Archive for the 'Digital Curation & Digital Preservation' Category

NSF Solicits Grant Proposals for up to $20 Million for Dataset Access and Preservation

Posted in Cyberinfrastructure/E-Science, Data Curation, Open Data, and Research Data Management, Digital Curation & Digital Preservation on October 1st, 2007 by Charles W. Bailey, Jr.

National Science Foundation's Office of Cyberinfrastructure has announced the availability of grants to U.S. academic institutions under its Sustainable Digital Data Preservation and Access Network Partners (DataNet) program.

Here's an excerpt from the solicitation:

Science and engineering research and education are increasingly digital and increasingly data-intensive. Digital data are not only the output of research but provide input to new hypotheses, enabling new scientific insights and driving innovation. Therein lies one of the major challenges of this scientific generation: how to develop the new methods, management structures and technologies to manage the diversity, size, and complexity of current and future data sets and data streams. This solicitation addresses that challenge by creating a set of exemplar national and global data research infrastructure organizations (dubbed DataNet Partners) that provide unique opportunities to communities of researchers to advance science and/or engineering research and learning.

The new types of organizations envisioned in this solicitation will integrate library and archival sciences, cyberinfrastructure, computer and information sciences, and domain science expertise to:

  • provide reliable digital preservation, access, integration, and analysis capabilities for science and/or engineering data over a decades-long timeline;
  • continuously anticipate and adapt to changes in technologies and in user needs and expectations;
  • engage at the frontiers of computer and information science and cyberinfrastructure with research and development to drive the leading edge forward; and
  • serve as component elements of an interoperable data preservation and access network.

By demonstrating feasibility, identifying best practices, establishing viable models for long term technical and economic sustainability, and incorporating frontier research, these exemplar organizations can serve as the basis for rational investment in digital preservation and access by diverse sectors of society at the local, regional, national, and international levels, paving the way for a robust and resilient national and global digital data framework.

These organizations will provide:

  • a vision and rationale that meet critical data needs, create important new opportunities and capabilities for discovery, innovation, and learning, improve the way science and engineering research and education are conducted, and guide the organization in achieving long-term sustainability;
  • an organizational structure that provides for a comprehensive range of expertise and cyberinfrastructure capabilities, ensures active participation and effective use by a wide diversity of individuals, organizations, and sectors, serves as a capable partner in an interoperable network of digital preservation and access organizations, and ensures effective management and leadership; and
  • activities to provide for the full data management life cycle, facilitate research as resource and object, engage in computer science and information science research critical to DataNet functions, develop new tools and capabilities for learning that integrate research and education at all levels, provide for active community input and participation in all phases and all aspects of Partner activities, and include a vigorous and comprehensive assessment and evaluation program.

Potential applicants should note that this program is not intended to support narrowly-defined, discipline-specific repositories. . . .

Award Information

Anticipated Type of Award: Cooperative Agreement

Estimated Number of Awards: 5 — Two to three awards are anticipated in each of two review cycles (one review cycle for fiscal year FY2008 awards and one for FY2009) for a total of five awards, contingent on the quality of proposals received and pending the availability of funds. Each award is limited to a total of up to $20,000,000 (direct plus indirect costs) for up to 5 years. The initial term of each award is expected to be 5 years with the potential at NSF's sole discretion for one terminal renewal for another 5 years, subject to performance and the availability of funds. Such performance is to include serving the needs of the relevant science and engineering research and education communities and catalyzing new opportunities for progress. If a second five-year award is made, NSF funding is expected to decrease in each successive year of the award as the Partner transitions to a sustainable economic model with other sources of support. The actual amount of the annual decrease in NSF support will be established through the cooperative agreement. Note that the maximum period NSF will support a DataNet Partner is 10 years.

Anticipated Funding Amount: $100,000,000 — Up to $100,000,000 over a five year period is expected to be available contingent on the quality of proposals received and pending the availability of funds.

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2007 Digital Preservation Award Goes to DROID

Posted in Digital Curation & Digital Preservation on September 29th, 2007 by Charles W. Bailey, Jr.

The Digital Preservation Coalition has given its 2007 Digital Preservation Award to the The National Archives (UK) for its DROID (Digital Record Object Identification) software.

Here's an excerpt from the press release:

An innovative tool to analyse and identify computer file formats has won the 2007 Digital Preservation Award. DROID, developed by The National Archives in London, can examine any mystery file and identify its format. The tool works by gathering clues from the internal 'signatures' hidden inside every computer file, as well as more familiar elements such as the filename extension (.jpg, for example), to generate a highly accurate 'guess' about the software that will be needed to read the file.

Identifying file formats is a thorny issue for archivists. . . . But with rapidly changing technology and an unpredictable hardware base, preserving files is only half of the challenge. There is no guarantee that today's files will be readable or even recognisable using the software of the future.

Now, by using DROID and its big brother, the unique file format database known as PRONOM, experts at the National Archives are well on their way to cracking the problem. Once DROID has labelled a mystery file, PRONOM's extensive catalogue of software tools can advise curators on how best to preserve the file in a readable format. The database includes crucial information on software and hardware lifecycles, helping to avoid the obsolescence problem. And it will alert users if the program needed to read a file is no longer supported by manufacturers.

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What’s New in Digital Preservation Published

Posted in Digital Curation & Digital Preservation on September 25th, 2007 by Charles W. Bailey, Jr.

The Digital Preservation Coalition and the National Library of Australia’s PADI program have published the the 16th issue of What’s New in Digital Preservation.

Here’s an excerpt from the padi-forum announcement:

Issue 16 features news from a range of organisations and initiatives, including the Digital Preservation Coalition (DPC), Digital Curation Centre (DCC), JISC (UK), The National Archives (UK), DigitalPreservationEurope, nestor, the Koninklijke Bibliotheek (National Library of the Netherlands), the US National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program (NDIIPP), and the PLANETS and CASPAR projects.

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Dioscuri 8086 Emulator Released for Digital Preservation Purposes

Posted in Digital Curation & Digital Preservation on September 25th, 2007 by Charles W. Bailey, Jr.

The Koninklijke Bibliotheek and the Nationaal Archief have released Dioscuri 0.2.0, an open-source Java-based emulator for an Intel 8086-based computer. Dioscuri can run 16-bit operating systems, such as MS DOS, and applications, such as WordPerfect 5.1.

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Xena 4.0: Open Source Digital Preservation Software

Posted in Digital Curation & Digital Preservation, Open Source Software on September 24th, 2007 by Charles W. Bailey, Jr.

The National Archives of Australia has released Xena 4.0, which is open source digital preservation software.

Here's a brief description of its capabilities from the project homepage:

Xena software aids digital preservation by performing two important tasks:

  • Detecting the file formats of digital objects
  • Converting digital objects into open formats for preservation
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Blue Ribbon Task Force on Sustainable Digital Preservation and Access

Posted in Digital Curation & Digital Preservation, Digital Repositories on September 23rd, 2007 by Charles W. Bailey, Jr.

Fran Berman, director of the San Diego Supercomputer Center, and Brian Lavoie, a research scientist at OCLC, have been named co-chairs of a Blue Ribbon Task Force on Sustainable Digital Preservation and Access, which is being funded by the National Science Foundation and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The Library of Congress, the National Archives and Records Administration, the Council on Library and Information Resources, and JISC will also be involved in the task force.

Here's an excerpt from the press release:

Berman and co-chair Brian Lavoie . . . will convene an international group of prominent leaders to develop actionable recommendations on economic sustainability of digital information for the science and engineering, cultural heritage, academic, public, and private sectors. The Task Force is expected to meet over the next two years and gather testimony from a broad set of thought leaders in preparation for the Task Force’s Final Report. . . .

The Task Force will bring together a group of national and international leaders who will focus attention on this critical grand challenge of the Information Age. Task Force members will represent a cross-section of fields and disciplines including information and computer sciences, economics, entertainment, library and archival sciences, government, and business. Over the next two years, the Task Force will convene a broad set of international experts from the academic, public and private sectors who will participate in quarterly panels and discussions. . . .

In its final report, the Task Force is charged with developing a comprehensive analysis of current issues, and actionable recommendations for the future to catalyze the development of sustainable resource strategies for the reliable preservation of digital information. During its tenure, the Task Force also will produce a series of articles about the challenges and opportunities of digital information preservation, for both the scholarly community and the public.

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Comment on Preservation in the Age of Large-Scale Digitization

Posted in Digital Curation & Digital Preservation, Digitization, Google and Other Search Engines on September 21st, 2007 by Charles W. Bailey, Jr.

CLIR seeks comments on Preservation in the Age of Large-Scale Digitization by Oya Rieger. The deadline is 10/5/07.

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Preservation, Access and Inclusion: Balancing Opportunities in a Digital Age Seminar

Posted in Copyright, Digital Curation & Digital Preservation, Digitization on September 17th, 2007 by Charles W. Bailey, Jr.

The Institute for Public Policy Research has released MP3 files of the presentations at its "Preservation, Access and Inclusion: Balancing Opportunities in a Digital Age" seminar.

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Leslie Carr on What to Do with Dead Repositories

Posted in Digital Curation & Digital Preservation, Digital Repositories, Open Access, Scholarly Communication on September 10th, 2007 by Charles W. Bailey, Jr.

In his "Decommissioning Repositories" posting, EPrints guru Leslie Carr grapples with the issue of what to do with repositories that have served their purpose and that no one wants to maintain.

Here's an excerpt:

But now the party's over, there is no more funding, and none of the partner institutions has offered to keep the repository going in perpetuity. Not even the hosting institution or the ex-manager wants to keep their repositories going. We know that even if we don't turn them off their hosting hardware will fail in a few of years. That sounds like very bad news because a repository is supposed to be forever! Was it irresponsible to create these repositories in the first place? Should it be forbidden to create a public repository whose life is guaranteed to be less than a decade? Or perhaps that should be factored into the original policy-making—"this repository and all its contents are guaranteed up to 31st December 2017 but not after." If that were machine readable then the community could have decided whether they want to mirror the collection, or selected bits of it.

Source: Carr, Leslie. "Decommissioning Repositories." RepositoryMan, 10 September 2007.

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LIFE (Life Cycle Information for E-Literature) Project

Posted in Digital Curation & Digital Preservation, Scholarly Communication on September 7th, 2007 by Charles W. Bailey, Jr.

LIFE (Life Cycle Information for E-Literature) is a joint, JISC-funded project of the University College London Library Services and the British Library that is investigating life cycle issues involved in collecting and preserving digital materials.

Here's an excerpt from the home page:

The LIFE Project has developed a methodology to model the digital lifecycle and calculate the costs of preserving digital information for the next 5, 10 or 100 years. For the first time, organisations can apply this process and plan effectively for the preservation of their digital collections.

Currently the LIFE Project is in its second phase ("LIFE2"), an 18 month project running from March 2007 to August 2008.

Documentation from the first and second phases of the project is available.

The project has just established a weblog.

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Perpetual Digital Access Policies Spreadsheet

Posted in Digital Curation & Digital Preservation, E-Journals, Publishing, Scholarly Communication, Scholarly Journals on September 7th, 2007 by Charles W. Bailey, Jr.

Laura Edwards has made available a spreadsheet that summarizes the perpetual digital access policies of publishers. A wiki version should be up shortly.

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AONS: Scanning Repositories for Obsolete Digital Formats

Posted in Digital Curation & Digital Preservation, Digital Repositories, Disciplinary Archives, Institutional Repositories, Open Access on September 3rd, 2007 by Charles W. Bailey, Jr.

The APSR AONS II project has released a beta version of the Automatic Obsolescence Notification System (AONS).

Here's an excerpt from the announcement on apsr_announcements:

Users can register with the service by providing a URL to a repository's format scan summary. The AONS service will display the summary and allow a repository manager to compare the formats of items in their repository with information from format registries such as PRONOM and Library of Congress. These registries flag any formats that are likely to become obsolete. Repository managers can then make curation decisions about any items at risk, such as upgrading their formats.

By downloading and installing an AONS locally, an institution can also take advantage of a pilot risk metrics implementation. . . .

The AONS software is the result of the AONS II project funded under APSR and developed by David Pearson, David Levy and Matthew Walker from the National Library of Australia (NLA) with an administrative user interface developed by David Berriman at ANU.

The software is able to be downloaded from Sourceforge at http://sourceforge.net/projects/aons and a mailing list is also available for support and feedback. As this is a beta release we welcome feedback to the Sourceforge mailing list to inform our testing which will continue until mid-September.

Please try out the pilot service by sending an email to cosi@apsr.edu.au to register with the service, and tell us which institution you are from. . . .

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