Archival Science

, Volume 15, Issue 2, pp 169–189 | Cite as

Towards mixed methods digital curation: facing specific adaptation in the artistic domain

  • Guillaume BoutardEmail author
Original Paper


In this paper, we propose an epistemological framework based on mixed methods research to support specific adaptation of digital preservation models (such as the Open Archival Information System) in relation to digital curation models (such as the Digital Curation Centre curation lifecycle). Specifically, in the artistic domain, this framework is targeting production processes involving work-specific digital technologies, where the goal is to preserve the ways of re-performing the works rather than the preservation of a recording of the performance. This framework is based on four previous studies and their ontological and epistemological assumptions. The paper builds on these studies to elaborate a model for mixed methods digital curation, which accounts for multiple views of the relation between information and representation, and presents the impact on both digital curation research and practice.


Digital curation lifecycle Mixed methods Epistemological framework Information and representation Domain-specific adaptation Artistic domain 



The author would like to thank the anonymous reviewers for their constructive and encouraging comments.


  1. Abbott D (2012) Preserving interaction. In: Konstantelos L, Delve J, Anderson D, Billenness C, Baker D, Dobreva M (eds) Software art, vol 2. JISC, pp 61–70Google Scholar
  2. Abbott D, Beer E (2006) Getting to know our audience: AHDS performing arts scoping study. Tech Rep AHDS Performing Arts, GlasgowGoogle Scholar
  3. Antonelli P (2012) Video games: 14 in the collection, for starters. Accessed 24 Nov 2013 at
  4. Balmisse G (2002) Gestion des connaissances—outils et applications du knowledge management. Vuibert, ParisGoogle Scholar
  5. Bateson G (1987) Steps to an ecology of mind: collected essays in anthropology, psychiatry, evolution, and epistemology. Aronson, NorthvaleGoogle Scholar
  6. Benghozi PJ (1995) Les sentiers de la gloire: savoir gérer pour savoir créer. In: Charue-Duboc F (ed) Des savoirs en action. L’Harmattan, Paris, pp 51–87Google Scholar
  7. Berweck S (2012) It worked yesterday: on (re-)performing electroacoustic music. PhD Thesis, University of HuddersfieldGoogle Scholar
  8. Bloor D (1999) Anti-latour. Stud Hist Philos Sci 30(1):81–112CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Blumer H (1969) Symbolic interactionism: perspective and method. Prentice-Hall, Englewood CliffsGoogle Scholar
  10. Boisot MH (1995) Information space: a framework for learning in organizations, institutions and culture. Routledge, LondonGoogle Scholar
  11. Boisot MH, Canals A (2004) Data, information, and knowledge: have we got it right? J Evol Econ 14(1):43–67CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Boisot MH, MacMillan I, Han K (2007) Property rights and information flows: a simulation approach. J Evol Econ 17(1):63–93CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Born G (1997) Modernist discourse, psychic forms, and agency: aesthetic subjectivities at IRCAM. Cult Anthropol 12(4):480–501CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Born G (2005) On musical mediation: ontology, technology and creativity. Twent Century Music 2(01):7–36CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Boutard G, Guastavino C (2012a) Archiving electroacoustic and mixed music: significant knowledge involved in the creative process of works with spatialisation. J Doc 68(6):749–771CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Boutard G, Guastavino C (2012b) Following gesture following: grounding the documentation of a multi-agent creation process. Comput Music J 36(4):59–80CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Boutard G, Guastavino C (2013) The performing world of digital archives. In: Actes de la 4ème conférence document numérique et société. De Boeck, Zagreb, pp 13–24Google Scholar
  18. Boutard G, Marandola F (2013a) Documentation des processus créatifs pour la préservation et la dissémination des œuvres mixtes. In: Proceedings of tracking the creative process in music 2013, Montréal, QC, pp 35–37Google Scholar
  19. Boutard G, Marandola F (2013b) Méthode et application de la documentation des œuvres mixtes en vue de leur préservation et de leur diffusion. Circuit: musiques contemporaines 22(4):37–47CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Boutard G, Guastavino C, Turner JM (2013) A digital archives framework for the preservation of artistic works with technological components. Int J Digit Curation 8(1):42–65CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Bryant A (2009) Grounded theory and pragmatism: the curious case of Anselm Strauss. Forum Qual Soc Res 10(3). Accessed 19 Mar 2014 at
  22. Bulmer M (1979) Research questions and hypothesis block 2, Part 1. Research methods in education and social sciences. Open University Press, Milton KeynesGoogle Scholar
  23. Cahour B, Licoppe C (2010) Confrontations with traces of one’s own activity. Revue d’anthropologie des connaissances 4(2):a–kCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Canazza S, Vidolin A (2001) Introduction: preserving electroacoustic music. J New Music Res 30(4):289–293CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Cance C, Genevois H, Dubois D (2013) What is instrumentality in new digital musical devices? A contribution from cognitive linguistics and psychology. In: Castellango M, Genevois H (eds) La musique et ses instruments. Delatour, Paris, pp 283–298Google Scholar
  26. Charmaz K (2006) Constructing grounded theory: a practical guide through qualitative analysis. Sage Publications, Thousand OaksGoogle Scholar
  27. Childs S, McLeod J (2013) Tackling the wicked problem of ERM: using the cynefin framework as a lens. Rec Manag J 23(3):191–227Google Scholar
  28. Cibangu SK (2013) A memo of qualitative research for information science: toward theory construction. J Doc 69(2):194–213CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Clarke AE (2005) Situational analysis: grounded theory after the postmodern turn. Sage, Thousand OaksGoogle Scholar
  30. Clot Y (2008) Travail et pouvoir d’agir. Presses Universitaires de France, ParisGoogle Scholar
  31. Clot Y, Leplat J (2005) La méthode clinique en ergonomie et en psychologie du travail. Le travail humain 68(4):289–316CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Coenen-Huther J (2002) La sociologie des sciences entre positivisme et sociologisme. Revue européenne des sciences sociales 40(124):219–231CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Coleman A (2011) Quote from an artist’s manager. In: Scholte T, Wharton G (eds) Inside installations: theory and practice in the care of complex artworks. Amsterdam University Press, Amsterdam, pp 217–218Google Scholar
  34. Collins D (2007) Real-time tracking of the creative music composition process. Digit Creat 18(4):239–256CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Costain Schou K, Hewison J (1998) Health psychology and discourse: personal accounts as social texts in grounded theory. J Health Psychol 3(3):297–311CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Cussins A (1992) Content, embodiment and objectivity. The theory of cognitive trails. Mind 101(404):651–688Google Scholar
  37. Dappert A, Farquhar A (2009) Significance is in the eye of the stakeholder. In: Proceedings of ECDL’09. Corfu, Greece, pp 297–308Google Scholar
  38. Davenport TH, Prusak L (1998) Working knowledge: how organizations manage what they know. Harvard Business Press, BostonGoogle Scholar
  39. Day RE (2010) The self-imposed limits of library and information science: remarks on the discipline, on the profession, on the university, and on the state of “Information” in the U.S. at large today. InterActions UCLA J Edu Inf Stud 6(2). Accessed 19 Mar 2014 at
  40. de Tilly AN (2009) Moving images, editioned artworks and authenticity. In: Hermens E, Fiske E (eds) Art, conservation and authenticities: material, concept, context. Archetype Publications, LondonGoogle Scholar
  41. Donin N (2012) Empirical and historical musicologies of creative processes: towards a cross-fertilization. In: Collins D (ed) The act of musical composition: Studies in the creative process. Ashgate Publishing Limited, Burlington, pp 1–26Google Scholar
  42. Donin N, Theureau J (2007) Theoretical and methodological issues related to long term creative cognition: the case of musical composition. Cogn Technol Work 9(4):233–251CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Fidel R (2008) Are we there yet? : mixed methods research in library and information science. Libr Inf Sci Res 30:265–272CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Fourmentraux JP (2006) Internet artworks, artists and computer programmers: sharing the creative process. Leonardo 39(1):44–50CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Franklin MB (2001) The artist speaks: Sigmund Koch on aesthetics and creative work. Am Psychol 56(5):445–452CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Frické M (2008) The knowledge pyramid: a critique of the DIKW hierarchy. J Inf Sci 35(2):131–142CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Georgiou D (2001) Présentation du champ des méthodes qualitatives dans la psychologie anglo-saxonne. In: Rouan G, Santiago Delefosse M (eds) Les méthodes qualitatives en psychologie. Dunod, Paris, pp 9–37Google Scholar
  48. Gingras Y (1995) Un air de radicalisme. Actes de la recherche en sciences sociales 108(1):3–18CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Glaser BG (1978) Theoretical sensitivity: advances in the methodology of grounded theory. Sociology Press, Mill ValleyGoogle Scholar
  50. Glaser BG, Strauss AL (1967) The discovery of grounded theory: strategies for qualitative research. Aldine Publishing, ChicagoGoogle Scholar
  51. Goodman AI (1993) Philosophical applications of cognitive science. Westview Press, Boulder COGoogle Scholar
  52. Goulding C (2002) Grounded theory: a practical guide for management, business and market researchers. Sage, LondonGoogle Scholar
  53. Greene JC (2006) Toward a methodology of mixed methods social inquiry. Res Sch 13(1):93–98Google Scholar
  54. Greene JC (2008) Is mixed methods social inquiry a distinctive methodology? J Mixed Methods Res 2(1):7–22CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Guba EG (1981) Criteria for assessing the trustworthiness of naturalistic inquiries. Edu Commun Technol J 29(2):75–91Google Scholar
  56. Guy M, Donnelly M, Molloy L (2013) Pinning it down: towards a practical definition of ‘Research data’ for creative arts institutions. Int J Digit Curation 8(2):99–110CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Heath H, Cowley S (2004) Developing a grounded theory approach: a comparison of Glaser and Strauss. Int J Nurs Stud 41(2):141–150CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Hedstrom M (1991) Understanding electronic incunabula: a framework for research on electronic records. Am Arch 54(3):334–354Google Scholar
  59. Hedstrom M, Lee C (2002) Significant properties of digital objects: definitions, applications, implications. In: Proceedings of the DLM-forum 2002. Office for Official Publications of the European Communities, Luxembourg, pp 218–227Google Scholar
  60. Hennion A (1993) La passion musicale: une sociologie de la médiation. Editions Métailié, ParisGoogle Scholar
  61. Hennion A, Latour B (1993) Objet d’art, objet de science. note sur les limites de l’anti-fétichisme. Sociologie de l’art 6:7–24Google Scholar
  62. Henwood KL, Pidgeon NF (1992) Qualitative research and psychological theorizing. Br J Psychol 83(1):97–111CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Heydenreich G (2011) Documentation of change—change of documentation. In: Scholte T, Wharton G (eds) Inside installations: theory and practice in the care of complex artworks. Amsterdam University Press, Amsterdam, pp 155–171Google Scholar
  64. Higgins S (2008) The DCC curation lifecycle model. Int J Digit Curation 3(1):134–140CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Hockx-Yu H, Knight G (2008) What to preserve?: significant properties of digital objects. Int J Digit Curation 3(1):141–153CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Hutchins E (1995) Cognition in the wild. MIT Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  67. Innocenti P (2012) Bridging the gap in digital art preservation: interdisciplinary reflections on authenticity, longevity and potential collaborations. In: Konstantelos L, Delve J, Anderson D, Billenness C, Baker D, Dobreva M (eds) Software art, vol 2. JISC, pp 71–83Google Scholar
  68. Key Perspectives Ltd (2010) Data dimensions: disciplinary differences in research data sharing, reuse and long term viability. SCARP synthesis study. Tech Rep Digital Curation Centre. Accessed 24 Nov 2013 at
  69. Knight G, Pennock M (2009) Data without meaning: establishing the significant properties of digital research. Int J Digit Curation 4(1):159–174CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. Konstantelos L (2012) Documenting the context of software artworks through social theory: towards a vocabulary for context classification. In: Konstantelos L, Delve J, Anderson D, Billenness C, Baker D, Dobreva M (eds) Software art, vol 2. JISC pp 18–32Google Scholar
  71. Laforet A (2009) La conservation du net art au musée—les stratégies à l’oeuvre. PhD Thesis, Université d’Avignon et des Pays de VaucluseGoogle Scholar
  72. Latour B (1994) On technical mediation—philosophy, sociology, genealogy. Common Knowl 3:29–64Google Scholar
  73. Latour B (2005) Reassembling the social: an introduction to actor-network-theory (Clarendon lectures in management studies). Oxford University Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  74. Laurenson P (2006) Authenticity, change and loss in the conservation of time-based media installations. In: Schachter J, Brockman S (eds) (Im)permanence: cultures in/out of time. Center for the Arts in Society, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, pp 150–164Google Scholar
  75. Lorino P, Tricard B, Clot Y (2011) Research methods for non-representational approaches to organizational complexity: the dialogical mediated inquiry. Organ Stud 32(6):769–801CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  76. Lovejoy M (2011) Defining conditions for digital arts: social function, authorship, and audience. In: Lovejoy M, Paul C, Vesna V (eds), Context providers: conditions of meaning in media arts. Intellect BooksGoogle Scholar
  77. Ma L (2012a) Meanings of information: the assumptions and research consequences of three foundational LIS theories. J Am Soc Inf Sci Technol 63(4):716–723CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  78. Ma L (2012b) Some philosophical considerations in using mixed methods in library and information science research. J Am Soc Inf Sci Technol 63(9):1859–1867CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  79. McAdam R, McCreedy S (1999) A critical review of knowledge management models. Learn Organ 6(3):91–101CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  80. McDonough J (2013) A tangled web: Metadata and problems in game preservation. In: Anderson D, Delve J (eds) Gaming environments and virtual worlds, vol 3. JISC, pp 49–62Google Scholar
  81. Menger PM, Cullinane D (1989) Technological innovations in contemporary music. J R Music Assoc 114(1):92–101CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  82. Meunier JG (2002) Représentation, information et culture. In: Rastier F (ed) Une introduction aux sciences de la culture. Presses Universitaires de France, ParisGoogle Scholar
  83. Mills J, Bonner A, Francis K (2006) The development of constructivist grounded theory. Int J Qual Methods 5(1):25–35Google Scholar
  84. Morel B, Ramanujam R (1999) Through the looking glass of complexity: The dynamics of organizations as adaptive and evolving systems. Organization Sci 10(3):278–293Google Scholar
  85. Nielsen HJ, Hjørland B (2014) Curating research data: the potential roles of libraries and information professionals. J Doc 70(2):221–240CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  86. Nonaka I, Takeuchi H (1995) The knowledge-creating company: how Japanese companies create the dynamics of innovation, 1st edn. Oxford University Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  87. Palmer CL, Wickett KM, Weber NM, Muñoz T, Renear AH (2013) Foundations of data curation: the pedagogy and practice of “purposeful work” with research data. Arch J 3. Accessed 19 Mar 2014 at
  88. Pennock M (2007) Digital curation: a life-cycle approach to managing and preserving usable digital information. Libr Arch 1. Accessed 19 Mar 2014 at
  89. Rastier F (2010) Sémantique et recherches cognitives, 3rd edn. Presses Universitaires de France, ParisGoogle Scholar
  90. Reference model OAIS (magenta book). Tech Rep (2012, Jun). Consultative Committee for Space Data Systems, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  91. Richard A, Boutard G (2013) Derrière les potentiomètres, les musiciens de l’Experimentalstudio : entretien avec André Richard. Circuit: musiques contemporaines 22(4):25–35Google Scholar
  92. Strauss AL (1969) Mirrors and masks: the search for identity. Sociology Press, Mill ValleyGoogle Scholar
  93. Strauss AL, Corbin JM (1994) Grounded theory methodology: an overview. In: Denzin NK, Lincoln YS (eds) Handbook of qualitative research, 2nd edn. Sage Publications, Thousand Oaks, pp 273–285Google Scholar
  94. Strauss AL, Corbin JM (1998) Basics of qualitative research: techniques and procedures for developing grounded theory, 2nd edn. Sage Publications, Thousand OaksGoogle Scholar
  95. Suchman L (1987) Plans and situated actions: the problem of human-machine communication. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  96. Producer-archive interface methodology abstract standard. Tech Rep (2006) Consultative Committee for Space Data Systems, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  97. Theureau J (2010) Les entretiens d’autoconfrontation et de remise en situation par les traces matérielles et le programme de recherche “cours d’action”. Revue d’anthropologie des connaissances 4(2):287–322CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  98. Van Someren MW, Barnard YF, Sandberg JA (1994) The think aloud method: a practical guide to modelling cognitive processes. Academic Press, LondonGoogle Scholar
  99. Vermersch P (2009) Describing the practice of introspection. J Conscious Stud 16(10–12):20–57Google Scholar
  100. Vermersch P (2011) L’entretien d’explicitation, 7th edn. ESF, Issy-les-MoulineauxGoogle Scholar
  101. Waibel G, Erway R (2009) Think globally, act locally: library, archive, and museum collaboration. Mus Manag Curatorship 24(4):323–335CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  102. Wetzel DB (2004) Analysis, reconstruction, and performance of interactive electroacoustic music for clarinet and obsolete technology: selected compositions by musgrave, pennycook, kramer, and lippe. PhD Thesis, University of ArizonaGoogle Scholar
  103. Wetzel DB (2006) A model for the conservation of interactive electroacoustic repertoire: analysis, reconstruction, and performance in the face of technological obsolescence. Organ Sound 11(3):273–284CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  104. Yakel E, Faniel I, Kriesberg A, Yoon A (2013) Trust in digital repositories. Int J Digit Curation 8(1):143–156CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  105. Yong K (2006) Electroacoustic adaptation as a mode of survival: arranging giacinto scelsi’s aitsi pour piano amplifée (1974) for piano and computer. Organ Sound 11(3):243–254CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  106. Zorich DM, Waibel G, Erway R (2008) Beyond the silos of the LAMs: collaboration among libraries, archives and museums. Tech Rep OCLC Research. Accessed 24 Nov 2013 at

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Information StudiesMcGill UniversityMontrealCanada
  2. 2.Faculté de MusiqueUniversité de MontréalMontrealCanada

Personalised recommendations