Archive for the 'Digital Curation & Digital Preservation' Category

Research Data: Unseen Opportunities

Posted in Data Curation, Open Data, and Research Data Management, Digital Curation & Digital Preservation on January 11th, 2010

The Canadian Association of Research Libraries has released Research Data: Unseen Opportunities.

Here's an excerpt from the press release:

The purpose of the toolkit is to enable research library directors to raise awareness of the issues of data management with administrators and researchers on campus.

Data are valuable assets that in some cases have an unlimited potential for reuse. The awareness toolkit underscores the need to ensure that research data are managed throughout the data lifecycle so that they are understandable and usable.

"This is a very timely document" says Marnie Swanson (University of Victoria), Chair of the CARL Data Management Sub-Committee. "More than ever, data are a critical component of the research endeavor and this toolkit will help libraries raise awareness in the scholarly community of the importance of data stewardship."

Research Data: Unseen Opportunities provides readers with a general understanding of the current state of research data in Canada and internationally. It is organized into seven sections: The Big Picture; Major Benefits of Data Management; Current Context; Case Studies; Gaps in Data Stewardship in Canada; Data Management Policies in Canada; Responses to Faculty/Administrative Concerns; What Can Be Done on Campus?

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    Insight into Digital Preservation of Research Output in Europe

    Posted in Digital Curation & Digital Preservation on December 15th, 2009

    PARSE.Insight (INSIGHT into issues of Permanent Access to the Records of Science in Europe) has released Insight into Digital Preservation of Research Output in Europe.

    Here's an excerpt:

    This report . . . describes the results of the surveys conducted by PARSE.Insight to gain insight into research in Europe. Major surveys were held within three stake-holder domains: research, publishing and data management. In total, almost 2,000 people responded; they provided us with interesting insights in the current state of affairs in digital preservation of digital research data (including publications), the outlook of data preservation, data sharing, roles & responsibilities of stakeholders in research and funding of research.

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      UC Berkeley Media Vault Program Progress Report

      Posted in Digital Curation & Digital Preservation, Digital Repositories on December 8th, 2009

      The University of California, Berkeley's Media Vault Program has posted a progress report.

      Here's an excerpt:

      Media Vault Program partners offer a number of specialized tools to help campus researchers manage their materials. These include:

      • WebGenDL (UCB Library Systems) — the library's internal system for managing, creating, preserving and discovering digital library content. These tools are aimed primarily at mature, publishable sets of materials, rather than the broader context of research data
      • UC3 Curation Micro-services — a set of low barrier tools for full lifecycle enrichment of objects (e.g., identity, fixity, replication, annotation). The first few will be rolled out publicly in January 2010. These are presented not as a user interface, but rather as behind-the-scenes services
      • Sakai 3 — the next-generation version of the platform that powers the Berkeley campus's bSpace application. Due in 2011, Sakai 3 will include a range of social tools to help users extend and disseminate their materials

      To augment these services, and to handle use cases beyond their scope, the MVP team examined a number of potential platforms. . . .

      Of these candidates, Alfresco stands out as the most functional, out-of-the-box solution. With a little customization, it can be readied for user testing. Therefore, the MVP team has selected it as the basis of its next round of discussions with stakeholders, partners and prospective users.

      Read more about Alfresco at the AlfrescoWiki.

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        Presentations from the 5th International Digital Curation Conference

        Posted in Digital Curation & Digital Preservation on December 7th, 2009

        Presentations from the 5th International Digital Curation Conference are now available. (Thanks to the Digital Curation Blog, which has provided extensive coverage of the conference.)

        First Day

        Day Two

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          File Formats for Preservation

          Posted in Digital Curation & Digital Preservation, Digital Repositories on December 6th, 2009

          The Digital Preservation Coalition has released File Formats for Preservation.

          Here's an excerpt:

          File formats are the principal means of encoding information content in any computing environment. Preserving intellectual content requires a firm grasp of the file formats used to create, store and disseminate it, and ensuring that they remain fit for purpose. There are several significant pronouncements on preservation file formats in the literature. These have generally emanated from either preservation institutions or research projects and usually take one of three approaches:

          • recommendations for submitting material to digital repositories
          • recommendations or policies for long term preservation or
          • proposals, plans for and technical documentation of existing registries to store attributes of formats.

          More recently, attention has broadened to pay specific attention to the significant properties of the intellectual objects that are the subject of preservation. This Technology Watch Report has been written to provide an overview of these developments in context by comparative review and analysis to assist repository managers and the preservation community more widely. It aims to provide a guide and critique to the current literature, and place it in the context of a wider professional knowledge and research base.

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            Webcast: "Memento: Time Travel for the Web"

            Posted in Digital Curation & Digital Preservation on December 3rd, 2009

            OCLC has made available a webcast of Herbert Van de Sompel's presentation "Memento: Time Travel for the Web."

            You can find out more about Memento at Van de Sompel's e-print, "Memento: Time Travel for the Web."

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              Data Preservation in High Energy Physics

              Posted in Cyberinfrastructure/E-Science, Data Curation, Open Data, and Research Data Management, Digital Curation & Digital Preservation on December 3rd, 2009

              The ICHFA DPHEP International Study Group has self-archived Data Preservation in High Energy Physics in arXiv.org.

              Here's an excerpt:

              Data from high-energy physics (HEP) experiments are collected with significant financial and human effort and are mostly unique. At the same time, HEP has no coherent strategy for data preservation and re-use. An inter-experimental Study Group on HEP data preservation and long-term analysis was convened at the end of 2008 and held two workshops, at DESY (January 2009) and SLAC (May 2009). This document is an intermediate report to the International Committee for Future Accelerators (ICFA) of the reflections of this Study Group.

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                Webinar: "DuraCloud: Enabling Services for Managing Data in the Cloud"

                Posted in Digital Curation & Digital Preservation, DuraSpace on December 1st, 2009

                DuraSpace has released a webinar on "DuraCloud: Enabling Services for Managing Data in the Cloud" with Michele Kimpton and Bill Branan.

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                  Closing the Digital Curation Gap Project

                  Posted in Digital Curation & Digital Preservation, Grants on November 22nd, 2009

                  The Institute of Museum and Library Services has awarded $249,623 to the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill School of Information and Library Science for the Closing the Digital Curation Gap project.

                  Here's an excerpt from the press release:

                  Scientists, researchers, and scholars across the world generate vast amounts of digital data, but the scientific record and the documentary heritage created in digital form are at risk—from technology obsolescence, from the fragility of digital media, and from the lack of baseline practices for managing and preserving digital data. The University of North Carolina Chapel Hill (UNC-CH) School of Information and Library Science, working with the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) and partners in the United Kingdom (U.K.), are collaborating on the Closing the Digital Curation Gap (CDCG) project to establish baseline practices for the storage, maintenance, and preservation of digital data to help ensure their enhancement and continuing long-term use. Because digital curation, or the management and preservation of digital data over the full life cycle, is of strategic importance to the library and archives fields, IMLS is funding the project through a cooperative agreement with UNC-CH. U.K. partners include the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC), which supports innovation in digital technologies in U.K. colleges and universities, and its funded entities, the Strategic Content Alliance (SCA) and the Digital Curation Centre (DCC).

                  Well-curated data can be made accessible for a variety of audiences. For example, the data gathered by the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (www.sdss.org) at the Apache Point Observatory in New Mexico is available to professional astronomers worldwide as well as to schoolchildren, teachers, and citizen scientists through its Galaxy Zoo project. Galaxy Zoo, now in its second version, invites citizen scientists to assist in classifying over a million galaxies (www.galaxyzoo.org). With good preservation techniques, this data will be available into the future to provide documentation of the sky as it currently appears.

                  Data and information science researchers have already developed many viable applications, models, strategies, and standards for the long term care of digital objects. This project will help bridge a significant gap between the progress of digital curation research and development and the professional practices of archivists, librarians, and museum curators. Project partners will develop guidelines for digital curation practices, especially for staff in small to medium-sized cultural heritage institutions where digital assets are most at risk. Larger institutions will also benefit. To develop baseline practices, a working group will establish and support a network of digital curation practitioners, researchers, and educators through face-to-face meetings, web-based communication, and other communication tools. Project staff will also use surveys, interviews, and case studies to develop a plan for ongoing development of digital curation frameworks, guidance, and best practices. The team will also promote roles that various organizations can play and identify future opportunities for collaboration.

                  As part of this project, the Digital Curation Manual, which is maintained by the DCC, will be updated and expanded www.dcc.ac.uk/resource/curation-manual/chapters and the Digital Curation Exchange web portal will receive support (http://digitalcurationexchange.org). Through these efforts, the CDCG project will lay the foundation that will inform future training, education, and practice. The project's research, publications, practical tool integration, and outreach and training efforts will be of value to organizations charged with maintaining digital assets over the long term.

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                    "Memento: Time Travel for the Web"

                    Posted in Digital Curation & Digital Preservation on November 19th, 2009

                    Herbert Van de Sompel, Michael L. Nelson, Robert Sanderson, Lyudmila L. Balakireva, Scott Ainsworth, and Harihar Shankar have self-archived "Memento: Time Travel for the Web" in arXiv.org.

                    Here's an excerpt:

                    The Web is ephemeral. Many resources have representations that change over time, and many of those representations are lost forever. A lucky few manage to reappear as archived resources that carry their own URIs. For example, some content management systems maintain version pages that reflect a frozen prior state of their changing resources. Archives recurrently crawl the web to obtain the actual representation of resources, and subsequently make those available via special-purpose archived resources. In both cases, the archival copies have URIs that are protocol-wise disconnected from the URI of the resource of which they represent a prior state. Indeed, the lack of temporal capabilities in the most common Web protocol, HTTP, prevents getting to an archived resource on the basis of the URI of its original. This turns accessing archived resources into a significant discovery challenge for both human and software agents, which typically involves following a multitude of links from the original to the archival resource, or of searching archives for the original URI. This paper proposes the protocol-based Memento solution to address this problem, and describes a proof-of-concept experiment that includes major servers of archival content, including Wikipedia and the Internet Archive. The Memento solution is based on existing HTTP capabilities applied in a novel way to add the temporal dimension. The result is a framework in which archived resources can seamlessly be reached via the URI of their original: protocol-based time travel for the Web.

                    Read more about it at "Time-Travelling Browsers Navigate the Web's Past" and the Memento project website.

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                      "The Practice and Perception of Web Archiving in Academic Libraries and Archives"

                      Posted in Digital Archives and Special Collections, Digital Curation & Digital Preservation on November 18th, 2009

                      Lisa A. Gregory's Master's theses, "The Practice and Perception of Web Archiving in Academic Libraries and Archives," is available from the School of Information and Library Science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

                      Here's an excerpt:

                      In order to dig deeper into possible reasons behind archivists’ and librarians’ reluctance to archive Web sites, the study described here asks professionals to reveal their Web archiving experiences as well as the information sources they consult regarding archiving Web sites. Specifically, the following two research questions are addressed: Are librarians and archivists at institutions of higher education currently engaged in or considering archiving Web sites? What sources do these professionals consult for information about Web archiving?

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                        Towards Repository Preservation Services. Final Report from the JISC Preserv 2 Project

                        Posted in Cloud Computing/SaaS, Digital Curation & Digital Preservation, Digital Repositories, EPrints, Fedora, Institutional Repositories on October 28th, 2009

                        Steve Hitchcock, David Tarrant, and Les Carr have self-archived Towards Repository Preservation Services. Final Report from the JISC Preserv 2 Project in the ECS EPrints Repository.

                        Here's the abstract:

                        Preserv 2 investigated the preservation of data in digital institutional repositories, focussing in particular on managing storage, data and file formats. Preserv 2 developed the first repository storage controller, which will be a feature of EPrints version 3.2 software (due 2009). Plugin applications that use the controller have been written for Amazon S3 and Sun cloud services among others, as well as for local disk storage. In a breakthrough application Preserv 2 used OAI-ORE to show how data can be moved between two repository softwares with quite distinct data models, from an EPrints repository to a Fedora repository. The largest area of work in Preserv 2 was on file format management and an 'active' preservation approach. This involves identifying file formats, assessing the risks posed by those formats and taking action to obviate the risks where that could be justified. These processes were implemented with reference to a technical registry, PRONOM from The National Archives (TNA), and DROID (digital record object identification service), also produced by TNA. Preserv 2 showed we can invoke a current registry to classify the digital objects and present a hierarchy of risk scores for a repository. Classification was performed using the Preserv2 EPrints preservation toolkit. This 'wraps' DROID in an EPrints repository environment. This toolkit will be another feature available for EPrints v3.2 software. The result of file format identification can indicate a file is at risk of becoming inaccessible or corrupted. Preserv 2 developed a repository interface to present formats by risk category. Providing risk scores through the live PRONOM service was shown to be feasible. Spin-off work is ongoing to develop format risk scores by compiling data from multiple sources in a new linked data registry.

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