We are looking forward to the Repository Fringe next week, now in its 10th year, and coinciding as always with the far less entertaining Edinburgh Fringe. We will be presenting a poster (to follow, see below for a taster), perhaps telling a few jokes, and sharing expertise and experience with our fellow repository professionals.
Galactic Interfaces: navigating the creative data universe
The poster takes its title from a piece of music in one of the datasets in the Research Data Leeds repository. ‘Galactic Interfaces’ is a semi-improvised piece about interactions and contrasts; rather like developing a research data service. The poster will use the galactic theme to show how working with arts and humanities researchers has launched us from planet ‘EPSRC data compliance’ to boldly go where the research data service has not gone before. We use ‘Galactic Interfaces’ in research data training sessions to encourage researchers to step outside their own world and think creatively about their data and metadata. Our galactic journey has taken us into the Special Collections galaxy where we have been working on developing a common language so we can understand each other. We have a landing party visiting the digital humanities nebula and we’re launching a rescue mission for project web sites currently being drawn into a giant black hole.
Much valuable work has been done with creative data already in other repository services (VADS, UAL etc.); for a repository in a multi-disciplinary institution like University of Leeds, working with creative data has shifted thinking about our research data service and where its long term value may lie. It has prompted consideration of the variety of data contributors; who should be acknowledged for their creative input, and how? How do we licence data with third party content? How do we capture and package data from practice-based creative disciplines? Do we have a role in bringing together data and researchers from different spheres – virtually, but also in physical space for discussion and exploration? Borders are being crossed, redrawn and broken down and we are re-plotting our star charts! (We will also reach beyond the borders of the poster by making it interactive.)