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Journalist for a Night! (Discover Research Dublin)

Friday, September 27, 2013
Royal Irish Academy

Watch the event video here!


Discover Research Dublin: a city centre event by Trinity College Dublin and the Royal Irish Academy


On Friday September 27, the bustling city-centre corridor from College Green, through TCD campus, and up Dawson St. to the Royal Irish Academy will be transformed into a a series of open doors on research activities happening in Ireland. Want to watch an enlarged version of solar flares and see what the sun looks like at night? How about trying your hand at compiling a 'backgrounder' under deadline, conducting research like a journalist? Or maybe you'd like to 'tag' objects of historical significance with the emotions they elicit, using a game that is much like geo-caching? Not sure what any of this means but curious? Then come along to Discover Research Dublin - a night full of exciting, interactive events that reveal the varied lives of researchers, and allows you to play researcher for a night. All events are free, and most events run from 6:00pm-11:00pm.


Journalist for a Night: research using trusted sources

As part of Discover Research Dublin, the Digital Repository of Ireland is organising a series of events at the Royal Irish around the theme of 'research using trusted sources'. Our event, Journalist for a Night, will see the high-ceilinged, open, and historic atmosphere of the Royal Irish Academy transformed into a hub for aspiring digital journalists, assigned to conduct background research on a breaking news story. ‘Journalist for a Night’ will take participants through the process of finding, collecting, and arranging sources from trusted collections.

Participants will use the cutting-edge tools of online content curation, the richness of RIA archives and collections, and the assistance of research experts and roving curators who will circle the RIA’s ‘newsroom for a night’ to provide tips and answer questions.

Stories will be assigned by the organisers, and research sessions will last approximately 30 minutes, with new sessions starting regularly from 6pm-11pm. At the end of each session, participants will have collected valuable background information on the breaking news topic in the form of a ‘curated page’: selected, arranged, and annotated content.

The event will be fun, collaborative, and fast-paced, just like in a busy newsroom! In the breaks between the research games, visitors will have direct access to the Academy’s vast online collections of documents, drawings, dictionaries, maps, images, and manuscripts. Researchers from the Academy, and Digital Journalism researchers from the Digital Humanities and Journalism group at DERI (HuJo) will be present to share their expertise. Exhibition stands will be set up around the rooms, and experts available to guide visitors through the rich materials.

The research game will continue throughout the evening, but visitors to the RIA will also have the option to hear speakers in the Academy's large Meeting Room.  From 6-8pm, researchers and well-known journalists will give short ‘Pecha Kucha’ style talks on various aspects of archival research, journalism, and new technology. The speakers also have to work to deadline, as they only have a few minutes to tell us about their exciting work. A loud deadline bell will keep everyone on their toes.

Various snippets of this activity will be projected outside the Academy, bringing the energy of the research game, interviews with participants, and short snippets of the night’s talks to out into the streets. If you’re interested, you might have your interview selected for broadcast on Dawson St!

Whether you want to listen to talks, browse collections, or play the research game, there will be something to do for everyone, and the Royal Irish Academy will be abuzz all evening.


1:00pm: Bill Thompson from the BBC speaks on The Open Data Society and its Enemies.
6:00pm-11:00pm - Journalist for a Night research game and RIA collections exhibits
6:00pm-8:00pm - Shorts talks on all aspects of journalism, research, curiosities in RIA collections...



What is this?A free, engaging evening that reveals collections of RIA online research collections, and invites you to develop your research skills in a fun environment. No registration required - just show up!
Who would be interested?This event is suitable for anyone interested in research, history, geography, emigration, biography, Irish society and culture, the diaspora, or digital humanities and curation tools.
What skills do I need?If you can use the internet, you can join the research game! There are also talks and exhibitions if you don't want to use the computers.
What ages is this event suitable for?Ages 16 and over.



For more information on other events happening around Dublin on the night, visit

Discover Research Dublin is part of European Researchers' Night, which takes place simultaneously in about 300 cities across Europe. This event is generously funded by a Seventh Framework (FP7) grant from the European Union, and a Discover Science & Engineering grant from Science Foundation Ireland.