Archive for the 'Digital Curation & Digital Preservation' Category

Web Archiving

Posted in Digital Curation & Digital Preservation on March 21st, 2010

The Digital Curation Centre has released Web Archiving.

Here's an excerpt from the announcement:

The DCC has produced a report that provides a snapshot of the state of the art of Web archiving in early 2010, noting areas of contemporaneous research and development. It should be of interest to individuals and organisations concerned about the longevity of the Web resources to which they contribute or refer, and who wish to consider the issues and options in a broad context. The report begins by reviewing in more detail the motivations that lie behind Web archiving, both from an organisational and a research perspective. The most common challenges faced by Web archivists are discussed in section 3. The following two sections examine Web archiving at extremes of scale, with section 4 dealing with full-domain harvesting and the building of large-scale collections, and section 5 dealing with the ad hoc archiving of individual resources and small-scale collections. The challenges associated with particular types of difficult content are summarised in section 6, while methods for integrating archived material with the live Web are reviewed in section 7. Finally, some conclusions are drawn in section 8.

Sustainable Economics for a Digital Planet: Ensuring Long-term Access to Digital Information

Posted in Digital Curation & Digital Preservation on March 2nd, 2010

The Blue Ribbon Task Force on Sustainable Digital Preservation and Access has released Sustainable Economics for a Digital Planet: Ensuring Long-term Access to Digital Information.

Here's an excerpt from the press release:

While much has been written on the digital preservation issue as a technical challenge, the Blue Ribbon Task Force report focuses on the economic aspect; i.e. how stewards of valuable, digitally-based information can pay for preservation over the longer term. The report provides general principles and actions to support long-term economic sustainability; context-specific recommendations tailored to specific scenarios analyzed in the report; and an agenda for priority actions and next steps, organized according to the type of decision maker best suited to carry that action forward. Moreover, the report is intended to serve as a foundation for further study in this critical area. . . .

Value, Incentives, and Roles & Responsibilities

The report of the Blue Ribbon Task Force focuses on four distinct scenarios, each having ever-increasing amounts of preservation-worthy digital assets in which there is a public interest in long-term preservation: scholarly discourse, research data, commercially-owned cultural content (such as digital movies and music), and collectively-produced Web content (such as blogs).

"Valuable digital information spans the spectrum from official e-documents to some YouTube videos. No one economic model will cost-effectively support them all, but all require cost-effective economic models," said Berman, who was director of the San Diego Supercomputer Center at the University of California, San Diego, before joining Rensselaer last year.

The report categorizes the economics of digital preservation into three "necessary conditions" closely aligned with the needs of stakeholders: recognizing the value of data and selecting materials for longer-term preservation; providing incentives for decision makers to preserve data directly or provide preservation services for others; and articulating the roles and responsibilities among those involved in the preservation process. The report further aligns those conditions with the basic economic principle of supply and demand, and warns that without well-articulated demand for access to preserved digital assets, there will be no supply of preservation services.

"Addressing the issues of value, incentives, and roles and responsibilities helps us understand who benefits from long-term access to digital materials, who should be responsible for preservation, and who should pay for it," said Brian Lavoie, research scientist at OCLC and Task Force co-chair. "Neglecting to account for any of these conditions significantly reduces the prospects of achieving sustainable digital preservation activities over the long run."

Task Force Recommendations The Blue Ribbon panel report cites several specific recommendations for decision makers and stakeholders to consider as they seek economically sustainable preservation practices for digital information. While the report covers these recommendations in detail, below is a summary listing key areas of priority for near-term action:

Organizational Action

  • develop public-private partnerships, similar to ones formed by the Library of Congress
  • ensure that organizations have access to skilled personnel, from domain experts to legal and business specialists
  • create and sustain secure chains of stewardship between organizations over the long term
  • achieve economies of scale and scope wherever possible

Technical Action

  • build capacity to support stewardship in all areas
  • lower the costs of preservation overall
  • determine the optimal level of technical curation needed to create a flexible strategy for all types of digital material

Public Policy Action

  • modify copyright laws to enable digital preservation
  • create incentives and requirements for private entities to preserve on behalf of the public (financial incentives, handoff requirements)
  • sponsor public-private partnerships
  • clarify rights issues associated with Web-based materials

Education and Public Outreach Action

  • promote education and training for 21st century digital preservation (domain-specific skills, curatorial best practices, core competencies in relevant science, technology, engineering, and mathematics knowledge)
  • raise awareness of the urgency to take timely preservation actions

The report concluded that sustainable preservation strategies are not built all at once, nor are they static.

"The environment in which digital preservation takes place can be very dynamic," said OCLC's Brian Lavoie. "Priorities change, policies change, stakeholders change. A key element of a robust sustainability strategy is to anticipate the effect of these changes and take steps to minimize the risk that long-term preservation goals will be impacted by short-term disruptions in resources, incentives, and other economic factors. If we can do this, we will have gone a long way toward ensuring that society's valuable digital content does indeed survive."

About the Blue Ribbon Task Force on Sustainable Digital Preservation and Access The Blue Ribbon Task Force on Sustainable Digital Preservation and Access was launched in late 2007 by the National Science Foundation and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, in partnership with the Library of Congress, the Joint Information Systems Committee of the United Kingdom, the Council on Library and Information Resources, and the National Archives and Records Administration. The Task Force was commissioned to explore the economic sustainability challenge of digital preservation and access. An Interim report discussing the economic context for preservation, Sustaining the Digital Investment: Issues and Challenges of Economically Sustainable Digital Preservation, is available at the Task Force website. Please visit the website for more information about the Task Force and its upcoming symposium, called A National Conversation on the Economic Sustainability of Digital Information, to take place April 1, 2010 in Washington D.C. A similar symposium will be held in the United Kingdom on May 6, 2010, at the Wellcome Collection Conference Centre, in London. Space is limited so early registration is advised. More information is available online.

A Guide to Distributed Digital Preservation

Posted in Digital Curation & Digital Preservation on February 24th, 2010

The MetaArchive Cooperative has released A Guide to Distributed Digital Preservation.

Here's an excerpt from the announcement:

This volume is devoted to the broad topic of distributed digital preservation, a still-emerging field of practice for the cultural memory arena. Replication and distribution hold out the promise of indefinite preservation of materials without degradation, but establishing effective organizational and technical processes to enable this form of digital preservation is daunting. Institutions need practical examples of how this task can be accomplished in manageable, low-cost ways.

This guide is written with a broad audience in mind that includes librarians, archivists, scholars, curators, technologists, lawyers, and administrators. Readers may use this guide to gain both a philosophical and practical understanding of the emerging field of distributed digital preservation, including how to establish or join a network.

International Internet Preservation Consortium Launches Web Archives Registry

Posted in Digital Curation & Digital Preservation on February 4th, 2010

The International Internet Preservation Consortium has launched a web archives registry.

Here's an excerpt from the announcement:

The registry offers a single point of access to a comprehensive overview of member web archiving efforts and outputs. Twenty-one archives from around the world are currently included; updates will be added as additional archives are made accessible by IIPC members.

In addition to a detailed description of each web archive, the following information is included:

  • Collecting institution
  • Start date
  • Archive interface language(s)
  • Access methods (URL search, keyword search, full text search, thematic, etc.)
  • Harvesting methods (National domain, event, thematic, etc.)
  • Access restrictions

The registry was put in place by the IIPC Access Working Group, which focuses on initiatives, procedures and tools required to provide immediate and future to access archived web material. The registry will also provide a basis for IIPC to explore integrated access and search in the future.

Harvard University Library OIS Releases File Information Tool Set Version 0.3.1

Posted in Digital Curation & Digital Preservation, Metadata, Open Source Software on February 1st, 2010

Harvard University Library's Office for Information Systems has released File Information Tool Set version 0.3.1.

Here's an excerpt from the user guide:

The File Information Tool Set (FITS) identifies, validates and extracts technical metadata for a wide range of file formats. It acts as a wrapper, invoking and managing the output from several other open source tools. Output from these tools are converted into a common format, compared to one another and consolidated into a single XML output file. FITS is written in Java and is compatible with Java 1.5 or higher. The external tools currently used are:

Library of Congress Launches Digital Preservation Podcast Series

Posted in Digital Curation & Digital Preservation on February 1st, 2010

The Library of Congress has launched a digital preservation podcast series.

Here's an excerpt from the press release:

The Library of Congress presents a new podcast series, featuring interviews with prominent digital preservation practitioners and thought leaders. These podcasts offer a chance to hear experts talk about their lessons learned and goals for future projects.

The debut podcasts are interviews with Patricia Cruse and Martin Halbert. Cruse is the director of the California Curation Center, formerly known as the California Digital Library's Digital Preservation Program. She talks about her professional achievements and personal interest in making government information widely available to the public. Halbert is the newly appointed dean of libraries at the University of North Texas and one of the co-founders of the MetaArchive Cooperative. In his podcast he talks about institutional collaboration and how pooling resources helped build large-scale online resources such as the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Database.

The podcasts are available on the Library of Congress website and by subscription through iTunesU.

Center for Research Libraries Certifies Portico as Trustworthy Digital Repository

Posted in Digital Curation & Digital Preservation, Digital Repositories on January 26th, 2010

The Center for Research Libraries has certified Portico as a trustworthy digital repository.

Here's an excerpt from the announcement:

This month the Center for Research Libraries (CRL) announced the completion of an audit of the Portico digital repository and its certification as a trustworthy digital repository. Portico is the first digital preservation service to undergo this independent audit and the only service to be certified at this time.. . .

The nine-month audit process was an extremely positive and valuable one for Portico. It confirmed that the majority of our practices conform to the Trustworthy Repositories Audit and Certification Checklist (TRAC) and other metrics developed by CRL through its analyses of digital repositories. It also identified for us several areas for continued improvement as well as ways in which we can enhance the service for CRL member libraries as well as others. We look forward to continuing to report to CRL on these issues in the years ahead to ensure we continue to meet certification requirements and the expectations of CRL libraries, our other partner libraries, and our participating publishers.

We invite you to review the background information about CRL's Certification and Assessment of Digital Repositories Program (http://www.crl.edu/archiving-preservation/digital-archives/certification-and-assessment-digital-repositories) as well as the public audit report on Portico published by the CRL Certification Advisory Panel (http://www.crl.edu/archiving-preservation/digital-archives/certification-and-assessment-digital-repositories/portico).

Data Dimensions: Disciplinary Differences in Research Data Sharing, Reuse and Long Term Viability

Posted in Data Curation, Open Data, and Research Data Management, Digital Curation & Digital Preservation on January 24th, 2010

The Digital Curation Centre has released Data Dimensions: Disciplinary Differences in Research Data Sharing, Reuse and Long Term Viability: A Comparative Review Based on Sixteen Case Studies.

Here's an excerpt:

This synthesis study, commissioned by the Digital Curation Centre from Key Perspectives Ltd, forms a major output from the DCC SCARP Project, which investigated attitudes and approaches to data deposit, sharing and reuse, curation and preservation, over a range of research fields in differing disciplines. The aim was to investigate research practitioners’ perspectives and practices in caring for their research data, and the methods and tools they use to that end. Objectives included identification and promotion of ‘good practice’ in the selected research domains, as expressed in DCC tools and resources. The approach combined case study methods with a survey of the literature relevant to digital curation in the selected fields. . . .

This synthesis report (which drew on the SCARP case studies plus a number of others, identified in the Appendix), identifies factors that help understand how curation practices in research groups differ in disciplinary terms. This provides a backdrop to different digital curation approaches. However the case studies illustrate that "the discipline" is too broad a level to understand data curation practices or requirements. The diversity of data types, working methods, curation practices and content skills found even within specialised domains means that requirements should be defined at this or even a finer-grained level, such as the research group.

Report and Recommendations from the Scholarly Publishing Roundtable

Posted in Digital Curation & Digital Preservation, Open Access, Publishing, Scholarly Communication on January 14th, 2010

The Scholarly Publishing Roundtable has released the Report and Recommendations from the Scholarly Publishing Roundtable.

Here's an excerpt from the press release:

An expert panel of librarians, library scientists, publishers, and university academic leaders today called on federal agencies that fund research to develop and implement policies that ensure free public access to the results of the research they fund "as soon as possible after those results have been published in a peer-reviewed journal."

The Scholarly Publishing Roundtable was convened last summer by the U.S. House Committee on Science and Technology, in collaboration with the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP). Policymakers asked the group to examine the current state of scholarly publishing and seek consensus recommendations for expanding public access to scholarly journal articles.

The various communities represented in the Roundtable have been working to develop recommendations that would improve public access without curtailing the ability of the scientific publishing industry to publish peer- reviewed scientific articles.

The Roundtable’s recommendations, endorsed in full by the overwhelming majority of the panel (12 out of 14 members), "seek to balance the need for and potential of increased access to scholarly articles with the need to preserve the essential functions of the scholarly publishing enterprise," according to the report. . . .

The Roundtable identified a set of principles viewed as essential to a robust scholarly publishing system, including the need to preserve peer review, the necessity of adaptable publishing business models, the benefits of broader public access, the importance of archiving, and the interoperability of online content.

In addition, the group affirmed the high value of the "version of record" for published articles and of all stakeholders' contributions to sustaining the best possible system of scholarly publishing during a time of tremendous change and innovation.

To implement its core recommendation for public access, the Roundtable recommended the following:

  1. Agencies should work in full and open consultation with all stakeholders, as well as with OSTP, to develop their public access policies. Agencies should establish specific embargo periods between publication and public access.
  2. Policies should be guided by the need to foster interoperability.
  3. Every effort should be made to have the Version of Record as the version to which free access is provided.
  4. Government agencies should extend the reach of their public access policies through voluntary collaborations with non-governmental stakeholders.
  5. Policies should foster innovation in the research and educational use of scholarly publications.
  6. Government public access policies should address the need to resolve the challenges of long-term digital preservation.
  7. OSTP should establish a public access advisory committee to facilitate communication among government and nongovernment stakeholders.

Read more about it at "Scholarly Publishing Roundtable Releases Report and Recommendations" and "Scholarly Publishing Roundtable Releases Report to Congress."

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?

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.

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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