Strategies of data archiving for cultural anthropology, using Gwembe Tonga Research Project (GTRP) data

Grants and Contracts Details


In January 2011 NSF instituted the requirement that all proposals include a supplementary document outlining a "data management plan" (DMP) addressing the NSF's expectation that investigators "share with other researchers, … the primary data … created or gathered in the course of work under NSF grants" (NSF 2011:Section VI.D.4.b). This proposal is a direct response to the new NSF policy, and builds on earlier efforts to identify best practices for anthropological data archiving and sharing (AnthroDataDPA 2009). Specifically, Cliggett requests funds (covering one-third salary during a sabbatical year release) to develop a system of documentation and metadata for digitally archiving her seventeen years of heterogeneous (text, image, voice recording, geospatial, and survey) data from the Gwembe Tonga Research Project (GTRP), Zambia. A crucial aspect of this system will be establishing and documenting the inter-relationships between the various data types and data content in ways that facilitate secondary users' ability to work with and analyze data (ie: data sharing), with attention to confidentiality, protection of informants, and related ethical issues . Cliggett will build this system using her existing digitized data, of which the past eight years were collected through NSF funding. Importantly, this work will benefit all future research tied to the GTRP (including student and collaborator research) by providing an established plan and system for data archiving, preservation and sharing, answering Gutmann et al's (2009) entreaty that "data producers should plan for archiving of data early, so that data are available for future research…" (p. 333). Additionally, building such a system will lay the foundation for creating a digital archive of the approximately 60 years of GTRP data collected by Elizabeth Colson and Thayer Scudder, currently housed in hard copy at the University of California and California Institute of Technology libraries (although such digitization and archiving is not part of this current proposal). During the sabbatical year, Cliggett will work with colleagues (and have research affiliation) at three different institutions: The Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR); The Department of Anthropology at University of California, Santa Cruz; and The Department of Anthropology at the University of Washington, Seattle.
Effective start/end date4/1/129/30/14


  • National Science Foundation: $49,922.00


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