Research data management

Non-published research data and datasets have become a major area of interest in recent times, with research funding bodies (UK research councils, EU, British Academy, Wellcome Trust, etc.) requiring researchers and their institutions to manage this vast amount of primarily digital material, and make it as openly available to other researchers as possible. The JISC-funded KAPTUR project (October 2011-March 2013) attempted to create a model of best practice for the management of research data in the visual arts, starting with the difficult question of defining what constitutes research data in this context. The project, led by VADS (University for the Creative Arts) in partnership with Glasgow School of Art, Goldsmiths and University of the Arts London, has now come to an end, and its outcomes are available to inform developments across the sector. In its final report, a definition of visual arts research data is proposed: “Evidence which is used or created to generate new knowledge and interpretations. ‘Evidence’ may be intersubjective or subjective; physical or emotional; persistent or ephemeral; personal or public; explicit or tacit; and is consciously or unconsciously referenced by the researcher at some point during the course of their research. As part of the research process, research data maybe collated in a structured way to create a dataset to substantiate a particular interpretation, analysis or argument. A dataset may or may not lead to a research output, which regardless of method of presentation, is a planned public statement of new knowledge or interpretation.” (Leigh Garrett, January 2013). For a fuller discussion, see: KAPTUR the Highlights: Exploring Research Data Management in the Visual Arts in the last issue of Ariadne (July 2013).

RCUK Common Principles on Data Policy


KAPTUR Final Report (May 2013)

KAPTUR the Highlights: Exploring Research Data Management in the Visual Arts

The Digital Curation Centre was established in 2004 to give advice and support to the UK HE research community on all aspects of digital research data management. Its How-to Guides provide a wealth of practical knowledge on a range of issues, from How to Cite Datasets and Link to Publications to How to Develop Research Data Management Services. The UK Data Archive, funded by the ESRC, curates the largest collection of digital data in the social sciences and humanities in the UK, with several thousand datasets.

Digital Curation Centre

DCC How-to Guides

UK Data Archive

The development of a research data management infrastructure builds upon the ongoing efforts to provide open acces to public research outputs (articles, books, theses, etc.), particularly via the development of institutional repositories. The Kultur Project (2007-2009), and related JISC-funded projects (Kultivate, eNova), created a repository model for art & design institutions, and many have established this service in the last few years (see Marie-Therese Gramstadt’s article Kultivating Kultur: Increasing Arts Research Deposit for more information). Research data managers, repository managers and research support librarians are among the specialist roles created by libraries to deliver these new services, and their involvement in the ongoing REF 2014 (closing date for submissions is 29 November 2013) will be very significant. The REF has moved away from using citation as the primary measure of research excellence, but those teaching citation analysis and bibliometrics will find of interest the series of posts Tools for citation analysis in the excellent blog of the Research Support Hub at the Univerisity of Northampton.

The recent LIBER2013 Conference, held in June in Munich, included a workshop on open access and research data management in European research libraries. The presentations and a summary of the panel discussion are now available in the LIBER Blog.




Kultivating Kultur: Increasing Arts Research Deposit

Research Excellence Framework (REF)

Tools for citation analysis

LIBER2013 Scholarly Communication and Research Infrastructures Workshop

Databases update

This year has seen the launch of two significant commercial databases: Art Source, a new “super” art database by EBSCO at the end of January, and the Art and Architecture Archive by ProQuest in late June. Art Source is a combination of H.W. Wilson’s Art Full Text and Art Index Retrospective with Art and Architecture Complete, plus additional full text titles not available on any of these databases (ca. 630 full text journal titles in total, plus some 220 e-books). Art and Architecture Archive is a collection of full text complete runs of 16 important titles: Apollo, Architectural Review, Architects’ Journal, ArtAsia Pacific, Art Monthly, British Journal of Photography, C Magazine, Canadian Architect, Ceramics Technical, Country Life, Eye, Graphis, Ornament, Print, Sculpture and Southwest Art. The ProQuest databases ARTBibliographies Modern, Design and Applied Arts Index, Art and Humanities Full Text, and International Bibliography of Art are also available as a collection, ProQuest Art, Design and Architecture Collection (ca. 400 full text journal titles).

Art Source

Art and Architecture Archive

ProQuest Art, Design and Architecture Collection

The Getty Reseach Portal is a project of the GRI that provides free access to thousands of digitised art history books (full text). Initial contributors include the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library, the Getty Research Institute, Heidelberg University Library, the Institut national d’histoire de l’art and members of the New York Art Resources Consortium.

Getty Reseach Portal

IFLA Library is IFLA’s new institutional repository, where the papers for the World Library and Information Congress (Singapore, 17-23 August) are available, including 2 for Session 161 “Crossing boundaries: art libraries, museums and archives in a global context” (Art Libraries Section) and 4 for Session 202 Images, lost and found: innovative approaches to discovery and use of visual material found in rare books, manuscripts, and special collections” (Art Libraries with Rare Books and Manuscripts sections). You can also find there an informative article on MOOCs by Mariellen Carter, MOOCs and the Library: Engaging with Evolving Pedagogy, where the experience of Stanford libraries supporting this latest online learning development is analysed. For those interested in this topic, the blog MOOCs and Libraries is a rich source of information and a good starting point for further investigation.

IFLA Library

MOOCs and the Library: Engaging with Evolving Pedagogy

MOOCs and Libraries


[Grandal Montero, G. (2013) Resources online: Research data management. ARLIS News-sheet, no. 225, Sept.-Oct., pp. 3-4.]


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: