Meeting the challenge of curating artistic research output
3 March 2011
Project CAiRO (Curating Artistic Research Output), a JISC-funded project undertaken collaboratively between JISC Digital Media, the Department of Drama: Theatre, Film, Television and the Digital Curation Centre aims to provide the arts practitioner-researcher with skills to successfully manage research data.
Data created by the UK's research-active performance and visual arts departments is often rich, technically accomplished and amazingly varied. The 2008 REF saw the introduction of research formats such as ‘artefact’ and ‘digital or visual media’ added to the already existing ‘exhibition’, ‘performance’ and ‘design’.
Types of research data generated by the creative arts are diverse but the concerns of many practitioner-researchers are common to research as a whole: producing data which is accessible, maximising the impact of work, investigating ways in which data can be shared and combined with the work of others nationally or internationally or making best use of increasingly scarce public funding.
Project CAiRO (Curating Artistic Research Output) is a JISC-funded project undertaken collaboratively between JISC Digital Media (based within ILRT), the Department of Drama: Theatre, Film, Television and the Digital Curation Centre. CAiRO encourages partnerships between artists and repositories and aims to provide the arts practitioner-researcher with skills to successfully manage their own research data.
The project has revealed some serious mismatches between the support required by creative arts researchers and that which many HEIs make available: institutional repositories frequently accept research outputs as text only, copyright guidance may exclude mention of ‘works of art’ entirely and collection management systems may not be able to cope with alternative versions of work created for different purposes.
CAiRO is part of the JISC Managing Research Data programme and one of five projects to offer the skills and knowledge needed to manage disciplines-specific research data. CAiRO will achieve this by creating a post-graduate teaching module aimed squarely at the creative arts researcher. The whole teaching module will be made freely available this summer via the Open JORUM teaching and learning repository and will include guidance on a range of issues identified as important by creative researchers themselves. Topics include copyright, ethics, metadata, file formats, sharing data, completing the AHRC’s technical appendix and effective documentation. CAiRO will also host two intensive training schools on data management for existing arts PhD students.
CAiRO is taking a very user-led approach and welcomes individuals or institutions to become involved with the project. Input and feedback will help us to develop and refine our teaching materials throughout the project.