"Keeping Bits Safe: How Hard Can It Be?"

Posted in Digital Curation & Digital Preservation on October 7th, 2010

David S. H. Rosenthal has published "Keeping Bits Safe: How Hard Can It Be?" in ACM Queue.

Here's an excerpt:

There is an obvious question we should be asking: how many copies in storage systems with what reliability do we need to get a given probability that the data will be recovered when we need it? This may be an obvious question to ask, but it is a surprisingly hard question to answer. Let's look at the reasons why.

To be specific, let's suppose we need to keep a petabyte for a century and have a 50 percent chance that every bit will survive undamaged. This may sound like a lot of data and a long time, but there are already data collections bigger than a petabyte that are important to keep forever. The Internet Archive is already multiple petabytes.

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    Scholarly Communication Institute 8: Emerging Genres in Scholarly Communication

    Posted in Digital Humanities, Reports and White Papers, Scholarly Communication on October 7th, 2010

    The Scholarly Communication Institute at the University of Virginia has released Scholarly Communication Institute 8: Emerging Genres in Scholarly Communication.

    Here's an excerpt:

    The following essay attempts to represent and synthesize the rich discussions of SCI 8, the eighth gathering of the Scholarly Communication Institute at the University of Virginia Library, especially the many original insights that emerged into the ways technology transforms the process of creation, dissemination, stewardship, use, and above all, reception of humanities scholarship.. . .

    As in other areas of publishing—music, movies, television, fiction, journalism— the Web has effectively unbundled the production and consumption of scholarship. It has also simultaneously undermined publishing business models and library budgets, radically altered reading habits, and called into question the core assumptions upon which scholarship is assessed and validated. How will the fundamental processes of scholarly production—research and analysis, publication and dissemination, stewardship, and use—realign themselves in a digital environment? How will scholars go from digital evidence to digital publication? What would be an appropriate division of labor among the actors in scholarly communication: scholars and learned societies; libraries, museums, archives; publishers; technologists; higher education administration and funders; and the multiple audiences and users who desire online access to humanities content? Where are these new communities constituted, how, and by whom?

    We explored these issues in several stages, which included:

    • scanning trends both within higher education and beyond that are shaping scholarly discourses;
    • examining the processes of scholarly communication as currently constituted, as well as actors involved and the roles they play;
    • presenting working examples of new-model scholarship by participants; and
    • reflecting on these topics from the perspective of the critical engines sustaining scholarly communication—libraries, publishers, technologists, academic administrators, and funders.
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      Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) Released

      Posted in Copyright, Digital Copyright Wars on October 7th, 2010

      The Office of the United States Trade Representative has released the text of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA).

      Here's an excerpt from the press release:

      After three years, and ten rounds of negotiations, the ACTA parties decided the time was right to conclude their discussions. The United States helped lay the foundation for the progress in Tokyo. It chaired an extra round of negotiations in Washington during August, supported the work of the Government of Japan to organize the final round at the Vice-Ministerial level, and worked hard to establish consensus on the outstanding issues.

      Consistent with the Administration's strategy for intellectual property enforcement, the ACTA negotiations aim to establish a state-of-the-art international framework that provides a model for effectively combating global proliferation of commercial-scale counterfeiting and piracy in the 21st century. The agreement will include innovative provisions to deepen international cooperation and to promote strong enforcement practices. These will ultimately help sustain American jobs in innovative and creative industries.

      The participants agreed in Tokyo to work expeditiously to resolve the small number of outstanding issues that require further examination in their own countries with a view to finalizing the text of the agreement as promptly as possible. The draft Agreement will undergo final legal review and relevant domestic processes before signature.

      The ACTA participants include: Australia, Canada, the European Union (EU) represented by the European Commission and the EU Presidency (Belgium) and the EU Member States, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Morocco, New Zealand, Singapore, Switzerland and the United States of America.

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        Daily Tweets 2010-10-07

        Posted in Current News: DigitalKoans Twitter Updates on October 7th, 2010
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          Programmer/Analyst (IT Expert) at Florida Center for Library Automation

          Posted in Digital Library Jobs on October 6th, 2010

          The Florida Center for Library Automation is recruiting a Programmer/Analyst (IT Expert).

          Here's an excerpt from the ad:

          The Programmer/Analyst (IT Expert) will be part of the Digital Library Services Group, which helps the libraries of the public university system of Florida create, manage and preserve digital information resources. The incumbent will provide applications programming and technical support for making library materials of all sorts (text, image, audio, and video) available on the Web. . . .

          1. Work individually and with other programmers and librarians to establish internal and end-user requirements for processing and delivery systems, and to evaluate applications against these requirements.
          2. Implement new applications and changes to existing applications through coding and testing.
          3. Install, configure, maintain, and enhance open source and vendor-supplied software applications.
          4. Provide trouble-shooting, problem-solving, and routine technical support for production applications.
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            "First Results of the SOAP Project. Open Access Publishing in 2010"

            Posted in Open Access, Publishing, Scholarly Journals on October 6th, 2010

            Suenje Dallmeier-Tiessen et al. have self-archived "First Results of the SOAP Project. Open Access Publishing in 2010" in arXiv.

            Here's an excerpt:

            The SOAP (Study of Open Access Publishing) project has compiled data on the present offer for open access publishing in online peer-­-reviewed journals. Starting from the Directory of Open Access Journals, several sources of data are considered, including inspection of journal web site and direct inquiries within the publishing industry. Several results are derived and discussed, together with their correlations: the number of open access journals and articles; their subject area; the starting date of open access journals; the size and business models of open access publishers; the licensing models; the presence of an impact factor; the uptake of hybrid open access.

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              Systems/Web Services Librarian, California State University, San Bernardino

              Posted in Library IT Jobs on October 6th, 2010

              The California State University, San Bernardino Pfau Library is recruiting a Systems/Web Services Librarian.

              Here's the ad:

              Systems/Web Services Librarian, MLIS or MLS from an ALA-accredited institution; 3-5 years of progressively responsible information technology experience; knowledge of current and developing technologies, standards, and trends in academic libraries; ability to implement innovative services and communicate effectively with patrons, library staff, and faculty; substantial knowledge of network administration, Web programming, and digitization processes; expertise in designing, developing, and maintaining dynamic, database-driven Web sites; familiarity with Web 2.0 technologies; in depth subject knowledge or interest in several academic disciplines. Experience in academic libraries; supervisory experience, knowledge of the Millennium integrated library system or experience administrating an integrated library system; experience or coursework in reference, library instruction, and collection development; familiarity with at least one Web programming language; experience with CSS, Flash, ColdFusion, UNIX, Windows Server, EZProxy, Active Directory, and SFX; knowledge of institutional repositories.

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                NSF Data Sharing Policy Released

                Posted in Data Curation, Open Data, and Research Data Management, Grants, Open Science on October 6th, 2010

                The National Science Foundation has released its revised NSF Data Sharing Policy. As of January 18, 2011, NSF proposals must include a two-page (or less) "Data Management Plan" in accordance with the Grant Proposal Guide, chapter II.C.2.j (see below excerpt).

                Here's an excerpt from the Award and Administration Guide, chapter VI.D.4:

                b. Investigators are expected to share with other researchers, at no more than incremental cost and within a reasonable time, the primary data, samples, physical collections and other supporting materials created or gathered in the course of work under NSF grants. Grantees are expected to encourage and facilitate such sharing. Privileged or confidential information should be released only in a form that protects the privacy of individuals and subjects involved. General adjustments and, where essential, exceptions to this sharing expectation may be specified by the funding NSF Program or Division/Office for a particular field or discipline to safeguard the rights of individuals and subjects, the validity of results, or the integrity of collections or to accommodate the legitimate interest of investigators. A grantee or investigator also may request a particular adjustment or exception from the cognizant NSF Program Officer.

                c. Investigators and grantees are encouraged to share software and inventions created under the grant or otherwise make them or their products widely available and usable.

                d. NSF normally allows grantees to retain principal legal rights to intellectual property developed under NSF grants to provide incentives for development and dissemination of inventions, software and publications that can enhance their usefulness, accessibility and upkeep. Such incentives do not, however, reduce the responsibility that investigators and organizations have as members of the scientific and engineering community, to make results, data and collections available to other researchers.

                Here's an excerpt from the Grant Proposal Guide, chapter II.C.2.j:

                Plans for data management and sharing of the products of research. Proposals must include a supplementary document of no more than two pages labeled “Data Management Plan”. This supplement should describe how the proposal will conform to NSF policy on the dissemination and sharing of research results (see AAG Chapter VI.D.4), and may include:

                1. the types of data, samples, physical collections, software, curriculum materials, and other materials to be produced in the course of the project;
                2. the standards to be used for data and metadata format and content (where existing standards are absent or deemed inadequate, this should be documented along with any proposed solutions or remedies);
                3. policies for access and sharing including provisions for appropriate protection of privacy, confidentiality, security, intellectual property, or other rights or requirements;
                4. policies and provisions for re-use, re-distribution, and the production of derivatives; and
                5. plans for archiving data, samples, and other research products, and for preservation of access to them.

                A May 2010 NSF press release ("Scientists Seeking NSF Funding Will Soon Be Required to Submit Data Management Plans") discussed the background for the policy:

                "Science is becoming data-intensive and collaborative," noted Ed Seidel, acting assistant director for NSF's Mathematical and Physical Sciences directorate. "Researchers from numerous disciplines need to work together to attack complex problems; openly sharing data will pave the way for researchers to communicate and collaborate more effectively."

                "This is the first step in what will be a more comprehensive approach to data policy," added Cora Marrett, NSF acting deputy director. "It will address the need for data from publicly-funded research to be made public."

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