Graziano Kratli, Yale University delivered the first Institution of Eminence (IoE) lecture entitled “From Research Materials to Research Data (and Back)” at Dr. Zakir Hussain Lecture Hall Complex, University of Hyderabad on 28th January, 2020.
The talk aimed at showing how research materials collected by individuals or groups become data for the collector in a particular project and then subsequently go back to becoming research materials after the completion of the project.
Kratli, illustrated the point by showing how material collection in one project can again be used in another context. Here what was data in the first instance becomes research material subsequently. The lecture primarily addressed the needs and requirements of students.
Kratli began with identifying different types of data across various disciplines and then distinguished between varied types of data collection. He underlined the importance of using systematic procedures when collecting data since it is at the heart of the research process. Inadequate and inaccurate data collection can lead to wrong inferences and consequently have disastrous consequences. He then proceeded to illustrate each of the seven types of data identified with numerous examples. After laying down the basics, Kratli went on to differentiate between different data formats and the problems one is likely to encounter with each form.
In the second half of his lecture, Kratli spelt out the caution a researcher needs to exercise when storing data. Here he identified various backup options available to the researcher both at the individual as well as the institutional level. Kratli also briefly dealt with the working of data repositories and archives, which enabled him to make the point about research materials become research data and subsequently become research materials again.
Contributed by Dr.K K Kailash, Department of Political Science, UoH