Data on the Web Best Practices

Posted in Data Curation, Open Data, and Research Data Management on February 26th, 2015

W3C has released a draft of Data on the Web Best Practices.

Here's an excerpt:

This document provides best practices related to the publication and usage of data on the Web designed to help support a self-sustaining ecosystem. Data should be discoverable and understandable by humans and machines. Where data is used in some way, whether by the originator of the data or by an external party, such usage should also be discoverable and the efforts of the data publisher recognized. In short, following these best practices will facilitate interaction between publishers and consumers.

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    Director for Digital Library Development and Systems at University of Pennsylvania

    Posted in Digital Library Jobs on February 26th, 2015

    The University of Pennsylvania is recruiting a Director for Digital Library Development and Systems.

    Here's an excerpt from the ad:

    Reporting to the Director for Strategic Initiatives and Technology Services, the Director for Digital Library Development and Systems (DLDS) is a principal voice in IT strategy, sharing knowledge with staff, and providing strategic intelligence, and good judgment to planning and policy formation. The Director executes strategic IT decisions for the enterprise, and is the front-line leader of day-to-day operations, the DLDS service portfolio, staff, all in support of the aspirations and strategic goals of the Penn Libraries. DLDS operations are broad, ranging from computing and data infrastructure to applications design, digital development, software life-cycle management, and technology support for enterprise services, such as the Integrated Library System, the Expertise@Penn researcher service, and the Library data warehousing platform, MetriDoc. The Director serves as a key liaison between the Penn Libraries and Penn's central Information Systems and Computing (ISC) unit as well as with other technology operations on campus and institutional partners on the national scene.

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      "Researcher Perspectives on Publication and Peer Review of Data"

      Posted in Data Curation, Open Data, and Research Data Management on February 26th, 2015

      John Ernest Kratz and Carly Strasser have published "Researcher Perspectives on Publication and Peer Review of Data" in PLOS ONE.

      Here's an excerpt:

      Data "publication" seeks to appropriate the prestige of authorship in the peer-reviewed literature to reward researchers who create useful and well-documented datasets. The scholarly communication community has embraced data publication as an incentive to document and share data. But, numerous new and ongoing experiments in implementation have not yet resolved what a data publication should be, when data should be peer-reviewed, or how data peer review should work. While researchers have been surveyed extensively regarding data management and sharing, their perceptions and expectations of data publication are largely unknown. To bring this important yet neglected perspective into the conversation, we surveyed ~ 250 researchers across the sciences and social sciences—asking what expectations "data publication" raises and what features would be useful to evaluate the trustworthiness, evaluate the impact, and enhance the prestige of a data publication. We found that researcher expectations of data publication center on availability, generally through an open database or repository. Few respondents expected published data to be peer-reviewed, but peer-reviewed data enjoyed much greater trust and prestige. The importance of adequate metadata was acknowledged, in that almost all respondents expected data peer review to include evaluation of the data's documentation. Formal citation in the reference list was affirmed by most respondents as the proper way to credit dataset creators. Citation count was viewed as the most useful measure of impact, but download count was seen as nearly as valuable. These results offer practical guidance for data publishers seeking to meet researcher expectations and enhance the value of published data.

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        Digital Curation News (2/25/2015) #digitalcuration #digitalpreservation #researchdata

        Posted in Digital Curation News on February 25th, 2015

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          Digital Archivist at North Carolina Archives and Records Section

          Posted in Digital Library Jobs on February 25th, 2015

          The North Carolina Archives and Records Section is recruiting a Digital Archivist.

          Here's an excerpt from the ad:

          The North Carolina Archives and Records Section, a leader in addressing the challenges of preserving digital information, is seeking an innovative and forward-thinking archivist to further develop standards and best practices for preservation of and access to permanent digital information and records and implementing a trusted digital repository. The position works closely with staff in the State Archives, the State Library, state and local government, and other institutions to assist and provide consultation to the same regarding technology with regards to electronic records; assists in testing and evaluating of technology solutions; and works with supervisor to communicate outreach to state and local governments, interpret technical information, and acquire and implement technologies to support functions for digital archiving. This position also assists with facilitation of policy development and building a publicly accessible digital archives.

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            "Digital Curation and Doctoral Research"

            Posted in Data Curation, Open Data, and Research Data Management, Digital Curation & Digital Preservation on February 25th, 2015

            Daisy Abbott has published "Digital Curation and Doctoral Research" in the International Journal of Digital Curation.

            Here's an excerpt:

            This article considers digital curation in doctoral study and the role of the doctoral supervisor and institution in facilitating students' acquisition of digital curation skills, including some of the potentially problematic expectations of the supervisory relationship with regards to digital curation. Research took the form of an analysis of the current digital curation training landscape, focusing on doctoral study and supervision. This was followed by a survey (n=116) investigating attitudes towards importance, expertise, and responsibilities regarding digital curation. This research confirms that digital curation is considered to be very important within doctoral study but that doctoral supervisors and particularly students consider themselves to be largely unskilled at curation tasks. It provides a detailed picture of curation activity within doctoral study and identifies the areas of most concern. A detailed analysis demonstrates that most of the responsibility for curation is thought to lie with students and that institutions are perceived to have very low responsibility and that individuals tend to over-assign responsibility to themselves. Finally, the research identifies which types of support system for curation are most used and makes suggestions for ways in which students, supervisors, institutions, and others can effectively and efficiently address problematic areas and improve digital curation within doctoral study.

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              Copyright Librarian at University of Notre Dame

              Posted in Digital Library Jobs on February 25th, 2015

              The University of Notre Dame is recruiting a Copyright Librarian.

              Here's an excerpt from the ad:

              The Copyright Librarian is the Hesburgh Libraries' coordinator and consultant on issues that span copyright, licensing, scholarly communications and information policies pertaining to library services and initiatives. In conjunction with the University of Notre Dame's Office of General Counsel and internal library stakeholders, this individual is responsible for analyzing intellectual property policies that pertain to the creation, addition, or use of copyrighted or licensed content.

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                "What Factors Influence Where Researchers Deposit their Data? A Survey of Researchers Submitting to Data Repositories"

                Posted in Data Curation, Open Data, and Research Data Management, Digital Curation & Digital Preservation, Digital Repositories, Self-Archiving on February 25th, 2015

                Shea Swauger and Todd J. Vision have published "What Factors Influence Where Researchers Deposit their Data? A Survey of Researchers Submitting to Data Repositories" in the International Journal of Digital Curation.

                Here's an excerpt:

                In order to better understand the factors that most influence where researchers deposit their data when they have a choice, we collected survey data from researchers who deposited phylogenetic data in either the TreeBASE or Dryad data repositories. Respondents were asked to rank the relative importance of eight possible factors. We found that factors differed in importance for both TreeBASE and Dryad, and that the rankings differed subtly but significantly between TreeBASE and Dryad users. On average, TreeBASE users ranked the domain specialization of the repository highest, while Dryad users ranked as equal highest their trust in the persistence of the repository and the ease of its data submission process. Interestingly, respondents (particularly Dryad users) were strongly divided as to whether being directed to choose a particular repository by a journal policy or funding agency was among the most or least important factors. Some users reported depositing their data in multiple repositories and archiving their data voluntarily.

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                  Digital Curation News (2/24/2015) #digitalcuration #digitalpreservation #researchdata

                  Posted in Digital Curation News on February 24th, 2015

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                    "Persistent, Global Identity for Scientists via ORCID"

                    Posted in Metadata, Open Science on February 24th, 2015

                    August E. Evrard et al. have self-archived "Persistent, Global Identity for Scientists via ORCID."

                    Here's an excerpt:

                    Scientists have an inherent interest in claiming their contributions to the scholarly record, but the fragmented state of identity management across the landscape of astronomy, physics, and other fields makes highlighting the contributions of any single individual a formidable and often frustratingly complex task. The problem is exacerbated by the expanding variety of academic research products and the growing footprints of large collaborations and interdisciplinary teams. In this essay, we outline the benefits of a unique scholarly identifier with persistent value on a global scale and we review astronomy and physics engagement with the Open Researcher and Contributor iD (ORCID) service as a solution.

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                      Developer 2 at University of Minnesota

                      Posted in Digital Library Jobs on February 24th, 2015

                      The University of Minnesota is recruiting a Developer 2.

                      Here's an excerpt from the ad:

                      The Developer and Application Support position reports to the Director of the Digital Preservation and Repository Technologies, with project and day-to-day work directed by the Repository Architect who is responsible for digital object management technology design and solutions. This is an important position with regard to projects and services that are strategic to the organization's digital library trajectory and requires understanding system needs in relationship to library technologies.

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                        Digital Art: First Impressions of Topaz Impression

                        Posted in Digital Art on February 24th, 2015

                        Topaz Impression is a very powerful and highly customizable plug-in/standalone program for transforming photos and other images into digital artworks, such as drawings and paintings. It is also a resource-intensive program that works best on fairly high-end computer platforms.

                        There are two ways of using Impression: just adjusting what I will call the effects panel or starting with a preset and then adjusting its effects panel. Since Impression offers a cornucopia of presets, many users will use the program that way. I treat the presets as a starting point that usually require significant tweaking.

                        There are far too many presets to list here. Based on the activity in the lively Facebook Topaz Impression group, most users tend to focus on the painting presets, which are grouped under the Impressionistic (Cezanne, impasto, Monet, Renoir, and van Gogh effects among others) and painting categories. I like the charcoal, da Vinci, and pastel presets.

                        Each preset typically has multiple variations that can be previewed. After picking one, you can refine the preset using its effects panel. Although users can easily create artworks by just clicking on presets, the real power of Impression is unleashed by modifying the effects panel settings.

                        Here's a rundown of the effects panel options, using paint as an example:

                        • Bush: There are currently 17 different bush options.
                        • Brush size.
                        • Paint volume: How thick does the paint look.
                        • Paint opacity: How transparent is the paint.
                        • Stroke rotation: If enabled, rotation variation can also be controlled.
                        • Stroke color variation: Increasing this value makes strokes have a wider range of color.
                        • Stroke width.
                        • Stroke length.
                        • Spill: Strokes "spill" out over their normal edges.
                        • Smudge: Strokes are blurred, losing detail.
                        • Coverage: How fully does the paint cover the canvas. If enabled, transition and coverage center can be controlled.
                        • Color: Each major color can be varied by hue, saturation, and brightness. Where the color is present in the image can be previewed. Hue, saturation, and brightness of the entire image can also be controlled.
                        • Lighting: brightness, contrast, and vignette can be altered. The vignette center and transition can be determined. Light direction can be set.
                        • Texture: Choose between a number of background materials and determine background strength, solidity, and color.

                        As you adjust these settings you can zoom in on the image, preview it in different ways (e.g., side by side with the original), alter the overall strength of the effect, and change the blend mode (e.g., soft light).

                        After tweaking your settings, you can save them as a custom preset.

                        Clearly, this is a high-end program, and, for $99.99, what's not to like? While Impression's performance may be zippy on a Mac Pro, it's performance on a 2.6 GHz Intel Core i5 64-bit Windows 8.1 computer with 6 GB of RAM is slow, mainly due to preset previews. If preset previews could be requested rather than being automatically displayed, getting to the point of actually working on an image would be much quicker. The ability to categorize user presets into user-defined groups would also help. As is, you repeatedly sit through too many slow preset previews. You can use the effects panel directly to bypass the presets, but then you have to create your own effects from scratch. The inability to import and export presets is an unfortunate program limitation, which prevents easy preset backup and sharing.

                        Before buying this program you should definitely read the program requirements and download a trial version. Having OpenGL 3.2 installed on your system is important.

                        Overall, Impression is a versatile, full-featured digital art program at a very reasonable price, and it will give Alien Skin's Snap Art 4, its primary competitor, a run for its money.

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