The Resource Lists service enables course organisers to make their reading lists available online, while ensuring that the Library holds sufficient numbers of copies of materials being taught. The service is of use to course organisers and students through the convenience and consistency it offers, and important to the Library as it provides oversight of what is being taught across the University. This academic year (2018/19), resource lists account for 30% of reading lists at the University, and consist of 30,000 titles used across a total of 100,000 citations.

While Resource Lists is primarily a teaching and learning service, there are exciting opportunities for the underlying data to be used in research, the findings of which can then inform curriculum discussions and decisions. This is particularly timely, given the UK-wide movement for diversifying and decolonising the curriculum.

We are currently working with the Open Syllabus Project to make our data available for researchers, through their platform.  In the meantime, we would like to begin to explore this data within the Library. This would involve recruiting a PhD student with programming and data visualisation skills to explore the data from the system and create visualisations including:

  • gender of author
  • number of times a text/author is cited
  • relationships between texts across courses (plotting the ‘proximity’ of texts to one another)
  • geographical analysis

If possible in the time period, the intern will create a platform through which the data can be interrogated by researchers, presenting future opportunities for more detailed analysis of curriculum diversity such as exploring the presence of BME authors and questions of intersectionality.

This project is supported by, and would involve collaboration with, Professor Melissa Terras (CAHSS/The Edinburgh Futures Institute) and Diva Mukherji (VP Education, Edinburgh University Students’ Association), as well as colleagues in Digital Library and Collections Services within Library and University Collections.

Current project status

Report Date RAG Budget Effort Completed Effort to complete
June 2019 BLUE 0.0 days 0.0 days 0.0

Project Info

Visualising the curriculum
Innovation Programme 2018/19
Management Office
Project Manager
Scott Renton
Project Sponsor
Gavin McLachlan
Current Stage
Start Date
Planning Date
Delivery Date
Close Date
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