Humanities Data Management Workshop, March 24, 2016

The Humanities and History Division will be offering a new workshop, Humanities Data Management: An overview of resources and best practices for organizing, managing, and archiving your research materials at all stages of the scholarly process, on Thursday, March 24, from 11:00 am to 12:30 pm in Butler Library 208b (Studio@Butler).

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“Piled Higher and Deeper” by Jorge Cham www.phdcomics.com

All of us create an enormous amount of electronic material – in our research and writing, phone, email, and internet communications,  commercial transactions and official business,  and pursuit of our personal pastimes and interaction with others.  That material exists in a variety of formats – word processor files, bibliographic databases, pdfs, webpages, image and media files, spreadsheets, computer programs, blog and Twitter posts, email messages, address books and contact lists, text and voice messages and more – and is stored in a variety of locations – on personal computers, tablets,  cell phones, the Internet, CDs and DVDs,   external hard drives, USB drives and other places as well.  The files are typically easy to copy, send, store, transport, edit and transform, but they are also vulnerable to damage or loss through misplacement, editing errors, hardware or software failure or obsolescence, file decay or corruption, theft, water or fire damage, and  other mishaps.  Some of that material is short-lived, and thankfully so, given the huge amount of content that each of us produces.  At the same time, there is much we will want to save for the short, medium, or long term to support our ongoing research, to refer to or make available as needed, or simply to have as part of our personal collections.  Some will be for our use only, but we may want to make some of it available to others, and some we may eventually want to leave behind as a record of the work we have done in our careers.

For all these reasons, it is increasingly important to take steps to organize and preserve your data.  Most of us have an inadequate approach to this process at best.  However, a growing number of tools and strategies are available to make the process easier and more straightforward.  For this reason, the Humanities and History Division has been working with Amy Nurnberger, Columbia University’s Research Data Manager, to introduce humanities scholars to some of the tools, resources, and best practices for managing research data.

We look forward to seeing you there!