Making Research Data Public Workshopping Data Curation for Digital Humanities Projects

1. Abstract

A lack of formal training opportunities for data curation in multi-site DH teams means that the data produced in these teams is in danger of being lost! This four-hour workshop will cover all areas of data management including: IP permissions and informed consent, data collection, metadata standards, file sharing, preservation (data deposit), and data sharing through the open data spectrum of access. Participants will work on their own data curation challenges in break-out sessions and with reference to case study examples?presented by a panel of DH scholars and digital asset management specialists: Constance Crompton (uOttawa), Karis Shearer (UBCO), Matthew Lincoln (Carnegie-Mellon U), Mikhel Proulx (Concordia U and Indigenous Digital Art Archive), Meghan Goodchild (Queen’s U and Scholars Portal). The lesson plan is designed and delivered by Felicity Tayler (uOttawa), Sarah Simpkin (uOttawa), and Marjorie Mitchell (UBCO).

This workshop is a good preparation for researchers who must create a data management plan to comply with funding agency requirements. The workshop arises at a moment when DH researchers have greater access to funding to support large-scale multi-partner projects with diverse digital assets. The manifold nature of DH, and its reflexive challenges to culturally imposed power imbalances in digital systems presents unique challenges for data curation. Responding to the conference thematic of cultural and disciplinary intersections, this workshop proposes that DH is one of the social and conceptual spaces where the informal networks of international “data communities” arise through acts of data curation and sharing (Cooper and Springer). Our approach to data curation recognizes that data communities are multilingual and multi-cultural just as they cross epistemological and disciplinary lines.

Contact information of co-facilitators

Felicity Tayler, Research Data Management Librarian, University of Ottawa |

Example of workshop previously led on this topic:
“Data Curation for Communities of Sound: A Speculative Workshop” led by Felicity Tayler and Marjorie Mitchell. SpokenWeb Symposium. Simon Fraser University, BC. 30 May 2019; OLA SuperConference 2020, Toronto, ON. 30 January 2020.

Sarah Simpkin, Head, Research Support (Arts and Special Collections), University of Ottawa |

Marjorie Mitchell, Copyright, Scholarly Communications, and Research Data Management Librarian, Research Services, University of British Columbia Okanagan |

Contact information of confirmed presenters/affiliated authors

Constance Crompton, Canada Research Chair in Digital Humanities in the Department of Communication, University of Ottawa |

Karis Shearer, Associate Professor, English and Cultural Studies, University of British Columbia Okanagan |

Matthew Lincoln, Research Software Engineer, Carnegie Mellon University Libraries |

Mikhel Proulx, Indigenous Digital Art Archive, Concordia University, |
Meghan Goodchild, Acting Head, Discovery and Technology Services, Research Data Management Systems Librarian, Queen’s University and Scholars Portal, Ontario Council of University Libraries (OCUL), |

Description of target audience

This workshop is of interest to DH researchers working in national and international collaborative teams, in particular, those who are funded through agencies that have Data Management Plan requirements. Students and Research Assistants will also benefit from this training, as the next generation of researchers who will adopt these data curation best practices. As a key focus of the conference is First Nations, Native American, and Indigenous Studies (FNAIS), we anticipate that many workshop attendees will bring knowledge systems into the room with them that challenge data curation best practices based in Western traditions of property ownership and colonial methods of data collection - we will address these gaps.

Technical requirements

Should this workshop be accepted, the University of Ottawa Library has committed to hosting us in its “Tinkering Lab,” designed for collaborative learning styles and data visualization. The room is equipped with an 8K LED video wall, and 2 LED 4k displays, as well as capacity for up to 50 participants seated in modular group learning dynamics. We will provide our own technical support. Refreshments will be served in the mezzanine area outside of the Lab.

Syllabus for proposed workshop

Making Research Data Public:
Workshopping Data Curation for Digital Humanities Projects
Prepared by: Felicity Tayler, Sarah Simpkin, Marjorie Mitchell

Learning Outcome:

By the end of this session, participants will be able to understand data curation terms and best practices, in a way that is meaningful to their own disciplinary and computational methodologies.

Learning Objectives:

Participants will be able to
1) Recognize and describe their research data
2) Identify data curation practices they already undertake
3) Describe data management best practices that they could adopt to better achieve their goals
4) Summarize what they have learned as it applies to their own projects

Lesson Content / Process:

40 mins

  1. What is your data? Introduction to data curation key concepts (Presenters: Felicity Tayler, Sarah Simpkin, Marjorie Mitchell)

  1. Introduction to data management plans in international contexts (DMPOnline (UK), DMPTool (USA); DMP Assistant (Canada)

Activity: Ask group about what data they are producing/working with.


60 mins with Q&A

  1. “Learning from examples” DH data curation successes (and failures) presentation of 1-4 case studies


30 min

Refreshments & networking


30 min

  1. “What is Your Data Flow and Discovery Model?”
    How to map out your research data at different phases of the project addressing: IP permissions and informed consent, data collection and storage, metadata description, file sharing, preservation (data deposit), data sharing through the spectrum of access, publication, credit and citation.

Activity: Facilitator-led break-out sessions (F. Tayler, S. Simpkin, and M. Mitchell). Participants work individually or in a group.


10 min



30 min

  1. “What is Your Spectrum of Data Access?”

How to map your data flow models onto 5 categories
of access from secure & protected to open license.

Data Papers & Data Journals

Activity: Facilitator-led break-out sessions (F. Tayler, S. Simpkin and M. Mitchell). Participants work individually or in a group.


10 min



30 min

Sharing & feed-back session

Participants synthesize what they have learned by presenting their data flows in small groups for feed-back

Some relevant readings and resources

Anderson, Katrina and et al. "Student Labour and Training in Digital Humanities." DHQ: Digital Humanities Quarterly 10.1 (2016): n.p. Web. .

Institute for Critical Indigenous Studies. “Episode 2: Indigeneity in DH.” Recoding Relations. Web.

Canadian Writing Research Collaboratory. LINCS Cyberinfrastructure Project. 2019. Web.

Carnegie Mellon University. The Digital Humanities Literacy Guidebook. 2019. Web.

Cooper, Danielle and Rebecca Springer. "Data Communities: A New Model for Supporting STEM Data Sharing." ITHKA S+R (2019): 1-26. Web. .

Data Curation Network. Data Curation Network Primers. 2018. Web. .

Digital Curation Centre. About DMP Online. 2019. Web. .

Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities. Digital Humanities Data Curation Guide. [2014]. Web.

McGovern, Nancy Y. "Radical Collaboration and Research Data Management: An Introduction." Research Library Issues 296 (2018): 6-22. Web. .

Posner, Miriam. "What's Next: The Radical, Unrealized Potential of Digital Humanities." Gold, Matthew K. and Lauren F. Klein. Debates in the Digital Humanities 2016. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2016. 32-41. Print.

Portage Network. DMP Assistant. Web.

Tayler, Felicity; Marjorie Mitchell, and Rebecca Springer. “Emergent Data Community Spotlight II: An interview with Felicity Tayler and Marjorie Mitchell on the Spoken Web Project.” Ithaka S+R. Web. 10 September 2019. <>

University of California Curation Centre. DMP Tool : Data Management General Guidance. Web. 2019. .

Wernimont, Jacqueline and Elizabeth Losh, eds. Bodies of Information: Intersectional Feminism and the Digital Humanities. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2018.

Felicity Tayler (, University of Ottawa, Canada, Sarah Simpkin (, University of Ottawa, Canada, Marjorie Mitchell (, University of British Columbia Okanagan, Constance Crompton (, University of Ottawa, Canada, Karis Shearer (, University of British Columbia Okanagan, Matthew Lincoln (, Carnegie Mellon University Libraries, Mikhel Proulx (, Concordia University and Meghan Goodchild (, Queen’s University and Scholars Portal, Ontario Council of University Libraries

Theme: Lux by Bootswatch.