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MEMORIA

Record-keeping of digital resources and activities.

The MEMORIA project is a long-term project, which originally aimed at … the development of an experimental information system enabling description, structuring, archiving and analyse of the digital resources produced in our laboratory ….

Today the objective of the project is more generally - beyond the resources produced by our laboratory - to depict scientific results, in particular in historical and heritage sciences, with indicators that would allow for a better understanding of the process through which these results were achieved. The challenge is therefore to construct methods ad tools allowing the elicitation and the structuring of processes, to make processes more sustainable, to ensure their intersubjective transmissibility, to allow the interpretability, verifiability and reproducibility of results and to empower the comparative and cumulative analysis of processes.

This will is reflected by the development of an information system allowing an individual to identify the resources produced and the process leading to their production. Ultimately, the project aims to describe a cognitive and methodological approach beyond a "final" document.

A central point of the approach is the desire to develop visual interfaces providing, on the one hand access to resources and, on the other hand, to empowering a direct analysis of the information gathered within the database. These interfaces give access to the results of requests on resources sorted for example by an object of study, a project, or a production process, but also show the evolution of working methods or techniques used over time, or the types of activities mobilised to produce a given resource.

Now the system allows to describe a produced resource (a digital output or not) with a series of descriptors (e.g. format, authors, date of production, object of study, etc.) to characterise both the container and the content of a given output. Each resource - output, composition or publication - can also be associated with a process (notion to be understood as a chain of activities).

Activities (i.e. actions mobilised to produce an output) are organised within an ontological structure - accessible via an interactive "wheel of activities". Each activity contributing to a process is represented by a multidimensional icon indicating the category of the activity (colour) and its hierarchical position (glyph). Selected activities are then structured into a processes inside a composition grid (visual tool promoting the formalisation and description of activity flows) in the form of a graph highlighting the characteristics and temporal relations of activities involved inside the process. Processes keep track of the institutional framework in which the work was carried out (organisations, projects, staff employed, etc.), as well as of the primary sources used in the analysis phase, or of the techniques and tools used to produce resources.

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