‘Research Data Management: Increasing the impact of data and the need for data preservation (with examples from Kigali Genocide Memorial)’

Hibbert, D. (Speaker)

Activity: Academic Talks or PresentationsOral presentationResearch

Description

Research Data Management (RDM) is largely driven by funders, although many publishers, e.g. Nature, now require a statement in relation to the underlying data. Yet the vast majority of our academics have limited knowledge of RDM and digital preservation, seeing it as the next “compliance” requirement. How do we ensure that data being collected and analysed is not lost from one generation to the next?

This presentation will look at one key reason for data to be preserved with a real life application. The 1994 genocide in Rwanda saw approximately one million people killed over 100 days. Whilst most of these people remain nameless, some information has been preserved. The genocide memorial in Kigali documents the lives of some of the victims, including children. One room is filled with photos of lives that were lost. However, no-one remembers their names or personnel details, and after the initial impact, the photographs inevitably fade from memory. In the next room there are A1 size photographs of children, with a few small pieces of data written under them – the child’s name, favourite food, age and how they were killed. It is these pictures that leave people haunted and unable to forget. The photos are no different from others, but having data with these photos adds far more value to them. It is this room that undoes the hardest of hearts.

It is essential that we get better at not only preserving our data, but in presenting it, to make a difference in our world. A vast amount of rich research is being conducted and billions of pounds are spent on research each year. Yet much of this research needs to be re-done rather than being built upon. This presentation will highlight the value of RDM and digital curation.
Period30 May 2017
Event titleCONUL 2017: Consortium of National and University Libraries
Event typeConference
LocationAthlone, Ireland
Degree of RecognitionNational