What is the specific need that led you to choose a solution like Muruca?
We needed to create a platform that was intuitive to use, even for those who are only used to using classic word processors or the most common databases. The idea was to create a digital structure, starting from a paper cataloguing model that had become impractical due to its size, the need to make extensive use of images and above all, the impossibility of carrying out simple or advanced searches. This digital structure was to be designed to allow a number of scholars to enter data independently, while at the same time compiling a reference bibliography.
How did Muruca manage to solve this need of yours?
Thanks to a highly effective interaction with Chiara Aiola of Net7, and the negotiation of some content but without any particular departures from our expectations, we have arrived at a platform that fully meets our requirements. We are slowly becoming familiar with the backend, and we already consider ourselves fully independent. With respect to our needs, we do not find the platform to be particularly rigid. There are still some graphical aspects that could be improved, but these are details compared to the overall picture, which is fully satisfactory.
In relation to your initial digital resources and skills, how easy was it to use Muruca?
One of us already had experience with Muruca, but for projects that were not related to a database like the one we are working on now. For this reason, it has been extremely easy to use Muruca, even if we have considerably broadened our knowledge of it, which is still very partial at the moment but sufficient to independently manage the input and updating of the scientific data we produce with our colleagues.
Are there any results you have achieved with the introduction of Muruca that you consider to be important for you and your research group?
Thanks to Muruca, we have systematically set up a comprehensive and, ideally, exhaustive research study on a corpus of documents that have so far been studied partially and in an inconsistent manner. The possibilities offered by this new perspective are manifold, I would say, first of all, the creation of a methodologically cohesive research group and the production of scientific articles from the data collected, both in reference to the individual document and in comparison with the corpus, thanks to advanced search results. In addition, Muruca has given us some insight into a relatively new way of understanding research and scientific production, and we are likely to use it again for other, somewhat comparable projects. In fact, this is Marco’s third research project using Muruca, and in the three cases, the objectives are quite distinct, even though they fall within a methodological perspective that could be considered similar (a database of topics; a digital library, a database of documents with bibliographic, codicological and philological descriptions).
Based on your experience, what do you think Muruca’s strength is?
Without a doubt, the simplicity of use, the easy-to-understand interface for basic users of digital tools, the functionalities that can also be learned independently and, ultimately, the independence it offers to research groups. Technical assistance is reduced to a minimum or even non-existent once the customised platform has been built to the required specifications and carefully tested.