ID: 228

IVACS, Gabriella


Gabriella Ivacs, Chief Archivist of the Open Society Archives at Central European University, Budapest, Hungary. Her recent research focus is on the transformation of archives in the technology landscape: how digital and distributed archiving techniques effect memory practices, how legal barriers, archival professional practices interact in the various socio-economic circumstances. Gabriella serves as the chair of the Hungarian Chapter of the Open Document Format Alliance from 2006 and works closely with the open source community. She was a senior researcher of EC funded project called HOPE about building a digital infrastructure for social history archives, she has been recently elected to become the member of the Coordination Committee of the International Labor History Association. As a consultant/evaluator she works with EU and other international research programs. She holds MA degree in Records Management, and finishing her PhD in interdisciplinary sociology.


Why Big Data became the underlying issue for good governance and recordkeeping

Brief summary:

 Big Data is often published as Open Data, it provides a powerful tool for governments/NGOs to share data with stakeholders for good governance or for treating data as a public asset to be leveraged by citizens and businesses


 While we understand the benefits of accessing and harvesting Open Data, there is an epistemological problem with this: there is too much of it and we look for small patterns to address social, economic or political issues by asking relevant questions. The common approach is to first consider technological solutions–data mining, data analytics, visualization etc.—to the epistemological problem, to try to ‘squeeze’ data back into a manageable size. These tools certainly deserve an in-depth analysis, but true answer is an altogether different approach: data sets need to be curated to preserve only those worth preservingWe claim that the data (r)evolution needs to be accompanied by a paradigm shift in information management practices in order to largely transform back-end business processes, archiving, and ICT infrastructural operations which are concerned with making data visible assets inside or outside the organizations. Records/Information life-cycle management theories have been used for decades by records and other information professionals to manage government records from creation to disposal, but not necessarily for public use: these professional practices have always been more focused on compliance, and the liability attached to analog information or information provided as analog and digital documents with clear authorship rather than more granular and structured data kept in data repositories/warehouses in a distributed manner.The case study on Romani minorities across Europe and the distributed data sets produced by more than 12 non-profit organizations for almost two decades will provide a useful insight into Big Data challenges of curation and preservation.

Scientific contribution:

Raising philosophical and epistemological questions about  Big Data 
Trying to link practice and theory so called critical praxis methodology is applied


big data, civil society, open data, good governance, data epistemology, digital curation,