Managing data: photographs in research

In collaboration with Scholarly Communications, the Data Library participated in the workshop “Data: photographs in research” as part of a series of workshops organised by Dr Tom Allbeson and Dr Ella Chmielewska for the pilot project “Fostering Photographic Research at CHSS” supported by the College of Humanities and Social Science (CHSS) Challenge Investment Fund.

In our research support roles, Theo Andrew and I addressed issues associated with finding and using photographs from repositories, archives and collections, and the challenges of re-using photographs in research publications. Workshop attendants came from a wide range of disciplines, and were at different stages in their research careers.

First, I gave a brief intro on terminology and research data basics, and navigated through media platforms and digital repositories like Jisc Media Hub, VADS, Wellcome Trust, Europeana, Live Art Archive, Flickr Commons, Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Online Catalog (Muybridge http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/cph.3a45870) – links below.

Eadweard Muybridge. 1878. The Horse in motion. Photograph.

From the Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Online Catalog

Then, Theo presented key concepts of copyright and licensing, which opened up an extensive discussion on what things researchers have to consider when re-using photographs and what institutional support researchers expect to have. Some workshop attendees shared their experience of reusing photographs from collections and archives, and discussed the challenges they face with online publications.

The last presentation tackling the basics of managing photographic research data was not delivered due to time constraints. The presentation was for researchers who produce photographic materials, however, advice on best RDM practice is relevant to any researcher independently of whether they are producing primary data or reusing secondary data. There may be another opportunity to present the remaining slides to CHSS researchers at a future workshop.

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How can you improve your data management skills?

A range of training courses on research data management (RDM) in the form of half-day courses and seminars have been created to help you with research data management issues, and are now available for booking on the MyEd booking system:

  • Research Data Management Programme at the University of Edinburgh
  • Good practice in research data management
  • Creating a data management plan for your grant application
  • Handling data using SPSS (based on the MANTRA module)
  • Handling data with ArcGIS (based on the MANTRA module)

RDM trainingThese courses and seminars aim to equip researchers, postgraduate research students and research support staff with a grounded understanding in data management issues and data handling.

If you manage research data, provide support for research, or are interested in finding out more about efficient and effective ways of managing your research data these course will be for you.

For detailed information about these courses please go to: http://www.ed.ac.uk/schools-departments/information-services/research-support/data-management/rdm-training

We are also happy to arrange tailored sessions for researchers and research support staff in aspects of research data management from planning through to depositing.  Please contact us at IS.Helpline@ed.ac.uk if you would like to arrange a training session.

Cuna Ekmekcioglu
Senior Research Data Officer
Library & University Collections, IS

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