The delivery of technology-enhanced learning is of increasing relevance to the training and development of researchers in the social sciences. Online resources not only provide a valuable personal development resource for researchers unable to participate in face-to-face training, but also provide an important repository of social science knowledge. There has been a considerable ESRC investment in online resources through initiatives such as the Research Methods Programme (RMP), the Researcher Development Initiative (RDI), Quantitative Methods Initiative (QMI) and the National Centre for Research Methods (NCRM).
Who are we?
We are a multi-disciplinary team of social science researchers who collect, update and restore web resources created by ESRC funded projects in an online repository called the ReStore repository. We also develop guidance and actively work with ESRC award holders to promote best practice in online resource creation. We are based at the National Centre for Research Methods (NCRM) hub at the University of Southampton.
What do we ReStore?
ESRC invests heavily in research methods projects which create, as part of their activities, online training and resource materials, often with considerable interactive or reference-value content. Typically, the development of an on-line resource is time-consuming and expensive and the full value of the resource only comes into play close to the point at which funding ends. To ensure that the resource remains available online for a considerable period of time, the ReStore team work with the resource authors and prepare the resource for ReStoration.
What does a typical resource contain?
Web resources in the field of research methods typically contain web pages, workshop materials, tutorial materials, audio/video files, methodology papers and presentations sample datasets, etc. For more details please refer to our guidance materials.
Web resources for inclusion in ReStore are selected through academic and technical reviews, which ensure high quality and technical robustness of the resources. The review processes have been developed by the ReStore team in consultation with the ReStore Advisory Group.
The web resources that are selected for maintenance are transferred to a supported web architecture on the National Centre for Research methods (NCRM) server for ongoing support. When necessary, external service providers are commissioned to do the required work if the original resource author(s) and ReStore team are unable to update the content or technology. To ensure the sustained nature of the resources, all resources within ReStore service are subject to further update reviews by regular intervals.
Want to get in touch about your web resource?
If you are working on a project funded by ESRC and think the ReStore team may be able to help, please either mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 023 80 59 7473.