Methodology

The overall approach follows a three-stage process:

Stage 1. Analysis

An analysis of the research data management requirements using the latest revision of the Data Audit Framework (DAF) and the DCC Data Management Plan Checklist, at the divisional level in order to define the component services that would be required to support Humanities researchers in Oxford across their research lifecycle, with a particular focus on the creation of accessible, data-rich resources, their ongoing maintenance and the provision of data management training.

Stage 2 . Pre-implementation

The identification of touch-points of the requirements gathered with existing services in the University and in particular with those provided at the Faculty-level and those provided centrally. It is expected to develop a service catalogue for activities to readily identify services for research data management at various stages in the research process. This stage will also include the analysis of training requirements for Humanities researchers, identifying the different needs of those early in their careers and those who are well established.

Stage 3. Implementation

The pilot implementation of an online, low cost database provisioning service to streamline the configuration and building of online database applications that support multimedia (including text and images) datasets often generated within humanities research as well as the capacity to map geo-referenced data. The service will be trialled with selected activities within the Division at different stages in their lifecycle (e.g. a start-up project, an established project; supporting a PhD student, and an established scholar) and with different types of data. The implementation phase also includes the piloting of training modules and other support activities designed to support the Humanities Research Support Team and devised in conjunction with the DCC (e.g. Using Digital Curation 101 as a starting point).

Outputs

The following are some of the outputs that will be produced:
  • A report detailing the requirements from Humanities researchers in Oxford that also documents the management practices and training needs, based on the DAF methodology. Desktop research will also enable requirements within Oxford to be contextualised within the requirements of the broader UK humanities communities.
  • A pilot database as a service (DaaS) system evaluated by early adopters within the humanities that enables the efficient creation of online databases and semi-automation of the development of retrieval interfaces, the database as service will be attuned to good practice in data curation, including the early capture of metadata, and include particular support for image and geo-data as well as text and other popular data types.
  • A series of training modules to improve researchers skills in data management, at various points in the academic career and data lifecycle, covering best practice and also services available to them in the University and elsewhere.
  • Publications and presentations in relevant journals and conferences.
  • Two project workshops to bring together humanities researchers with experts in data management, whether from within the humanities or as service providers (local and national).