Managing and Sharing Digital Knowledge
As we collaborate with others through research projects, teaching, and enquiries, we are exploring digital tools to manage and share the outputs of these activities. This ensures that work is not lost or inaccessible, but can benefit other students and researchers in formal and informal learning.
Middlesex University are currently part of the JISC Research Data Shared Service (RDSS) Pilot that is looking to provide researchers with intuitive, easy to use systems that allow them to publish, archive and preserve their research outputs. The idea is to provide sustainable access to research data so it can be re-used. This is increasingly becoming a requirement of research funding, but it is also good practice, and something both Middlesex University and MoDA want to work towards.
MoDA got involved in the middle of our Katagami in Practice research project funded by Arts Council England. We wanted to manage the research data that was generated, so that we could store it, and make it accessible, particularly in the shorter term amongst the researchers themselves. Our researchers are external to Middlesex University, so finding a platform where the research could be pooled and made accessible was important. We are also in the process of ensuring that our digital assets are stored securely, according to best practice and also meet legal requirements relating to things like data protection legislation.
The data repository part of the RDSS project for Middlesex University is provided by figshare for institutions. figshare helps academic institutions store, share and manage all of their research outputs. It provides features such as a digital object identifier (doi) that persists, metrics on shares, views, downloads and citations on all research objects, levels of access, and a branded portal. Middlesex University’s portal also has sub groups, which includes a portal for MoDA. In order to manage the research data associated with our Katagami Project, figshare helped us set up a project area in our MoDA group. They were interested in our use of the project space functionality, and asked us to be part of a case study. The case study itself is stored on figshare, which allows us to embed its contents on our website for you to read.
There is certainly a lot of potential for us in developing our use of this further, and another aspect of the RDSS project is something we have also been considering – long-term digital preservation. We are excited about the possibilities this presents to allow us to make our research and learning more accessible more easily, yet also secure in the longer term, with the hope that it will lead to further collaborations and knowledge sharing in the future.