Month 3 Milestone: Preliminary report on deliverables

Our long-term goal is to create guidelines and exemplars to demonstrate how the active use of metadata can make research more effective, agile and timely for researchers. For Phase 2 we undertook to produce a “structural outline” to show what the guidelines would consist of and which topics we would cover, so we are assembling the material for that deliverable in a framework document. Our work to date suggest that two prominent considerations will be: (a) the importance of visual representations; and (b) emphasising the decision points and the underlying motivations. The document will also cover potentially relevant standards and specifications.

During the six months since the project began, our understanding of its scope has developed considerably. We have recognised more areas of commonality between the arts and sciences that we had anticipated and have gained a great deal from the collaborative activities between partners. We have explored several applications in greater detail: Neutron source experiments at the STFC ISIS facility; Procedural Blending in Sound Arts; GeosMeta at Edinburgh; and Digital recording of chemistry experiments. We believe that Annalist has been useful for experimenting with and modelling existing metadata, but unless it is also being used for actual data collection processes, we now think we will probably need to complement Annalist with tools for active metadata capture that are closely coupled with tools used for the actual research or creative process concerned. Notwithstanding that point of view, the CREAM work has usefully informed the ongoing development of Annalist, both through direct involvement with creating the exemplar data, and also by helpful reviews and comments from project partners who have been using it.

Although we said that we would report on active metadata use in other disciplines, we have recognised that producing such an assessment is a longer-term aim, so we are now undertaking preliminary investigations and planning how we might identify examples. We have made useful contacts and generated interest in our project at the TaPP workshop, the RDA conference, and through personal communications. We hope to make a strong impact at the IDCC16 conference in February 2016, to which we have submitted two practice papers and a workshop proposal.

Our next team meeting will be on Friday 13th November. When the agenda has been agreed it will be available on this website.

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