The History Data Management Lifecycle (HDML) model

The History Data Management Lifecycle (HDML) model

3. The History research Lifecycle (HRL)

3.1 Phase Cycles

Each phase of the lifecycle is an entity that itself may be viewed as a cycle. Each phase leads to change that in turn makes the following phase(s) relevant and logical. These mini-cycles may be described in terms of a gestalt (whole, or pattern of interwoven processes) cycle of awareness. Each phase will

  • Beginning of awareness of the phase
  • Understanding of the requirements of the phase
  • Preparation for action needed to carry out the work of the phase
  • Action: Putting the preparation into practice
  • Carrying out the research work based on the preparation
  • Carry out verification that the requirements are being/have been met
  • Moving on to the next phase

For example, the Research phase will commence with a beginning of awareness of what is to be researched based on the previous phase (Literature/Material Review). This awareness will grow into understanding of the research requirements as the previous phase is developed. With understanding of the requirements for research, preparation can be made to ensure that the research can be carried out; for example, relevant people, institutions, etc. who have access to relevant identified resources can be contacted to ensure the availability of those materials for the research effort. Actual access to resources (e.g. people, documents, artefacts, curated materials, etc.) action can be taken to put the preparation into practice. The actual research work is carried out; this is the effective expertise of the research historian and does not need to be explained here. Once research is carried out, its effectiveness needs verification to ensure the requirements have been met. This brings the phase to a close and has effectively prepared the researcher for moving on to the writing up phase to begin.


Figure 4: Phase Cycles

Each of these mini-phases is a “cycle” (see ) which implies that once complete, it returns to the beginning to be re-run. The process is continuous, and anyone who has completed a project, thesis or dissertation will know the feeling that they could have done so much more- this is because the cycles are still in full flow and will never end.  The successful researcher will be awareness of his/her limitations and prescribe a satisfactory cut-off point for the various elements of their project.