Project news from the summer

Things were all quiet on the blog over the summer, mostly because we had our heads down working on our requirements capture, analysis and clustering. Over the coming weeks we’ll have some more detailed posts about all these tasks, as we come into the home-straight for Phase 1 of the project.

Our main work has been in gathering the requirements. We’ve been out to around 30 stakeholders and interviewed each of them for an hour or more to help us understand what would make the research information landscape better from their point of view. As you can imagine, that’s a lot of content to go through, and we estimate we have around 900 pages of transcribed text that forms the our corpus of field research.

We’ve therefore also had our hands full reading through all of this text and attempting to identify and extract stakeholder requirements and also drivers for those stakeholders to engage in research information management in the first place. We can then use these requirements and drivers to build up a picture of the challenges and needs across our diverse stakeholders. On average there were around 40 requirements per stakeholder and 10 – 15 drivers.

We’re now engaged in the final big task for this phase (other than writing the report, obviously) which is actually clustering and normalising the requirements and drivers. We have to identify when two requirements are actually the same, to generalise those which are too specific, and organise them by area so that we can make recommendations as to how the sector should proceed to meet its needs. At last estimate, we anticipated there to be 150 – 200 unique requirements covering absolutely all aspects of research information from repository integration to reporting to funders.

So, it’s been busy!

Watch this space for more details about each of these tasks, as we start to write it up for the final report.

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