Digital curation tools: what works for you?

I’m undertaking a piece of work with Monica Duke and Magdalena Getler of the DCC, and we need your help!  We’re looking at which DCC-developed digital curation tools are used by the MRD02 projects.  This is a happy case of our interests overlapping in a Venn diagram-type way: I’m interested in which digital curation tools, DCC or not, are used (or considered but rejected) by the projects.  Monica and Magda are interested in the use of DCC tools by the MRD02 projects as well as by other people.

There is a list of the DCC tools developed to date at http://www.dcc.ac.uk/resources/tools-and-applications, and there is a freshly-revised catalogue of digital curation tools developed by people other than the DCC at http://www.dcc.ac.uk/resources/external/tools-services (although please note this latter link is currently still in development – it should be finalised by the week commencing 30 April 2012).

We plan to look at the project plans, blogs and so on to see where digital curation tools are mentioned.  After this initial perusal, the plan is currently for DCC to send out a brief survey to projects where we don’t already have a full picture from their blogging (and this may also be a way of helping to get the new RDMTrain02 projects involved), asking for information on their use of DCC tools.

If you’re on one of the projects and keen to contribute, it would be immensely helpful to me if you could let me know which tools for digital curation (DCC-developed or not) you have considered using.  If you’re going ahead with use of them, please let me know what you think of them, and if you’ve decided against use of a particular tool, please let me know why.  I welcome this feedback by email to laura.molloy AT glasgow.ac.uk, or in the comments below.  Thanks!

1 thought on “Digital curation tools: what works for you?

  1. Stella Fowler

    Hi Laura

    At UWE, we have derived an enterprise maturity model (or indicator of the institution’s current and aspirational data management activity) applicable to the UWE way, taking as a starting point the DCC mini cardio quiz, or pulse check. The resulting model is simply a two-sided set of statements (best presented in A3) on a scale against eight key research data management challenges covering
    – Risks associated with poor data management;
    – Research funder policies;
    – Institutional RDM policies;
    – Training, support and guidance for researchers;
    – IT infrastructure, back-up and storage;
    – Institutional repositories;
    – Funding; and
    – Staff skills.
    The statements are intentionally emotive to engage and, hopefully, virally infiltrate wider discussion and are re-useable in the context of policy-making.

    As part of this modeling, we have looked at collating the data electronically, with support from DCC who are able to customise the original quiz for specific target audiences should we require. However, we do not want to lose the granularity of the continuous measure that paper affords, and we are finding that there is mileage in having a paper version as some stakeholders tend to find this more accessible. We will, none-the-less, be trialling it as a discrete measure with PowerPoint Turning Point (voting buttons) over the coming months with some of our senior managers.

    In addition to tangibly benchmarking the as-is, and outlining what the ideal future UWE RDM status might look like, our model forms the basis of a Position Statement and subsequent aspirational, high level Strategy including a vision and principles of commitment. The model is not scientific (i.e. no weighting even though some middle ground is much further developed than others in statement terms) but does offer a rudimentary benchmarking measure for use with an unlimited range of stakeholders, at any level, here at UWE.

    The maturity model itself and the findings of our early indicative aspirational benchmarking (the resulting TOM) are now available on the outputs section of the UWE JISC MRD project website. Additionally, commentary supporting the work is available at Digital Curation Centre (DCC) tools and at Maturity Benchmark and Target Operating Model. The full UWE case-study can be downloaded as a PDF.

    We have also produced a Position Statement (not publically available) which has been adopted by the project Steering Group as a way to secure high-level, strategic commitment to a long term RDM strategy here at UWE. The position statement will feed a more aspirational version – to form the basis of an HEI policy / statement of commitment. We are currently planning on applying a layered approach along the lines of the Assessment Reform Group’s 2002 model. In a similar vein to how we’ve approached the DCC work, this incorporates and builds on the Principles approach successfully applied elsewhere in the MRD community in a way which I am confident will work for UWE.

    Stella

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