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.


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).