"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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      Head of Library Systems at Johns Hopkins

      Posted in Library IT Jobs on November 18th, 2009

      The Sheridan Libraries at Johns Hopkins University are recruiting a Head of Library Systems.

      Here's an excerpt from the ad:

      Responsibilities include technology analysis and strategic planning; overseeing implementation of central and distributed hardware, software, networking, desktop support, and help desk services; coordinating computing and telecommunication support for various library and university activities; supervising staff; recommending operating budgets required to support, enhance and expand the Libraries’ digital resources.

      Works closely with other library departments in developing and maintaining library services; collaborates variously with the Digital Research and Curation Center; coordinates and collaborates with Information Technology @ Johns Hopkins and the other university libraries, as appropriate, to facilitate use and development of the Libraries’ electronic resources, as well as other electronic resources on campus; maintains strong partnerships with IT staff throughout the University in the ongoing assessment of and planning for the robustness of Hopkins’ network infrastructure; coordinates computing and telecommunication support for the shared library management system, the library’s Web site, and other Web-based services; collaborates with Libraries’ Human Resources Manager on technology training.

      Manages and implements of special projects, as appropriate. The Libraries’ budget is approximately $27 million with a staff of 150. Library systems manages and supports: staff desktop workstations and application software at six sites; Windows servers; paid printing services; network hardware and infrastructure for six library sites; wired and wireless public access networks; Unix servers running Solaris and Linux; SirsiDynix Horizon integrated library system and HIP; library Web site; and library-specific applications, such as SFX. The Head of Library Systems reports to the Associate Dean for Library Digital Programs and serves as a member of the Libraries’ Management Team.

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        NSF Awards $20 Million to DataONE (Observation Network for Earth) Project

        Posted in ARL Libraries, Cyberinfrastructure/E-Science, Data Curation, Open Data, and Research Data Management on November 18th, 2009

        The National Science Foundation has awarded a $20 million grant to the DataONE (Observation Network for Earth) Project, which reports to both the Office of the Vice President of Research and the University Libraries at the University of New Mexico. William Michener, professor and director of e-science initiatives at University Libraries, is directing the project.

        Here's an excerpt from the press release:

        Researchers at UNM have partnered with dozens of other universities and agencies to create DataONE, a global data access and preservation network for earth and environmental scientists that will support breakthroughs in environmental research.

        DataONE is designed to provide universal access to data about life on Earth and the environment that sustains it. The underlying technologies will provide open, persistent, robust, and secure access to well-described and easily discovered Earth observational data.

        Expected users include scientists, educators, librarians, resource managers, and the public. By providing easy and open access to a broad range of science data, as well as tools for managing, analyzing, and visualizing data, DataONE will be transformative in the speed with which researchers will be able to assemble and analyze data sets and in the types of problems they will be able to address. . . .

        DataONE is one of two $20 million awards made this year as part of the National Science Foundation's (NSF) DataNet program. The collaboration of universities and government agencies coalesced to address the mounting need for organizing and serving up vast amounts of highly diverse and inter-related but often-incompatible scientific data. Resulting studies will range from research that illuminates fundamental environmental processes to identifying environmental problems and potential solutions. . . .

        The DataONE team will study how a vast digital data network can provide secure and permanent access into the future, and also encourage scientists to share their information. The team will help determine data citation standards, as well as create the tools for organizing, managing, and publishing data.

        The resulting computing and processing "cyberinfrastructure" will be made permanently available for use by the broader national and international science communities. DataONE is led by the University of New Mexico, and includes additional partner organizations across the United States as well as from Europe, Africa, South America, Asia, and Australia.

        This grant is important nationally, and locally especially for our research community. University Libraries Dean Martha Bedard said, "The University Libraries are key partners in UNM research initiatives, and are excited and committed to supporting the emerging area of data curation, which this grant seeks to support in sophisticated ways."

        DataONE will build a set of geographically distributed Coordinating Nodes that play an important role in facilitating all of the activities of the global network, as well as a network of Member Nodes that host relevant data and tools. The initial three Coordinating Nodes will be at the University of New Mexico, UC Santa Barbara (housed at the Davidson Library), and at the University of Tennessee/Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Member Nodes will be located in association with universities, libraries, research networks, and agencies worldwide.

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          Brenda Johnson Named as Dean of Indiana University Libraries

          Posted in ARL Libraries on November 18th, 2009

          Brenda Johnson has been named as the Ruth Lilly Dean of the Indiana University Libraries. Johnson is currently the University Librarian at the University of California, Santa Barbara, a position that she has held since January 1, 2008.

          Here's an excerpt from the press release:

          "I am delighted to have been selected to serve as the next Ruth Lilly Dean of University Libraries at IU," Johnson said. "I believe a library is the greatest metaphor for a university. It provides essential resources for academic research, is a repository for scholarly achievement, a source of intellectual inspiration, a stage for public discourse, a center of cultural life, an incubator for new ideas, and is, in and of itself, a 'community'."

          "I'm delighted to see the IU Libraries already stand very strong in embodying those values and concepts," Johnson continued. "I look forward to leading a library that is already recognized as one of the top libraries in the country as we engage with faculty, students and staff to achieve even-greater excellence and to create innovative and emergent services for a changing academic environment."

          Major initiatives coordinated by Johnson at the University of California, Santa Barbara, include planning for a $62 million library addition and renovation, the UCSB Reads program (a program that engages the campus and community in conversations about a key topic while reading the same book), increased emphasis on outreach to students and faculty, and a rejuvenation of fundraising efforts for the UCSB libraries.

          Prior to assuming the role of University Librarian at UCSB, Johnson served as interim co-university librarian of the University of Michigan Libraries. She served the University of Michigan Libraries in various roles for more than 20 years. From 1997-2007, she served as associate university librarian for public services. . . .

          "Brenda Johnson's background and experience with the Big Ten and the Committee on Institutional Cooperation have prepared her well for the IU Libraries deanship," said [Debora] Shaw [professor in the School of Library and Information Science]. "We on the search committee were especially impressed with her breadth of understanding and her sense of how to help the libraries continue to build on their strengths and partnerships."

          "I am delighted that Brenda Johnson will be joining IU as Dean of Libraries," said [Bobby] Schnabel [dean of the School of Informatics and Computing and interim vice president for research]. "Her vision for the future directions of libraries, enthusiastic personality, and vast experience and proven leadership abilities at both the University of Michigan and at UC, Santa Barbara, make her an outstanding choice." . . .

          The dean of University Libraries provides administrative leadership for a system of libraries on eight campuses. On the Bloomington campus, the dean provides strategic planning and policy direction in the areas of collection development, public and technical services, facilities planning and personnel policies.

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            Scholarly Electronic Publishing Weblog Update (11/18/09)

            Posted in Bibliographies, Digital Scholarship Publications, Scholarly Communication on November 18th, 2009

            The latest update of the Scholarly Electronic Publishing Weblog (SEPW) is now available. It provides information about new works related to scholarly electronic publishing, such as books, e-prints, journal articles, magazine articles, technical reports, and white papers.

            Especially interesting are: "The 'Big Deal': A Survey of How Libraries Are Responding and What the Alternatives Are"; "Digital Library of the Caribbean: A User-Centric Model for Technology Development in Collaborative Digitization Projects"; "The 'DOD' and 'POD' Project in Context at McGill: Part of Digitizing Collections to Preserve Content, Provide Access and Enrich Research"; "Economists Online: User Requirements for a Subject Repository"; Income Models for Open Access: An Overview of Current Practice; "Knowledge as a Public Good"; "Open Access Repositories in Computer Science and Information Technology: An Evaluation"; "Research Online: Digital Commons as a Publishing Platform at the University of Wollongong, Australia"; and "The Scholarly Communication Process within the University Research Corridor (Michigan State University, the University of Michigan, and Wayne State University): A Case Study in Cooperation."

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              Shakespeare Quartos Archive Launched

              Posted in Digital Archives and Special Collections, Digital Humanities on November 17th, 2009

              The Folger Shakespeare Library has announced the launch of the Shakespeare Quartos Archive.

              Here's an excerpt from the press release:

              For the first time, digitized copies of rare early editions of William Shakespeare’s Hamlet have been compiled into a single online collection. The Shakespeare Quartos Archive (www.quartos.org) makes digitized versions of the play drawn from libraries in the US and the UK freely available to researchers worldwide.

              "The Shakespeare Quartos Archive presents new and innovative opportunities that were simply not possible before for scholars, teachers, and students to explore Hamlet," said Folger Director Gail Kern Paster.

              "We are confident that the Shakespeare Quartos Archive will become an indispensable online resource for the worldwide community of scholars, teachers, and students with an interest in Shakespeare, enabling them to access and compare these important texts," said Richard Ovenden, Associate Director of the Bodleian Library.

              In the absence of surviving manuscripts, the quartos—Shakespeare's earliest printed editions—offer the closest known evidence to what Shakespeare might actually have written, and what appeared on the early modern English stage. Print copies of the Hamlet quartos are of immense interest to scholars, editors, educators, and theater directors, yet due to their rarity and fragility, are not readily available for study. The Shakespeare Quartos Archive offers freely-accessible, high-resolution digital editions of quarto editions of Hamlet, enabling users to compare texts side-by-side, search full-text transcriptions of each quarto, and annotate and tag passages for future reference. Users can also create personal collections of page images and annotations and share these collections with other researchers. . . .

              The Shakespeare Quartos Archive contains texts drawn from holdings at the British Library, the Bodleian Library, the University of Edinburgh Library, the Huntington Library, and the National Library of Scotland, in addition to the Folger. These six institutions worked in conjunction with the Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities at the University of Maryland and the Shakespeare Institute at Birmingham University to digitize and transcribe 32 copies of Hamlet. The British Library's companion project, "Shakespeare in Quarto," is the first online collection to provide access to at least one copy of every pre-1642 Shakespeare play that was printed in a quarto edition and can be accessed at www.bl.uk.

              The Shakespeare Quartos Archive was one of the first projects awarded funding through JISC/NEH Transatlantic Digitization Collaboration Grants in 2008. The grants support the innovative use of digitization technology to advance the humanities and are administered through joint collaboration between the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) in the United States and the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) in the United Kingdom.

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                Proceedings of the 155th ARL Membership Meeting

                Posted in ARL Libraries, Open Access, Publishing, Scholarly Communication on November 17th, 2009

                ARL has released the Proceedings of the 155th ARL Membership Meeting. Presentations are in digital audio, PowerPoint, and/or PDF formats.

                Here's a selection:

                • "A Scientist’s View of Open Access," Bernard Schutz (PowerPoint, audio available)
                • "A River Runs Through It," Sayeed Choudhury (PowerPoint, audio available)
                • "Leading from the Middle: Open Access at KU," Lorraine J. Haricombe (PowerPoint, audio available)
                • "The Changing Role of Special Collections in Scholarly Communications," Donald J. Waters (PDF)
                • "Library Options for Publishing Support," October Ivins and Judy Luther (PowerPoint, audio available)
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                  OAI-PMH: MOAI 1.0.7 Released

                  Posted in Digital Repositories, Institutional Repositories, OAI-PMH, Open Source Software on November 17th, 2009

                  Infrae has released MOAI 1.0.7, a standalone OAI-PMH server that can “can be used in combination with any repository software that comes with an OAI feed.”

                  Here's an excerpt from the announcement:

                  MOAI is a platform for aggregating content from different sources, and publishing it through the Open Archive Initiatives protocol for metadata harvesting. It's been built for academic institutional repositories dealing with relational metadata and asset files. . . .

                  More specifically MOAI has the ability to:

                  • Harvest data from different kinds of sources
                  • Serve many OAI feeds from one MOAI server, each with their own configuration
                  • Turn metadata values into OAI sets on the fly, creating new collections
                  • Use OAI sets to filter records shown in a feed, configurable for each feed
                  • Work easily with relational data (e.g. if an author changes, the publication should also change)
                  • Simple and robust authentication through integration with the Apache webserver
                  • Serve assets via Apache while still using configurable authentication rules
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                    Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research Will Commit 5 Million Euros to Open Access Publication

                    Posted in Open Access on November 17th, 2009

                    According to a news article by the SURFfoundation, the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research, which "funds thousands of top researchers at universities and institutes and steers the course of Dutch science by means of subsidies and research programmes," will commit five million Euros to support the open access publication of its funded research results.

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                      ARL Releases E-Science Survey Preliminary Results and Resources

                      Posted in ARL Libraries, Cyberinfrastructure/E-Science, Data Curation, Open Data, and Research Data Management on November 17th, 2009

                      The Association of Research Libraries has released preliminary results and resources from an e-science survey of its members.

                      Here's an excerpt from the press release:

                      The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) E-Science Working Group surveyed ARL member libraries in the fall of 2009 to gather data on the state of engagement with e-science issues. An overview of initial survey findings was presented by E-Science Working Group Chair Wendy Lougee, University Librarian, McKnight Presidential Professor, University of Minnesota Libraries, at the October ARL Membership Meeting. Lougee's briefing explored contrasting approaches among research institutions, particularly in regard to data management. The briefing also summarized survey findings on topics such as library services, organizational structures, staffing patterns and staff development, and involvement in research grants, along with perspectives on pressure points for service development. To better explicate the findings, Lougee reviewed specific cases of activities at six research institutions. . . .

                      A full report of the survey findings is being prepared and will be published in 2010 by ARL through its Occasional Papers series.

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                        Open Science at Web-Scale: Optimising Participation and Predictive Potential

                        Posted in Cyberinfrastructure/E-Science, Data Curation, Open Data, and Research Data Management, Open Access on November 16th, 2009

                        JISC has released Open Science at Web-Scale: Optimising Participation and Predictive Potential.

                        Here's an excerpt:

                        This Report has attempted to draw together and synthesise evidence and opinion from a wide range of sources. Examples of data intensive science at extremes of scale and complexity which enable forecasting and predictive assertions, have been described together with compelling exemplars where an open and participative culture is transforming science practice. It is perhaps worth noting that the pace of change in this area is such, that it has been a challenging piece to compose and at best, it can only serve as a subjective snapshot of a very dynamic data space. . . .

                        The perspective of openness as a continuum is helpful in positioning the range of behaviours and practices observed in different disciplines and contexts. By separating the twin aspects of openness (access and participation), we can begin to understand the full scope and potential of the open science vision. Whilst a listing of the perceived values and benefits of open science is given, further work is required to provide substantive and tangible evidence to justify and support these assertions. Available evidence suggests that transparent data sharing and data re-use are far from commonplace. The peer production approaches to data curation which have been described, are really in their infancy but offer considerable promise as scaleable models which could be migrated to other disciplines. The more radical open notebook science methodologies are currently on the "fringe" and it is not clear whether uptake and adoption will grow in other disciplines and contexts.

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