Archive for the 'Digital Curation & Digital Preservation' Category

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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          Papers from the European Research Area 2009 Conference

          Posted in Cyberinfrastructure/E-Science, Digital Curation & Digital Preservation, Open Access on October 27th, 2009

          Papers from the European Research Area 2009 Conference are now available.

          Here's a selection from the "Open Access and Preservation" session:

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            Digital Videos: Presentations from Access 2009 Conference

            Posted in Copyright, Data Curation, Open Data, and Research Data Management, Digital Curation & Digital Preservation, Digital Repositories on October 13th, 2009

            Presentations from the Access 2009 Conference are now available. Digital videos and presentation slides (if available) are synched.

            Here's a quick selection:

            1. Dan Chudnov, "Repository Development at the Library of Congress"
            2. Cory Doctorow, "Copyright vs Universal Access to All Human Knowledge and Groups Without Cost: The State of Play in the Global Copyfight"
            3. Mark Jordan & Brian Owen, "COPPUL's LOCKSS Private Network / Software Lifecycles & Sustainability: a PKP and reSearcher Update"
            4. Dorthea Salo, "Representing and Managing the Data Deluge"
            5. Roy Tennant, "Inspecting the Elephant: Characterizing the Hathi Trust Collection"
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              Johns Hopkins University Sheridan Libraries' Data Conservancy Project Funded by $20 Million NSF Grant

              Posted in Data Curation, Open Data, and Research Data Management, Digital Curation & Digital Preservation on October 4th, 2009

              The Johns Hopkins University Sheridan Libraries' Data Conservancy project has been funded by a $20 million NSF grant.

              Here's an excerpt from the press release:

              The Johns Hopkins University Sheridan Libraries have been awarded $20 million from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to build a data research infrastructure for the management of the ever-increasing amounts of digital information created for teaching and research. The five-year award, announced this week, was one of two for what is being called "data curation."

              The project, known as the Data Conservancy, involves individuals from several institutions, with Johns Hopkins University serving as the lead and Sayeed Choudhury, Hodson Director of the Digital Research and Curation Center and associate dean of university libraries, as the principal investigator. In addition, seven Johns Hopkins faculty members are associated with the Data Conservancy, including School of Arts and Sciences professors Alexander Szalay, Bruce Marsh, and Katalin Szlavecz; School of Engineering professors Randal Burns, Charles Meneveau, and Andreas Terzis; and School of Medicine professor Jef Boeke. The Hopkins-led project is part of a larger $100 million NSF effort to ensure preservation and curation of engineering and science data.

              Beginning with the life, earth, and social sciences, project members will develop a framework to more fully understand data practices currently in use and arrive at a model for curation that allows ease of access both within and across disciplines.

              "Data curation is not an end but a means," said Choudhury. "Science and engineering research and education are increasingly digital and data-intensive, which means that new management structures and technologies will be critical to accommodate the diversity, size, and complexity of current and future data sets and streams. Our ultimate goal is to support new ways of inquiry and learning. The potential for the sharing and application of data across disciplines is incredible. But it’s not enough to simply discover data; you need to be able to access it and be assured it will remain available."

              The Data Conservancy grant represents one of the first awards related to the Institute of Data Intensive Engineering and Science (IDIES), a collaboration between the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences, the Whiting School of Engineering, and the Sheridan Libraries. . . .

              In addition to the $20 million grant announced today, the Libraries received a $300,000 grant from NSF to study the feasibility of developing, operating and sustaining an open access repository of articles from NSF-sponsored research. Libraries staff will work with colleagues from the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR), and the University of Michigan Libraries to explore the potential for the development of a repository (or set of repositories) similar to PubMedCentral, the open-access repository that features articles from NIH-sponsored research. This grant for the feasibility study will allow Choudhury's group to evaluate how to integrate activities under the framework of the Data Conservancy and will result in a set of recommendations for NSF regarding an open access repository.

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                Indiana University Bloomington Media Preservation Survey

                Posted in Digital Curation & Digital Preservation, Digital Media on October 1st, 2009

                Indiana University Bloomington has released its Media Preservation Survey.

                Here's an excerpt:

                The survey task force recommends a number of actions to facilitate the time-critical process of rescuing IUB’s audio, video, and film media.

                • Appoint a campus-wide taskforce to advise
                  • the development of priorities for preservation action
                  • the development of a campus-wide preservation plan
                  • how units can leverage resources for the future
                • Create a centralized media preservation and digitization center that will serve the entire campus, using international standards for preservation transfer. As part of the planning for this center, hire a
                  • media preservation specialist
                  • film archivist
                • Develop special funding for the massive and rapid digitization of the treasures of IU over the next 10 years.
                • Create a centralized physical storage space appropriate for film, video, and audio.
                • Provide archival appraisal and control across campus to
                  • assure quality of digitization for preservation
                  • oversee plans for maintaining original media
                • Develop cataloging services for special collections to improve intellectual control to
                  • accelerate research opportunities
                  • improve access.
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                  Oya Rieger's Presentation on "Enduring Access to Special Collections: Challenges and Opportunities"

                  Posted in Digital Curation & Digital Preservation, Mass Digitizaton on September 29th, 2009

                  RBMS has made Oya Rieger's presentation on "Enduring Access to Special Collections: Challenges and Opportunities" (MP3 file and PDF file) available as part of its Selected Presentations and Documents from the 2009 RBMS Preconference page.

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                    "Digital Preservation: Logical and Bit-Stream Preservation Using Plato, EPrints and the Cloud"

                    Posted in Cloud Computing/SaaS, Digital Curation & Digital Preservation, EPrints on September 27th, 2009

                    Adam Field, David Tarrant, Andreas Rauber, and Hannes Kulovits have self-archived their "Digital Preservation: Logical and Bit-Stream Preservation Using Plato, EPrints and the Cloud" presentation on the ECS EPrints Repository.

                    Here's an excerpt from the abstract:

                    This tutorial shows attendees the latest facilities in the EPrints open source repository platform for dealing with preservation tasks in a practical and achievable way, and new mechanisms for integrating the repository with the cloud and the user desktop, in order to be able to offer a trusted and managed storage solution to end users. . . .

                    The benefit of this tutorial is the grounding of digital curation advice and theory into achievable good practice that delivers helpful services to end users for their familiar personal desktop environments and new cloud services.

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                      Digital Audio: "Library of Congress: Testing the Cloud"

                      Posted in Cloud Computing/SaaS, Digital Curation & Digital Preservation on September 24th, 2009

                      Federal News Radio has released "Library of Congress: Testing the Cloud," an interview with Bill LeFurgy, the Digital Initiatives Project Manager at the Library of Congress. (Thanks to ResourceShelf.)

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                        Digital Preservation: Life2 Final Project Report

                        Posted in Digital Curation & Digital Preservation, Digital Repositories on September 20th, 2009

                        JISC has released Life2 Final Project Report.

                        Here's an excerpt:

                        LIFE Model v2 outlines a fully-revised lifecycle model taking into account feedback from user groups, the Case Studies and the wider digital preservation community.

                        Generic Preservation Model (GPM) summarises the update to the preservation model with an accompanying spreadsheet. This model allows institutions to estimate potential digital preservation costs for their collections. The GPM fits into the updated LIFE Model.

                        An Economic Evaluation of LIFE was written by economist Bo-Christer Björk on the approach used for both the first and second phases of LIFE. This independent review validates the LIFE approach for lifecycle costing.

                        The SHERPA DP Case Study outlines the mapping of the repository services that CeRch provides to the LIFE Model. The SHERPA-LEAP Case Study maps three very different HE repositories to the LIFE Model. Goldsmiths University of London, Royal Holloway University of London and UCL (University College London) each provide exemplars of varying collections. Each institution’s repository is at a different stage of development.

                        The Newspapers Case Study successfully maps both analogue and digital newspaper collections to the LIFE Model. This success means that LIFE could be developed into a fully-compatible predictive tool across both analogue and digital collections, allowing for comparison both throughout the lifecycles of a collection and across different types of collections.

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