Scholars' Lab Blog //Podcast: Thorny Staples on Managing Smithsonian Research Data
Blog //Podcast: Thorny Staples on Managing Smithsonian Research Data

Managing the Record of Research at the Smithsonian

Can institutions effectively manage cross-team digital research data in real time? Can it preserve that data so that it can be seamlessly presented in conjunction with publications?

To answer those questions, the Smithsonian Institution has built a first pilot system, called SIdora, designed to be used by Smithsonian researchers to capture and organize digital “evidence” as they create it in their research process, and use it directly in their analysis and dissemination activities. The goal is to actively support the research process as it unfolds, leaving behind a coherent expression of the digital content for a complete research project that can permanently stand alongside related publications. Sidora, a general information architecture and software environment based on Islandora and Fedora, is designed to manage research output as if it were part of a network of information. Staples will present the architecture and demo the software, using research data from a complete excavation of an archaeological site in Panama, and an international study of mammal populations.


Thorny Staples is currently the Director of the Office of Research Information Services at the Smithsonian Institution. He has previously been Director of the Fedora Project; Director of Community Strategy and Alliances for DuraSpace; CIO of the National Museum of American Art at the Smithsonian Institute; Director of Digital Library Research and Development at the University of Virginia; and Project Director at the Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities at the University of Virginia.

This talk was recorded in Alderman Library, Rm 421 on February 9, 2015.  Click below to stream the podcast.  If you encounter problems with the playback, please email As always, you can listen to our podcasts on the Scholars’ Lab blog, or subscribe on iTunesU.

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Cite this post: Laura Miller. “Podcast: Thorny Staples on Managing Smithsonian Research Data”. Published February 16, 2015. Accessed on .