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Centre for e-Research

Centre for e-Research

The Centre for e-Research (CeRch) at King’s College London was established in 2008. The Centre aimed to facilitate interdisciplinary, institutional, national and international collaboration.

In 2012 the Centre joined with the Department of Digital Humanities, the largest and most prestigious department of its kind anywhere and ranked first in the UK (along with the Department of Culture, Media & Creative Industries) for research power in the Research Excellence Framework.

History of Centre for e-Research

The Centre for e-Research was launched in April 2008 following the demise of the Arts and Humanities Data Service (AHDS) and the cessation of the Methods Network.

The AHDS Executive was hosted at King’s (located in Information Services & Systems [ISS], now IT and Library Services) from its inception in 1996 until it was wound up in March 2008. Following a feasibility study by Harold Short and Lou Burnard, the AHDS was established as a distributed organisation with six centres: the Executive at King’s, Literature, Languages and Linguistics at Oxford, Archaeology at York, History at Essex, Performing Arts at Glasgow, and Visual Arts at University College for the Creative Arts, Farnham.

Over its twelve year history, the AHDS built up a world class reputation in the management of digital content in the arts and humanities, including standards and guides to best practice for data creation, use and preservation; tools and systems for creating, managing, preserving data, and providing access to data; underpinned by a range of strategies and policies for collections development, appraisal, management and preservation. The AHDS was also an early entrant into exploring and researching e-Science methods and tools for the arts and humanities. 

The Methods Network was an AHRC-funded, multi-disciplinary partnership which ran from 1 April 2005 to 31 March 2008 providing a national forum for the exchange and dissemination of expertise in the use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) for arts and humanities research.

The Centre for e-Research is taking forward the legacy of these two services through an innovative programme of applied research.

CeRch remained part of ISS until the converged service split into IT Services and Library Services in early 2011. The Centre sat within IT Services until January 2012 and is now part of the Department of Digital Humanities in the Faculty of Arts and Humanities.

Research

Impact

The Centre's research progamme informed and influenced policy in areas such as environmental science, cultural heritage and the content industries, including:

Freshwater biology and environmental science

The Centre’s research programme in digital libraries and research infrastructures both informed and influenced policy in the area of freshwater hydrology, and more broadly in environmental science, by virtue of its collaboration with the Freshwater Biological Association.

The collaboration between CeRch and the FBA in projects such as the Freshwater Information Sharing network (FISHNet) (JISC) and the Demonstration Test Catchment (DTC) Archive (DEFRA) improved the quality of information and advice available to government and regulatory authorities, leading ultimately to improved environmental standards and increased ability to comply with the EU’s Water Framework Directive.

Also of relevance to our impact in the area of the environment is collaborative work the Centre is undertaking with the Met Office on historic weather records.

Visualisation and cultural heritage

The Centre developed a highly innovative research programme that spanned the fields of digital cultural heritage, including visualisation and digital archival work, demonstrated through projects such as the Motion in Place Platform (MiPP), the East London Theatre Archive and Clustering and Enhancing Digital Archives for Research (CEDAR).

Influencing policy and management of digital content and media

The Centre conducted a research programme which has had demonstrable impacts in the management of digital assets, in the engagement of wider constituencies via digital media, including mass communication, and in influencing European thinking on curricula for data curation. The programme has not only disseminated best practice throughout the academic sector but has also facilitated and influenced practice in the public sector, including the BBC.

Resources

DH Commons

An online hub focused on matching digital humanities projects seeking assistance with scholars interested in project collaboration.

The Stormont Papers: 50 Years of Parliamentary Debate Online

Access to the Parliamentary Debates of the devolved government of Northern Ireland from June 7 1921 to the dissolution of Parliament in March 28 1972.

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