e-Infrastructure for video research (eVIR)
e-Infrastructure for video research (eVIR) is a project supported by the Research Council of Norway (RCN).
Vision and scientific goals
The main long term scientific goal of the eVIR project is to develop high quality and up todate research methodologies in the humanities and social sciences that take care of both the strengths of video data and the merits of collaborative research and sustainability of data in comparative and follow-up studies. The last point also includes the possibilities of accumulating knowledge and theory development in fields of expertise that has been quite casuistic and ideographically oriented.
eVIR has the following five short-term goals:
1) The key scientific goal is to develop a new eInfrastructure for research with context-sensitive data that provides flexible and functional solutions at different levels of security. The system and procedures for storage, access, sharing and analysis of data is to be brought in line with legal requirements.
2) to improve accessibility and interoperability of video data and other context sensitive sources. An major emphasis will be put on developing a metadatabase thus incorporating new tools for indexing, metadata specifications and a documentation / harmonization of procedures – in cooperation with Data Protection Services at Sikt and researchers that operate under the regulations of the UiO Quality System of Medical and Health Research. The eInfrastructure should integrate subsystems like (1) searchable databases, (2) state of the art indexed video-libraries, and (3) virtual video labs supported by a physical test out lab, which enable researchers nationwide to work with and on the same set of data.
3) to develop innovative methodologies for collaboration and data sharing Storage capacity. The capturing of learning processes often means high quality video recording over extended time periods, thus generating a need for video storage of a sufficient scale and reliability. The storage systems could be online (fast use for production level work), near line (hierarchical archiving with time defined automatic transfer to external tape device) or offline (transfer to tape with manual content restoration).
4) piloting and testing of new methods for dissemination and user involvement in building platforms for evidence-based practices in teaching, clinical therapy, child care services, and other contexts where expert performance is crucial to quality output. These expansions represent a considerable upscaling of the infrastructure and the potential for a broad and sustainable participation of various usergroups (see section 6 below and Addendum). On the other hand they call for new solutions in terms of secure access, communication and processing – in accordance with high security levels (Norms for security, Norwegian Directorate of Health, 2010).
5) to be in the forefront internationally when it comes to updated infrastructures for video based research and contextual data processing in the social and behavioral sciences. One of the comparative advantages of Norwegian policies in this respect is the existence of a national regulation of privacy protection and information security that contrasts with the more fragmented regimes found in many countries, for example the US. Such a wellfunctioning and ethically secure infrastructure for video research may put Norway at the forefront for taking a leading role in video research internationally as suggested by OECD in a recent report on the TALIS Video study (Klette & Bergem, 2012).