As one of the staff attached to the Digital Curation Centre (DCC), Alex Ball provides support to UK Higher Education Institutions on research data management matters, and looks after the DCC's Tools Catalogue and Metadata Standards Catalogue. He is also the Production Editor for the IJDC (International Journal of Digital Curation). He worked on the SCARP Project Case Study for Engineering research, as well as reporting on the state of the art in Web archiving and in preservation and curation for institutional repositories. He also helped to analyse the impact of the IJDC, drew up a blogging policy for the DCC Community Development Team and monitored the associated blogging activity. More recently, He has written guidance on various aspects of research data management including data licensing and data citation.
His first assignment at UKOLN was to the KIM Grand Challenge Project, otherwise known as Immortal Information and Through-Life Knowledge Management: Strategies and Tools for the Emerging Product-Service Paradigm. This project found robust ways of handling engineering information and knowledge, so that design information and rationale can be accessed, understood, updated and re-purposed throughout the lifetime of a product. His research focus in that project was using lightweight formats to facilitate more integrated use of design information across the product lifecycle, and to provide fallback curation surrogates. KIM was followed by two further (and much smaller) projects that sought to establish good data management practices among researchers in Engineering. The first of these, ERIM, focused on the Innovative design and Manufacturing Research Centre at Bath and developed the Research Activity Information Development (RAID) Modelling Methodology. The second, REDm-MED, broadened the results of ERIM to the entire Department of Mechanical Engineering and developed the RAIDMap software tool to assist in the creation of RAID diagrams.