An opportunity to shape the AHRC’s policy on software and data

Closed 8 Mar 2022

Opened 22 Oct 2021


Collecting, storing and reusing data are essential practices for researchers across all disciplines. It is key that the funders of research have policies and practices on data and the software used to extract, manipulate, and store it, that are fit for purpose now and in the future. The Arts and Humanities Research Council has recently asked researchers at the University of Southampton  to investigate views on data and software knowledge and skill amongst researchers and others involved in arts and humanities research, in order to inform their policy in this area.

Our research  aims:

  • To develop a better understanding of current research practices; the location and extent of data and software loss, and the factors that drive it; 
  • To identify the gaps in training, skills and knowledge in data and software manipulation and management, so that appropriate provision can be made; 
  • To make sure that AHRC are able to devise data policies and training provision and support that meet the needs and priorities of everyone who is eligible for and a beneficiary of their funding, not just the more digitally focused.   

Why your views matter

During October 2021 we are conducting online focus groups with various groups within the arts and humanities community to ensure we understand the diversity of experiences, views and language and that we are asking the right questions. This data will provide some early findings on current practices and support the design and dissemination of a community wide survey later in 2021 and depth interviews about skills and practice early in 2022

It’s crucial to our study to gather input from the widest community possible, in order to understand the broadest range of views and experiences. We’re interested to speak to everyone, but particularly those groups who are less well represented in existing understandings of the arts and humanities research community: Early career academics, digital humanities, data software experts, those working in IROs, non-academic researchers, those from diverse ethnic backgrounds, female, non-binary or LGBTQ researchers, researchers with a disability.  



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