Arts and Humanities Research Council and the AHDS part ways

(strange…I thought that a ‘centralised service’…like the AHRC itself, would be the most efficient means of storing digital data…and the last 2 sentences are just plain dumb…as if ‘making websites’ has had anything to do with the Digital Humanities or the AHDS…and ‘HEIs understanding the issues involved in the storage of long term data’…like sure; about as well as I understand the issues involved in running a draconian English research council ).

The AHRC has announced important changes in its policy for grant applicants,
advising them that it has decided to cease funding the Arts and Humanities Data Service (AHDS) from April 2008.
The AHRC has elected to retain a data service in the area of Archaeology
and is in negotiation with the ADS in York. Details of the impact on grant
applicants is outlined on the AHRC website at (link).

The AHRC has stated that: “Council believes that Arts and Humanities
researchers have developed significant IT knowledge and expertise in the
past decade. The context within which the AHDS was initially supported by
the AHRC has changed. Much technical knowledge is now readily available
within HEIs, either from IT support services or from academics. Much that
generally can be safely assumed now, for example that web sites can be put
together and run effectively for the duration of a project, could not be
assumed ten years ago. Council believes that long term storage of digital
materials and sustainability is best dealt with by an active engagement with
HEIs rather than through a centralised service.”

The AHDS has over the eleven years it has been in operation built up
significant expertise and experience in all aspects of data creation,
technical, content and metadata standards, curation, preservation, and
dissemination of complex research data, much of which is published on-line.
It also has significant expertise in building and managing repository
infrastructures to ensure the sustainability, preservation and long-term
access to research data.

The host institutions of the AHDS believe that this expertise is extremely
valuable to the wider research community and will be working with the
Director, Heads of AHDS Centres, and staff of the AHDS, to develop a
strategy for the future direction of the AHDS that ensures this expertise
remains available to the research and repositories communities for the long

Further details will be announced over the summer.



One response to “Arts and Humanities Research Council and the AHDS part ways”

  1. Alastair Dunning Avatar

    Calling digital libraries ‘depositories’ ( a term I’ve not heard since around 1998) does not breed confidence in the AHRC’s justification for stopping funding either. Do they really know about the information world around them?

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