Using information visualisation to improve traceability, transmissibility and verifiability in research workflows
Research workflows, paradata, and information visualisation: feedback on an exploratory integration of issues and practices - MEMORIA IS
Recommendation: posted 31 August 2023, validated 02 September 2023
Huvila, I. (2023) Using information visualisation to improve traceability, transmissibility and verifiability in research workflows. Peer Community in Archaeology, 100330. 10.24072/pci.archaeo.100330
The paper “Research workflows, paradata, and information visualisation: feedback on an exploratory integration of issues and practices - MEMORIA IS” (Dudek & Blaise, 2023) describes a prototype of an information system developed to improve the traceability, transmissibility and verifiability of archaeological research workflows. A key aspect of the work with MEMORIA is to make research documentation and the workflows underpinning the conducted research more approachable and understandable using a series of visual interfaces that allow users of the system to explore archaeological documentation, including metadata describing the data and paradata that describes its underlying processes. The work of Dudek and Blaise address one of the central barriers to reproducibility and transparency of research data and propose a set of both theoretically and practically well-founded tools and methods to solve this major problem. From the reported work on MEMORIA IS, information visualisation and the proposed tools emerge as an interesting and potentially powerful approach for a major push in improving the traceability, transmissibility and verifiability of research data through making research workflows easier to approach and understand.
In comparison to technical work relating to archaeological data management, this paper starts commendably with a careful explication of the conceptual and epistemic underpinnings of the MEMORIA IS both in documentation research, knowledge organisation and information visualisation literature. Rather than being developed on the basis of a set of opaque assumptions, the meticulous description of the MEMORIA IS and its theoretical and technical premises is exemplary in its transparence and richness and has potential for a long-term impact as a part of the body of literature relating to the development of archaeological documentation and documentation tools. While the text is sometimes fairly densely written, it is worth taking the effort to read it through. Another major strength of the paper is that it provides a rich set of examples of the workings of the prototype system that makes it possible to develop a comprehensive understanding of the proposed approaches and assess their validity.
As a whole, this paper and the reported work on MEMORIA IS forms a worthy addition to the literature on and practical work for developing critical infrastructures for data documentation, management and access in archaeology. Beyond archaeology and the specific context of the discussed work discussed this paper has obvious relevance to comparable work in other fields.
The recommender in charge of the evaluation of the article and the reviewers declared that they have no conflict of interest (as defined in the code of conduct of PCI) with the authors or with the content of the article. The authors declared that they comply with the PCI rule of having no financial conflicts of interest in relation to the content of the article.
This work was supported by Département de la Recherche, de l’Enseignement Supérieur et de la Technologie, Ministère de la Culture / Department of Research, Higher Education and Technology, French Ministry of Culture (2016-2020) and Agence Nationale de la Recherche/ Agence Nationale de la Recherche [ANR-18-CE38-0009-01, projet SESAMES, 2019-2023].
Evaluation round #1
DOI or URL of the preprint: https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.7885903
Version of the preprint: 1
Author's Reply, 16 Aug 2023
Decision by Isto Huvila, posted 02 Aug 2023, validated 02 Aug 2023
The reviewers are very positive about the paper, however, I find that revising the text for clarity, style and grammar following the advice from the two first reviewers, and adding some explanatory details laid out in the reviews, would enhance the it before publication.