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Media Content in Research Data Management Plans

With all the information and literature available to us about the value and impact of visual media, it is surprising how many researchers consider visual materials as an afterthought in reporting on their research. Media professionals would argue that there is visual potential in every research; however, the potential in some cases might not be as obvious as in others.

This presentation and accompanying paper discusses the implications for researchers, especially the requirement to collect digital content as part of research data management process. This also has implications for institutional service providers such as libraries, infrastructure providers, and training services.

Abstract
Demonstrating research impact implies the ability to encapsulate “the research story” in a way that non-academics, as well as academics, can fully appreciate the significance. The inherent difficulty is epitomised by Krueger’s (2015) comment that “Canada’s social scientists and humanists have traditionally struggled to communicate their world-class research beyond academic circles”. They do not know how to tell the story of their research.

The assumption is that the primary vehicle for communication will be a “narrative”, i.e. text / words; it is implied that any visual representation, for example, will function as a complementary tool. Does this paradigm, however, match the evolution of the ways in which we currently can and/or expect to access digital content? Nowadays YouTube is the largest online video destination in the world and the second most visited website overall (Alexa, 2016).

What, then, if the primary medium for conveying technical / research information were visual rather than text? And what if we took another step and moved away from the “talking head” concept, i.e. someone presenting information in a long/ short, dry and visually boring manner, to something more dynamic and engaging? And possibly without sound?

With all the information and literature available to us about the value and impact of visual media, it is surprising how many researchers consider visual materials as an after-thought. Recognising and acknowledging, early on, the visual potential of the research that is being undertaken is the first step in ensuring a meaningful, engaging and authentic visual output.

This presentation and accompanying paper will discuss this changing landscape and the need to collect and catalogue digital content during the research lifecycle. This has implications for institutional service providers such as libraries, infrastructure providers, and training services.

References
Alexa (2016). The top 500 sites on the web.
Retrieved from http://www.alexa.com/topsites
Krueger, D. (2015). Telling the research story. Mississauga Board of Trade.
Retrieved from https://www.mbot.com/telling-the-research-story/