Kaptur – six months into the project (1/3)

One third of the way through the project, and this is our update for the end of the sixth month:

WP1: Project Management

WP3: Technical Infrastructure

  • The Technical Analysis report has been through several iterations; the user requirement component has been sent to the partner institutions for final feedback; once this is received the requirements testing will take place leading to the choice of technical system for the pilot.

WP4: Modelling

  • The Project Officers reported on the trends in funding at their institutions (blog post)
  • Three of the four Project Officers attended the JISCMRD two-day workshop on institutional RDM policies (12-13th March, Leeds); this was extremely beneficial for Kaptur for several reasons:
    1. using the Chatham House Rule the JISCMRD projects could talk openly and plainly about the reality of creating and seeking approval for institutional RDM policies
    2. we had an opportunity to really understand the processes and workflows from more experienced projects (i.e. those who had received funding in the previous JISCMRD round 2009-11 or who already had institutional RDM policies)
    3. it was very interesting to hear how other JISCMRD projects were making use of the CARDIO and DAF tools from the Digital Curation Centre – we will be discussing this at our next project team meeting in April
    4. there was also the opportunity to ask questions of select representatives of the Research Councils UK (RCUK) which was very illuminating, particularly in terms of the EPSRC Expectations
    5. as most of the project team were able to attend we could discuss and share our own views over the course of the two days and come to a consensus of opinion – i.e. that we were aiming for a high-level aspirational policy based on University of Edinburgh’s policy
  • An RDM Discussion paper was drafted and was an agenda item at the UCA Research and Enterprise Committee meeting on 30th March; this Committee also have the role to approve an institutional RDM policy.
  • Representatives from 2 of the partner institutions attended the JISCMRD Data Management Planning (DMP) end of project event (23rd March) – this was useful in terms of discussion throughout the day, lessons learned from other projects, and also take-home resources which we may be able to implement – as well as a sneak peek at the new and improved version of the DCC’s DMP Online tool due to launch soon.

WP7: Dissemination

  • As mentioned above, 3/4 institutions attended the JISCMRD policies workshop and 2/4 attended the DMP end of project workshop (both March 2012).
  • Promotion of the Environmental Assessment report (blog post)
  • Beginning of an idea for more creative publicity material for Kaptur, to be followed up at our next project team meeting
  • The Project Manager gave a presentation on Kaptur to British Library staff as part of their Digital Conversations event (blog post)
  • The Project Director and Project Manager co-authored a written paper on Kaptur for the EVA London 2012 conference

4. Issues/challenges

As we are now a third of the way through the project it is a good point for reflection on both the work already accomplished as well as the work still to be done. Our focus continues to be on producing a pilot model for the visual arts sector and drawing on the strength of the collaboration across four partner institutions. Added to this is a growing sense of community across the JISCMRD programme (2011-13) which has benefited the Kaptur project team.

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Methodology for the Environmental Assessment – shared

As discussed during the JISCMRD Programme Launch in Nottingham, projects thought it would be good to share what each one is doing regarding the Data Asset Framework (DAF) and/or gathering user needs, in order to see if it can be used/re-used by the other projects. We have been describing Kaptur’s approach, and the rationale for this approach, in a series of blog posts. Previous blog posts on this topic are available by searching the tag ‘environmental assessment‘, the two most relevant of these are: ‘Methodology for the Environmental Assessment‘; and ‘Environmental Assessment interview questions‘. Feedback is welcomed.

Kaptur is not using DAF, although we have considered what can be learned from the DAF approach. DAF provides institutions with a means to:

“identify, locate, describe and assess how they are managing their research data assets”

DAF Screencast

A fully comprehensive website is available:http://www.data-audit.eu/. This includes the DAF Implementation Guide (PDF).

DAF recommend that you begin by deciding what you mean by ‘data assets’, for example they mention:

“numerical data, statistics, output from experimental equipment, survey results, interview transcripts, databases, images or audiovisual files, amongst other things”

DAF Implementation Guide (PDF) pp.7

Our initial probing interviews and research in the area of visual arts data tell us that we are not ready yet to pin this down to specific assets, although potentially all of the above could be included. One of the issues arising out of the probing interviews was the concept of what ‘research data’ was in the first place. We decided to undertake formal interviews to gather detailed qualitative information that could better inform Kaptur and help to build relationships with visual arts researchers at the four institutions. This approach, whilst not following DAF exactly, did also include questions that enabled information to be gathered about the types of data asset that researchers were producing and how they were being managed.

The scope of the Kaptur Environmental Assessment report has been defined in our methodology, which we make available for use and re-use:

Following the imminent publication of our report, the next stage is to establish working groups in each institution as a way to both continue the dialogue with the visual arts researchers and also to encompass a wider range of stakeholders. We have been looking at the CARDIO assessment tool, particularly as this is designed to “improve communication and understanding” between stakeholders. However this is normally used following a more formal data audit procedure, and therefore we may adapt the approach of CARDIO to suit our timescales and circumstances. For example there is a clear benefit to holding face-to-face meetings with all the stakeholders and this will take priority, however it may be that questions or elements of the CARDIO tool can be used to inform the agenda for these meetings. This is yet to be discussed, and will be raised at the Steering Group meeting on Monday as part of the Implementation Plan.


#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!

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