Implementation Plan

storage and display units by B. Fertleman & Sons Ltd., 1973

Storage and display units by B. Fertleman & Sons Ltd., 1973.
Design Council Slide Collection © Design Council

As mentioned in the recent ‘5 months in‘ blog post, the Implementation plan was originally part of the Environmental Assessment report, but has been removed for greater clarity and is outlined below. Each section will be further elaborated upon and is expected to change and adapt as we continue to explore, create, and develop our model for the visual arts.

1. Working groups
To continue to build on relationships established through the environmental assessment phase, working groups will be established at each institution to inform and support the creation of policies and technical infrastructure for managing research data. Stakeholders will include: IT, Research Office, Researchers, Library staff, FOI staff. It was particularly interesting to hear at the recent JISCMRD event on policies (12th-13th March, Leeds) that other institutions from the first round of JISCMRD funding had found the role of working groups beneficial on an ongoing basis.

2. Institutional Research Data Management (RDM) Policies
The creation of four high-level aspirational institutional RDM policies suitable for the visual arts. Kaptur will reference the Digital Curation Centre Research Data Policy Briefing Document (PDF), the University of Edinburgh RDM policy (PDF), and existing complementary policies at the partner institutions such as Guides to Good Research, Records Management, Data Protection, Research Ethics, and Freedom of Information (FOI). A discussion paper will be produced leading to draft policies which will be revised according to feedback.

3. Technical infrastructure
A Technical Analysis report is in progress and expected by the end of April. In the meantime, findings from the Environmental Assessment report suggest a need for a secure, UK-hosted (or locally hosted) cloud storage system due to the interviewee’s needs to access their research data from home as well as work locations.

For example, one of the interviewees suggested it would be helpful if the institution would consider setting up something like a “cloud” storage facility which is synchronised with the researchers’ laptops and offers a “kind of active directory structure” (Designer-Researcher, Institution D).

4. Training/support
There is a need for awareness-raising of RDM using suitable terminology and support for researchers and repository staff. We are seeking to re-use existing materials where possible, e.g. the Project CAiRO Managing Creative Arts Research Data (MCARD) training module.

One of the findings from the Environmental Assessment report was that interviewees recommended the library positively across all four institutions. We would seek to involve the library in this area of the project, although it should be noted that the original project plan was aimed more directly at dealing with visual arts researchers themselves rather than training other staff.

When interviewees were asked about training and support that the institution could provide, the idea of seeing how others archive their research data was particularly appealing:

“Like somebody opening their wardrobe and saying how you organise your clothes […] I love that, that kind of thing.”

(Artist-researcher I, Institution A)

Another interviewee mentioned that they would like more information on how to archive digital materials; particularly working online and collating information from different websites and digital resources (Art Historian, Institution D).

5. Business Cost and Sustainability Plans
This is to ensure that the work carried out by Kaptur is maintained at the institutions after the lifetime of the project; benefits will be measured using Keeping Research Data Safe (KRDS) toolkit (previous blog post on KRDS).

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On the nature of Visual Arts research data

“[…] fluid, ‘wet’ and folded, if not at times messy, fuzzy and tumultuous.”
(Gray and Delday 2010, cited in Mey 2010)

The final version of the Environmental Assessment report is now available online: http://www.research.ucreative.ac.uk/1054/

This report consists of the findings of interviews with visual arts researchers and a literature review based on the research question: What is the nature of visual arts research data?

Report findings were also presented at the Kaptur Steering Group meeting (February 2012) and the presentations of the team are available in SlideShare.

Reference
Mey, K., 2010. Creativity, Imagination, Values – why we need artistic research. In: Textures, the 6th European meeting of the Society for Literature, Science and the Arts, Riga, Latvia, 15-19 June 2010. (Unpublished)


Funders and trends in artistic research grants

Each Project Officer contacted their Research Office to provide answers to the following questions about funding for research at their institution:

1. Who are the funders that researchers are successfully applying to?

The following were all mentioned at least once: Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC); Arts Council England; British Academy; British Council; Chief Scientist Office; Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC); Economic and Social Research Council; European Commission; European Research Council; Glasgow City Council; JISC; The Leverhulme Trust; National Institute for Health Research (NIHR); The Royal Society; The Royal Society of Edinburgh; Scottish Funding Council; Technology Strategy Board; Wellcome Trust.

Of those, the most frequently mentioned were: AHRC (all four institutions); EPSRC (3 institutions); European Commission (3 institutions); and Wellcome Trust (3 institutions).

2. What are the trends?

All four institutions reported an increase in funding for cross-disciplinary research. In addition:

  • Institution A noted a trend towards bigger funding awards with collaboration encouraged.
  • Institution B commented that increasingly there is a need to demonstrate the economic benefits of research (enterprise and impact) and that the drivers for this were the government and the RAE/REF (Research Excellence Framework).
  • Institution C noted a trend towards crossovers between the arts and science.
  • Institution D commented that the Research Councils are funding much larger and complex projects such as collaborations between multiple institutions involving interdisciplinary and cross-departmental work on longer time-scales.

3. What are the procedures and timelines for the Research Data Management policy?

  • At institutions A and C the timelines are still being confirmed, however it is anticipated that a RDM policy will be presented at their Research & Enterprise meetings in Autumn 2012.
  • At institution B a discussion paper will go forward to the meeting at end of March, followed by a reasonable draft policy at the Research & Enterprise meeting in June, with the aim of this being accepted at the subsequent meeting in November 2012.
  • At institution D they have been working on a draft policy with an aim of tabling this draft at the Research & Enterprise meeting in October 2012.

Actions

  • Representatives from 3 out of the 4 institutions are attending the JISCMRD/DCC training on RDM policies in Leeds, 12th-13th March 2012.
  • Following the event a discussion document (1-2 sides of A4) will be prepared that can go forward to relevant stakeholders and the working groups.

Kaptur – five months into the project

This is our update for the end of the fifth month:

WP1: Project Management

  • consortium agreement – waiting for the fourth institution to sign
  • steering group meeting held (presentations available on SlideShare), minutes circulated, blog post

WP2: Environmental Assessment

  • as reported previously, this phase is completed, although it is also feeding into the Technical Infrastructure phase
  • environmental assessment report – this has gone through a series of iterations and we have received very positive feedback; it will be available from early next week to download: UCA Research Online
  • the implementation plan was part of the original draft, and presented at the Steering Group meeting, but was then removed for clarity, and will now be made available as a series of blog posts this week

WP3: Technical Infrastructure

  • The Technical Manager has met and interviewed IT staff from three institutions.
  • In addition the four Project Officers have been involved in providing feedback on the technical requirements originating from the 16 interviews with visual arts researchers (from the Environmental Assessment phase).
  • Last week the first draft of the Technical Analysis report was sent to the Principal Investigator and Co-Investigator.
  • The Technical Manager is installing DataBank and DataStage for requirements testing and comparison with other software.

WP4: Modelling

  • The Project Officers have been contacting and meeting a range of stakeholders from across their institutions, and also working with the Project Sponsors.
  • One institution has established a working group which will meet every 4-6 weeks; another institution has established a working group due to meet in early April.
  • The other two institutions are in the process of forming their working groups, including identifying relevant stakeholders.

WP7: Dissemination

4. Issues/challenges

The past month was about transition, so there were a variety of challenges!

The environmental assessment report was drafted last month, but following the Steering Group meeting it went through a series of iterations which took longer than expected, and it has also been verified by the 16 interviewees.

The relationships built up during WP2: Environmental Assessment are leading into WPs 3 and 4; however as we are in the process of getting the working groups together this is naturally throwing up a lot of questions and queries from all parties.

The Project Sponsors have been very engaged with Kaptur and they have been working closely with the Project Officers.

All Project Officers, and the Technical Manager, have now attended the excellent Digital Curation Centre (DCC) Roadshows. This has provided us with a solid base to move onwards with the aims of Kaptur, however the next challenge is to grow that same awareness amongst the stakeholders at each institution. The following DCC Research data policy briefing (PDF) document is being used as a starting point for discussion for WP4: Modelling. This was discovered through a DCC blog post by Sarah Jones (December 2011).