I am trying to justify the use of WordPress in a research project and this is what was mentioned about my claims that WordPress could be used to organise the data well using categories and tags. Also under fire is the metadata and accessibility of the data.
Is there a link or some info you’re aware of to use as reference? Also any thoughts?
The section describes the creation of a WordPress site, a reasonable solution for what the applicants propose, but then refer to the data being in “such a well-organised form.” There is nothing inherent in Word Press that creates data in a well organised form. It’s like describing something as being well-ordered because it’s on a bookshelf. It depends how it’s placed on the bookshelf and whether it’s categorised. And I might order my bookshelves based on how much I enjoyed the books, but to anyone else those books are going to appear disordered, unless I specifically describe to others how they’re ordered. Further down mention is made of storing the data in a database. I assume that this is the backend database associated with a local WordPress install. This does structure data in some sense, although not in a reusable sense. It can associate objects with a blog entry and objects with tags but provides little sense of how digital objects relate to each other or to real world objects.
It does not create adequate metadata. Metadata might include details of who created the digital object, how, when, whether it has been changed, whether there are restrictions on use, where the original object on which the digital object is based can be found, notes about the object. This kind of information is not normally captured in WordPress tags, is not really useful if captured in WordPress tags (it needs a structure / standard) and isn’t really suitable for WordPress tags because you don’t necessarily want to expose the user to it.
Though this post is old, I thought I’d give some input as the same scenario has entered my mind on several occasions lately:
There is no inherent reason why WordPress is better suited for data-organizing than any other software, especially since it to a large degree is a web-based CMS, not directed towards efficient data-management. This, however, is not to say that it could not. At the very least, WordPress can be a useful tool for re-ordering and presenting data and relationships between data, where similar tools may fail.
At best, you may think of WordPress as able to handle abstract relationships, and virtually most ways of organizing data. At worst, these systems are weighed down by what may be regarded as bloat – since it’s a CMS for websites, not research.
Mainly, your point of departure would be defining exactly why data being in “such a well-organised form.” is a valid claim. Other than your familiarity with the software, WordPress is not superior to any other software in organizing data, and on many parts can be said to be inferior. Again, there is a flip-side of this, and you might well argue that WordPress inherently is efficient at storing both meta-data and serializing other data, but then again the methods by which this is done can easily be replicated into a more suitable system.
The critique you refer too is justified in this regard, though I would say that metadata within WordPress is sufficiently abstract to handle any relationship to the actual data, and the use of tags is a poor concept for alluding to this. However, most types within WordPress (post types, taxonomies, tags, whatever else you create) can inherently be regarded as potentially hierarchical, and can be structured however you want. As such, a strength of WordPress is the abstract relationship between types, where other systems are necessarily strict in this regard.
I would say that WordPress can be suitable for a research project, especially in terms of serving as an efficient publishing platform that allows for flexible displays of results, but like anything the use of it requires you to fully understand what your specific project requires in terms of systems and structures to be analysed.
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