AHRC Technical Appendix: Review and Recommendations

This commissioned research reviewed the AHRC's Technical Appendix and made recommendations for a 'Technical Plan' on behalf of the Network of Expert Centres.

The purpose of this consultation was to identify problems relating to the scope, purpose, interpretation and use of the AHRC´s existing Technical Appendix and to make recommendations for improvement. The consultation was conducted by The Digital Humanities Institute at the University of Sheffield on behalf of a Technical Appendix Workroup of the Network of Expert Centres (http://www.arts-humanities.net/noc).ahrc-review

The consultation began in October 2009 with an online survey which was made available to the college of technical reviewers, followed by an online survey which was made available to successful AHRC applicants whose projects had required them to complete a Technical Appendix. Survey responses were received from 21 out of 40 technical reviewers and 65 out of approximately 500 successful AHRC applicants. The majority of applicants did not appear to possess a detailed knowledge of technical issues. The surveys were then supplemented with a series of detailed interviews by telephone and face-to-face meetings. We interviewed technical reviewers, successful applicants and technical practitioners who had raised issues in their survey responses which we felt would benefit from more detail and those who had been unable to complete the survey in time. During the consultation process we held a workshop at King’s College London on 21st January 2010. The purpose of the workshop was to bring together technical reviewers, AHRC panel members, successful applicants and policy representatives from organisations such as the JISC and the Digital Curation Centre in order to explore the requirements of a revised Technical Appendix and register any continuing concerns within the community.

A summary of the community’s views relating to the existing Technical Appendix constitutes the first part of this document. The views expressed here are not necessarily those held by the authors or the Network of Expert Centres. The second part of this document makes recommendations for a revised Technical Appendix, which includes renaming the document to ‘Technical Plan’. These recommendations have taken on board all the views which have been expressed throughout the consultation period and we feel that the result is a revised Technical Appendix which reflects the entire range of digital outputs and digital technologies which are now possible within arts and humanities research in a way which is intelligible and flexible.

Duration: January 2010 – March 2010


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Project Leaders

  • Michael Pidd (The Digital Humanities Institute)
  • Prof. David Robey (University of Oxford)

TA Workgroup of the Network of Expert Centres

Daisy Abbott, Ian Broadbridge, Richard Deswarte, Alastair Dunning, Jennifer Edmond, Paul Ell, Leigh Garrett, Gareth Knight, Ian Gregory, Catherine Hardman, Lorna Hughes, Christopher Pressler, David Robey (chair), Michael Pidd, Torsten Reimer, Julian Richards, Amy Robinson, Susan Schreibman, Martin Wynne.


  • Michael Pidd (The Digital Humanities Institute)
  • Jamie McLaughlin (Developer – The Digital Humanities Institute)
  • Katherine Rogers (Developer – The Digital Humanities Institute)
  • Dr Michael Meredith (Developer – The Digital Humanities Institute)