Activity Joining the Dots Pilot Project (2018 - )


The Joining the Dots Pilot Project addressed challenges faced by the University of Melbourne relating to the need to create an enduring knowledge base and to measure the University's engagement and impact. The outcome of the project was the creation of a knowledge platform that demonstrated public value by assessing the impact of University scholarships and by situating this within the broader administrative and academic history of the University.


The goals of the project included:

  • investigating the role, range, location and history of Future Generations Scholarships at the University of Melbourne, and conducting a deeper analysis of the impact that the scholarships have had on the University's community; and
  • demonstrating the capability and reach of a structured public knowledge resource and its potential to be an enduring record of the University of Melbourne's history and its impact on and contribution to public value.

  • The project team included research archivists and data curators from the eScholarship Research Centre (ESRC). They reported to the Joining the Dots Working Group, which was made up of representatives from Chancellery Engagement, Advancement and the Vice Chancellor's Office.

    Through the Joining the Dots Pilot Project the project team developed and tested two replicable and scale-able models:

  • Impact Assessment Model: this framework demonstrated public value through the creation of a series of evidence-based narratives. It focused on the Future Generations Scholarships, assessing the benefits the scholarships provided for study and career development and embedding these narratives within details of the activity, history and context of the University.
  • Online Data Model: this digital encyclopaedic history of the University created a more enduring, evolving and integrated way to understand the life and work of the University and Melbourne. It started with the last University Calendar of 2009, identifying changing roles, individuals, faculties, activities, regulations and outcomes from the University's foundation in 1853.
  • These outputs were achieved using the eScholarship Resource Centre's Online Heritage Resource manage (OHRM) as part of the emerging University of Melbourne Perpetual Calendar (UMPC).

    The pilot project developed and tested a model of impact assessment that could potentially be used anywhere across the life of the University, in conjunction with the UMPC. The online system means that stand-alone individual stories of impact always remain anchored within the detail of history and context.