literacy

Kaptur – two months into the project

The following blog post is based on a report submitted to Simon Hodson, JISCMRD Programme Manager:

1. Project Outputs

  • consortium agreement produced – in process of being signed
  • roles and responsibilities document produced and discussed verbally with each party
  • steering group meeting arranged for 6th February 2012 – agenda and terms of reference circulated

2. Environmental Assessment

  • Project Officers have now carried out 16 one-hour recorded interviews, this data is currently being transcribed and analysed. The marked-up transcripts will then be analysed collaboratively across the project team at our next meeting in early January, before we publish our findings in the Environmental Assessment report. Our interview methodology has been briefly mentioned in previous blog posts, but we will make it properly available soon for use and re-use.

3. Dissemination

4. Issues/challenges
The main focus of November was to spend time finding out what is happening elsewhere through attending events and making inroads into the four partner institutions internally. As we are a collaborative project, it is really important that we share information as widely as possible – hence the long blog posts – but hopefully still digestible with links and headings etc. We aim to make as much of the project as open as possible. Challenges this month were in terms of ensuring that the interviews could be carried out (support and engagement) and also establishing the date for the steering group meeting.