On 25th February members of the CREAM team held a workshop “Metadata in Action” at IDCC 2016 in Amsterdam. The workshop lasted 3 hours and was designed to give participants an indication of the potential impact of using metadata actively on enhancing research. Specifically, they were engaged in discussions and fun hands-on activities, using both sound art and science, to explore the nature, generation, capture, curation and active use of metadata for research.
After a brief introduction of the CREAM objectives, Iris Garrelfs lead the group in sound art activities. such as a listening walk uncovering “planted” sounds or exploring the environment with a “listening cone”, that led participants to recognise how early inherent concepts impact on even very basic experiences such as listening. Potentially recording such “inward” observations and decisions taken as a result might lead to increased transparency and facilitate the later identification of errors or where new routes could be taken along a previous workflow.
Cerys Willoughby facilitated the second half of the workshop, getting the participants think about metadata within scientific processes. The activity involved completing a scientific experiment using a chemical reaction in the form of Alka-Seltzer and water to power a small Lego car of their own design. The participants were encouraged to design their own experiment and to record their results on one of three randomly allocated templates. As well as discussing what the active metadata in the experiment might be, the participants shared their experiences of recording their process, ideas and decisions.
We set out to encourage our participants to think about metadata in a different way and to have some fun. The discussions at the end of the workshop suggest that we accomplished both aims. Not only did the participants enjoy the workshop, but they also gained an insight into their own approaches to situations, the importance of knowing their biases, and capturing decisions to provide context for their work.
Colin also presented our paper at the conference. You can find out more about the presentation and how to get the paper from CREAM at IDCC16.