It’s hard to believe it’s April. Even harder to believe that we’re three months (and more for some folks!) into the Data Stories project here at the Alexandria Archive Institute.
Since we write quarterly reports, it seemed fitting to give y’all an update on our work too. In the last three months, our efforts focused on three goals. The first was onboarding our full team to the project. The second was a systematic literature review to identify projects doing similar work. The third was outlining what we want a Data Story to be.
While Meghan has been working since late 2020, I joined the team in January 2021. Why? Well, I’m balancing finishing my dissertation with working as a postdoctoral researcher. That means I work fewer hours but I’ve enjoyed collaborating with the team on a number of important logistical and public facing endeavors.
Some of these have been described in previous posts but others are in the planning and prototyping stages. These efforts required us to make significant decisions about what Data Stories would look like.
We based these decisions on what Meghan saw in her research. These helped outline different kinds of tutorials for a variety of learners, identify values established for similar kinds of work in other fields, and revealed the possibility that we may create many kinds of Data Story.
As we’re interested in creating narratively rich stories, supported by data tutorials, we had to decide where we wanted to host that code. While this may seem like an easy choice, we have to consider the values of the institution that we are creating. As explored by Leigh in our Sustainability Sandbox, our connections are important. They establish relationships in our work and we want to build ones with institutions that share our values.
So we decided to host our Data Stories work over at Codeberg. That’s where you’ll be able to find all our Data Stories code once they’re ready. Speaking of which, a prototype for one is currently in private mode over there so that you don’t see all the mess, but trust us it’s going well. Meghan and our Sustainability steward Leigh both completed the tutorial as alpha testers.
Meghan also created three amazing miniature narratives from the Gabii Project collection found at Open Context (OC). While it began as a presentation to the Data Stories team, Meghan will share these awesome stories at the Narrative and storytelling in archaeology (NASTA) conference on 29 April 2021. We hope to use this as an example for the variety of stories we can tell with information from OC.
Overall, we’re happy with the progress that the Data Stories project has made. And we can’t wait to pursue our next set of goals.