Published on January 30, 2014
History and data management Chris Awre History and data management – necessary bedfellows? 12 December 2013
History and data • There is a lot of data in History research, e.g., – – – – Transatlantic slave database History of marine animal populations (HMAP) UK economic statistics 1066 – present Biographical detail of officers in the German armed forces in the 17th and 18th centuries • Holding this for the research requires some level of management • Digital Curation Centre – “because good research needs good data” History and data management – necessary bedfellows? | 12 December 2013 | 2
Starting points • Management of research data happens – Existing activity is acknowledged • Research data management has a much higher profile now • Initiatives are based on three trends – The amount of data is growing – Data management is required by multiple disciplines – Increasing perception of the value of data History and data management – necessary bedfellows? | 12 December 2013 | 3
Research Data Management for History • Why? • What? • Where? • When? History and data management – necessary bedfellows? | 12 December 2013 | 4
RDM and History – Why? • Data as research output – Data itself can be a valid (REF) research output and needs to be well managed for presentation and assessment • Transparency of research – Good data management allows the process of research to be transparent, adding validity and integrity • Data security and accuracy – Data management is not just for outputs, but can support research practice itself • Data sharing – Foster collaboration and increase the value of the data through making it available for others to use History and data management – necessary bedfellows? | 12 December 2013 | 5
RDM and History – What? • Research data takes many forms, e.g., to name a few, – Computer-generated data from experiments – Survey data – Compilations of historical facts • The scope of research data encompasses the materials and/or information that are created or gathered to underpin research analysis • Completed work / work in progress – Data management can, and probably should, encompass both History and data management – necessary bedfellows? | 12 December 2013 | 6
RDM and History – Where? • Local research data management does not necessarily mean local provision of storage – Local management, making use of services as required wherever they may be • Options for storage – Local – Cloud – Disciplinary, national or international data centre – Publishers (traditional journals, but also data journals) • All have associated services – What criteria determine which option(s)? History and data management – necessary bedfellows? | 12 December 2013 | 7
Data management and storage • Many people have their own approaches to managing the data they generate – USB drives, to CDs/DVDs, to spare hard disks, etc. – Occasionally use of formal data centres or robust local storage • Key is to know what you plan to do, don’t just decide as you go along – Data can be the lifeblood of your research – look after it! History and data management – necessary bedfellows? | 12 December 2013 | 8
Storage and backup • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n_1XFKYAcoI&list=PL2 XF5RiVI7GOLsLiInXnvT8L6XHC02byD • Make sure it doesn’t happen to you! • Storage as an active process, not a passive one – Consciously thinking of how you are recording your data, and where • Aim to always know where files are History and data management – necessary bedfellows? | 12 December 2013 | 9
RDM and History – When? • When to manage data? – At all stages of the research data lifecycle • Key to this is making it easy to embed – Minimise effort, whilst demonstrating benefits of effort undertaken • Timetable? – Your decision – Starting with data management at the start of a research process alleviates issues in the future History and data management – necessary bedfellows? | 12 December 2013 | 10
Post-research archiving • Hydra is the University of Hull’s digital repository for managing, archiving and sharing (where appropriate) research outputs, including data • History datasets managed – – – – – Doomsday Book Historical Marine Animal Populations (HMAP) Privateering and piracy Waleran II …others to come • http://hydra.hull.ac.uk History and data management – necessary bedfellows? | 12 December 2013 | 11
Can do / can’t do • It is important that you recognise what you can do to manage your data, and what you can’t do • Identify areas where you may need assistance, and ask • Use the experience of your course to build up your experience and knowledge of what works well for you, and where you find value in getting help – Record all this in your data management plan over time • Research data management can be, or appear to be, complex – Good RDM is about learning how to simplify that complexity History and data management – necessary bedfellows? | 12 December 2013 | 12
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