FAQ

How can I contribute?

Please contact us in the first instance, describing the type and range of content you have. Our Programme Office will work with you to decide on the best way to store your content.

In some cases our team might put you in touch with a UC CEISMIC consortium member more suited to your type of content (Christchurch City Libraries, the Canterbury Museum, the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority, the Ministry for Culture and Heritage, the National Library, New Zealand Film Archive, NZ on Screen, the Ngai Tahu Research Centre, Te Papa). We do this as part of our commitment to the development of a broad federated archive under www.ceismic.org.nz, and in order to ensure the efficient use of New Zealand's national digital infrastructure.

I've got some concerns about content I've found in the repository. What should I do?

UC QuakeStudies stores content based on its cultural heritage and research value. Our Programme Office follows principles and processes developed and approved by the UC QuakeStudies Research Committee. Our aim is to ensure future researchers and members of the public have access to a representative range of content, even if some of it is challenging. We take our ethical responsibilities seriously, though, and welcome any feedback about content held in the repository.

Is everything in the repository made available to the public?

No. Although we're committed to open access principles, we're sometimes given sensitive content that is not suitable for public consumption. This may be due to cultural or personal reasons, or because the content is of a graphic nature. In cases like these, we store the content to safeguard it for future generations, but don't make it publically available. Access to controlled content varies. In some cases only high-level administrators and the content owners can access the content, or approved research teams. In other situations an embargo is put on the content so it won't be available for a set number of years. Only a very small percentage of content is controlled in this way, and only when there are significant ethical issues involved. We encourage full public access wherever possible.

How long do you expect the repository to exist?

The University of Canterbury has made a long-term commitment to the UC QuakeStudies archive. Our aim is to remain in service in perpetuity, in partnership with other members of the UC CEISMIC Consortium.

What role does research play in UC QuakeStudies?

UC QuakeStudies exists to support research into the Canterbury earthquakes. Our goal is to build a significant store of content that present and future generations of researchers, who might be interested in anything from disaster management to civil engineering, can use for their work. We've made the repository open access so that members of the poublic can benefit too. UC QuakeStudies is a key part of the University of Canterbury's earthquake research infrastructure and works closely with UC Research and Innovation. Research teams, guided by the University of Canterbury Human Ethics Committee and the UC CEISMIC Research Committee, often contribute content to the repository. Their content is made available to the public wherever possible. If you have any concerns about the research content of UC QuakeStudies, or are part of a research team interested in contributing content, please contact us.

Why do you store content from organisations as well as the community and research teams?

Local Canterbury organisations produced a vast amount of digital content related to the earthquakes, but because archiving isn't their core function it's often difficult for them to provide the level of public access to that content. UC QuakeStudies provides an ideal service for these organisations to use to share their content with the people of Canterbury and New Zealand. It also ensures future researchers will have access to a very broad range of content.

I'm a developer and would like to get involved. Is this possible?

UC QuakeStudies is an important asset for the University of Canterbury and the Canterbury and New Zealand public, but it's also a platform for research and teaching. We've designed the repository to be as open as possible, and are interested in developing partnerships with computer scientists and information architects who are interested in extending its capabilities. The repository was built using Drupal 7 and Fedora Commons, and we have a mature set of documentation including our ontology and api. Any new capability is likely to be integrated by the software vendor Catalyst IT. Please contact the Chair of the UC QuakeStudies Change Advisory Board, Dr. James Smithies (james.smithies@canterbury.ac.nz) for more information.