What is research data? Some Examples
what is reasearch data?
Research data in the form of text is probably the most common type of data that historians use. In this case study Dr Matt Phillpott talks about his PhD research and the types of textual data that he was handling.
John Foxe's Acts and Monuments had been partially published online when this thesis was being researched (the current full edition can now be found at the John Foxe Online website).
This made it much easier to focus on the text itself and made it easier to manage the research process. As a primary source the Acts and Monuments runs to several thousand pages and four different editions need to be considered (these are the editions published in its authors lifetime). When dealing with large amounts of text like this consideration needs to be made as to how to manage the bulk without losing the detail. In this case a focus on only the first half of the book (and then only certain parts of that) was made and a choice to only focus on the first two editions was decided as it was here that the major changes in text and content occured.
In this second video Matt tells us how he managed and organised the data files associated with this project.
Text forms a large part of most historians research data and it takes many more forms than this case study shows. Most textual data involves official documents of various kinds as well as handwritten or typed correspondances, diaries, and notes.