DR Elizabeth Tait of the Robert Gordon University talks to Sangeeta Yadav about launching the digital curation course which sutdies the capture, storage and preservation of digital data for long-term use
Tell us about the new course called Digital Curation?
Digital Curation has been developed by the Department of Information Management in Aberdeen Business School (ABS) to address various issues related to managing large amount of digital data management in businesses, innovation in the creative and cultural industries and academic research data management in education. The proliferation of digital data is also leading to new opportunities for end users to interact with the data and for the co-production of digital materials facilitated by social media like crowd-sourcing.
The Scottish Museum Summit (2009) acknowledged that there was still “a lot to learn from digital collections, the web and other technology. There are opportunities to engage with entrepreneurial activity but the sector had been slow to take these up”. Added to this are very real concerns in the academic sector about the management of online data, their storage, accessibility and subsequent reuse. JISC’s managing research data programme 2011-13 has funded seventeen large scale projects to develop research data management infrastructure and supporting services and policies. The programme acknowledges that there are issues to be addressed in respect of both leadership and training within this field.
What is the biggest challenge in this profession?
Digital assets have become ‘business critical’ resources for public and private sector organisations and the biggest challenge is ensuring that these are captured, stored and preserved for their long-term use. There is a clear need for the development of processes and technical solutions. In some cases (especially for academic data) there are also regulatory frameworks that have been developed for the governance of digital assets that institutions are required to follow.
What is the fee for this particular programme?
For academic year 2013/2014, the distance learning part-time fees costs £2,695 for semester one and two and £2,270 for semester 3. The entire full-time on campus course’s fee for the International students is £10,000. The course takes one year to complete for full time on campus students and three years by distance learning. The first intake of students will be in January 2014 for distance learning and September 2014 for on campus delivery.
ABS offers a number of merit scholarships to outstanding students. The scholarship is available to international students who will study the course by full time and distance learning.
What are the job prospects?
Career prospects include roles involving the management of academic data; digital asset management in business organisations, especially in sectors that are data intensive and in the creative and cultural sector like museums and archives. Market research for this proposed course development has involved wide engagement with the professional sector which has revealed the range of graduate employment prospects.
There are a few job titles that have been identified (as of December 2012 through discussion with practitioners)— Curation tools and services developer; digital archivist; digital heritage officer; scientific data curation specialist; metadata curator; digital repository manager; digital humanities specialist; digital preservation coordinator; digital curation service manager; research archive manager and digital resources specialist.
In the commercial sector, job titles like technology analyst, enterprise content management, digital marketing programme manager, business analysis and functional design consultant, multimedia systems business analyst and project manager have been identified.
(The article was published in the Pioneer Newspaper – http://www.dailypioneer.com/avenues/sustainability-of-digital-assets.html)