For the last year the Institute of Historical Research has been working with the Humanities Research Institute (University of Sheffield) and the Department of History (University of Hull) to improve data management skills for History postgraduates and early career researchers. We quickly caught up with Dr Matt Phillpott to find out more about the forthcoming workshop and the project in general.
What is the project aim?
History DMT (Data Management Training and Guidance) seeks to integrate best practice, good principles, and skills of research data management within the postgraduate curriculum and among early career historians through a series of specialist workshops at London, Hull, and Sheffield and through the development of a free online training course dedicated to the research data types that historians are most likely to come across in their research. The project is part of the AHRC Collaborative Skills Development strand and aims to make a real contribution to the study of History across the UK.
How can I take part?
Our next workshop will take place at the University of Sheffield on Monday 14 April 2014. I strongly recommend the day to anyone working on a research project in the History discipline. Learning how to manage data is vital for historians. Inevitably your research will suffer if you have not properly worked out what data you will be producing, how you are going to store and structure it, and how you will ensure that it is useful beyond the initial research project itself.
At this, our third workshop, we will be showcasing the online course giving you the first opportunity to try it out and hopefully learn something in the process. We will also be discussing issues around data management throughout the day.
What will the online course provide?
The History DMT online course will take researchers through the entire process of managing your research in terms of the data that you produce. It considers issues of managing and structuring data, ensuring that it is sharable and reusable, and looks at various tools that will help you to do this.
The essential element of this course though, which we think will set it apart from other courses, is the focus on creating a data management plan. Every student who works their way through the online course should be able to walk away from it with a plan that will better enable them to manage their data and prove that they have considered all the issues. This is our attempt to ensure that the course can be tailored to the individual needs of each student who takes it, whilst remaining useful to all at the same time.
Any final comments
We really hope to have postgraduates and early career researchers from across the UK at this workshop. Sheffield is easy to get to by public transport and only a few hours away from London. As this is an AHRC funded project, the workshop is FREE and we have travel bursaries available for students so there is no need to pay anything out to get there and back.
Workshop title: Historians and their Data: A Workshop Exploring Best Practice for Research Data Management in History
Location: Humanities Research Institute, University of Sheffield (34 Gell Street, Sheffield S3 7QY)
Date: Monday 14th April 2014