What makes people tick when it comes to paradata?


In times of cancellations and re-scheduling CAPTURE has managed to realize two of the spring’s key events in the last week: the project’s inaugural Advisory board meeting and a joint seminar with a highly topical project at Uppsala University: URDAR.

The Advisory board members all contribute with expertise from fields of research relevant to the paradata topic: 

  • Sally Wyatt, Professor of Digital Cultures, Technology & Society Studies, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Maastricht University 
  • Costas Papadopoulos, Assistant Professor, Literature & Art, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Maastricht University 
  • Jeremy Huggett, Honorary Senior Research Fellow (Archaeology), University of Glasgow 
  • Melanie Feinberg, Associate Professor, UNC School of Information and Library Science, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill 
  • Eric Kansa, Open Context Program Director; Researcher at UC Berkeley, D-Lab  
  • Costis Dallas, Associate Professor, Director of Museum Studies Program, Director of DCI and Coordinator of Collaborative Specializations, University of Toronto 

The board meeting covered presentations of all members and the on-going studies: a literature-based analysis of the paradata concept, a study of paradata in archaeological reports, an interview study and a survey on the making and use of paradata. One of the many thought-provoking questions raised were: What makes people tick when it comes to paradata? I.e. what is it that motivates to spend time and effort on compiling additional information about data? And at the other end of the spectra: what is it that paradata enables people to do and achieve?

The second event was a joint research seminar with the research infrastructure project URDAR, headed by Daniel Löwenborg at Uppsala University in close collaboration with Åsa Larsson at the Swedish National Heritage Board. URDAR strives to make sure that digitally born documentation from excavations will be findable for researchers through linked data and open archives, strengthening archaeological as well as transdisciplinary research in the humanities and sciences. Therefore, the types of meta- and paradata of importance and use to researchers is joint interest for URDAR and CAPTURE. One vision for the projects’ future collaborations is to share results on the most valued meta- and paradata types and forms for the benefit of infrastructure construction.