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Survey of ICT Activities in AHRC Research Centres: Recommendations

An intensive review of ICT activities within centres funded by the AHRC's Research Centres Scheme was undertaken as part of an initial mapping exercise by the AHRC ICT Programme and the AHDS. All 19 centres were visited between September 2004 and March 2005, and key personnel interviewed. The ensuing report, AHRC Research Centres and the Use of ICT, by Stuart Dunn and Alastair Dunning, makes the following recommendations:

1. A much better awareness of the large support infrastructure already in existence at both local and national level is required. Existing skills and knowledge also needs to be exploited.

  • Regular (yearly?) meetings of award winners. Different events for different staff - project Directors, ICT staff, digitisers, administrators
  • A checklist of technological issues to be resolved between applicants and host institutions IT prior to application
  • General AHRC promotion of existing support service infrastructure
  • Use of AHDS / Methods Network to share and disseminate ICT skills and tools and get relevant projects talking to one another
  • Establishment of mailing list and maybe electronic newsletter, or use of existing AHRC communication channels to reflect the issues raised here
  • 2. Grant-winners need to be aware of the time and cost issues involved in exploiting ICT, and this incorporated into plans and budgets when projects apply to the AHRC.

  • Application submissions must include and be judged on this type of information
  • Early meeting of award-winners should reinforce this need
  • AHRC must expect slightly higher costs
  • 3. Copyright Issues.

  • Greater awareness of copyright issues and existing support (whether national or institutional) is again required
  • Development of a ‘users’ agenda’ to provide a united front for arts and humanities researchers when dealing with copyright issues
  • 4. Sustainability.

  • Applications forms should give some thought to exit strategies, and sustainability of digital (and non-digital, i.e. staff) resources
  • AHRC policy on how projects progress once funding has ended is required
  • 5. E-Journals.

  • Advisory standards for E-journals produced using AHRC funding covering peer review and editorial protocols are required
  • The full report can be downloaded here (PDF file).

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