Mapping PhD research in Compendium

Colleague and part-time KMi PhD student Al Selvin has posted a fantastic lightning tour of his PhD project database in Compendium. This illustrates very well the power of lightweight semantics in a flexible, visual hypermedia environment, for tracking over a long period issues, ideas, themes and documents with many levels of connection. Even better, he’s placed his analysis maps online as open research data.

(Background: in 2002 Al’s team at NYNEX licensed Compendium to KMi for co-development as an open source tool. Since then, with continuous funding primarily from the UK Research Councils, it has developed into a robust knowledge management tool, with >100,000 downloads and an active user community, plus significant contributions to the codebase coming from non-OU developers)

Watch the movie — but here are a few stills to give a feel for the range of interlinked representations that he uses.

(A series of podcasts from the e-Dance project describes in detail the use of Compendium as a tool for compiling, presenting, and teaching with multimedia research resources, in support of arts and humanities research, such as choreographic research, which sees the practice as research. See also the PARIP conference where we ran a workshop, introducing Compendium within Selvin’s Knowledge Art framework).

Analysis maps homepage:

Summary points from video analysis sessions, connected to maps containing all data for each session

Mapping the emerging taxonomy from the data

A map linking all the representational artifacts used to analyse video data

Using the tagging interface to filter and browse the literature review maps

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