Project meeting, 21 January 2014, minutes

Project meeting

21 January 2014

Present: Jonathan Blaney [minutes] (JB), Josh Cowls (JC), Helen Hockx-Yu, (HHY), Eric Meyer (EM), Ralph Schroeder (RS), Peter Webster (PW), Jane Winters (JW)

Present: Jonathan Blaney [minutes] (JB), Josh Cowls (JC), Helen Hockx-Yu, (HHY), Eric Meyer (EM), Ralph Schroeder (RS), Peter Webster (PW), Jane Winters (JW)

1 Minutes of the previous meeting

The minutes were accepted as a correct record of the meeting.

2 Matters arising

The group agreed to face-to-face meetings in May and June, at the BL and OII respectively.

3 Job descriptions and recruitment


Although final confirmation has not been received, it appears it will be possible for the OII to use a range of post-doctoral staff.


There should be crossover with other big data projects the IHR is involved in. For example the DiLiPaD project is planning to hold a hack day on big data, after the lifetime of this project.


Organisational change at the BL may lead to a consolidation of IT functions, leading potentially to a new developer post; this leads the BL team to the belief that it might be best to use existing staff and an existing contractor and so they may not advertise. This would mean the developer would work at Boston Spa, but there would be no problem about them travelling to London as necessary. It was agreed that using an existing member of staff would be good for sustainability and would feed into the national infrastructure plan.

4 Project workshop

There have been about 15 registrations for the 30 places at the February workshop. Some AADDA researchers have registered and expressed interested in the bursaries. The group discussed if contributing to the monograph should be mandatory for bursary holders; it was agreed that the wording should be flexible enough to cover that. Liaison with the BL is also a requirement. The deadline is given as 25th April so there will be opportunity to apply after the workshop in February. Bursaries could be awarded subsequently if the quality is not high enough to award all 10 in the first round.

5 Access to data


The OII is working with the linked dataset, mapping the UK web space and asking some questions about the data. Initially the complete web interface will look a lot like the current 12% interface, but there would then be iterative work to add tools. Therefore people can familiarise themselves with the interface at present. It was emphasised that although the 12% is quite evenly distributed, qualitiative judgements must remain hesitant until all the data is available; the interface is not currently well documented.


Links were circulated for the currently available data:
User interface to 12% of the data:

Three open datasets derived from the data 199-2010:

6 Researcher interaction

It was agreed that a faster interaction cycle than for the AADDA project would be preferable. The group agreed that Peter Webster would be the immediate liaison point for all researchers, although Jonathan Blaney would be the initial point of contact for bursary applications.

7 Publicity


The BL has many other projects to announce and would rather do a press release on this project when there is an output to describe. The BL and OII teams are happy for a joint blog text to be published simultaneously with launch.


We are committed producing educational videos and the IHR has some contacts in this area that may prove useful.

8 Advisory board

No new names were suggested and it was agreed that members would be invited as soon as the project could be advertised.