Historians don’t often like to think about data management. Indeed, it is almost considered an ugly word or a taboo. Data Management gets in the way of the interesting stuff – the research, the learning. Nevertheless, it is vital to the work that we do. History is data. It is the essential essence of the subject. Yet, it is so easy to leave your folder system in a complete mess or not to consider issues of preservation or back-up until necessary (or until your hard drive dies on you!). Stuff that you produce now, for current use is understandable, but 6 months down the line, a year? Perhaps not so much.
It is for this reason that the Institute of Historical Research in partnership with the Department of History at the University of Hull and Sheffield, as well as the Humanities Research Institute (Sheffield), have produced this online resource to guide postgraduate students in the processes of looking after their research.
The online course – Managing your Research – offers students the opportunity to create a data management plan which can be used to help guide their research and used as evidence of a well thought out research project for supervisors, funding bodies, and potential employers. Using videos, handbooks, and exercises to guide the researcher through the relevant information, the course is designed to be of practical use for anyone starting or undertaking a research project.
Managing your Research was developed via funding from the AHRC Collaborative Skills Development strand. It is the main output of the History DMT project and can now be found on the School of Advanced Study’s PORT website.