Responses to Chris Rusbridge's Proposed Research Repository System

Chris Rusbridge, Director of the Digital Curation Centre, has summarized responses that he has received to his proposed Research Repository System.

Here's an excerpt from "Negative Click, Positive Value Research Repository Systems," where he outlined the key features of the system.

The main elements that I think the RRS should support are (not in any particular order):

The Impact of Digitizing Special Collections on Teaching and Scholarship: Reflections on a Symposium about Digitization and the Humanities

OCLC Programs & Research has released The Impact of Digitizing Special Collections on Teaching and Scholarship: Reflections on a Symposium about Digitization and the Humanities.

Here's an excerpt:

University faculty and scholars demonstrated their uses of rare books and archives—in both digital and physical forms—to an audience of RLG Programs partners at a symposium in Philadelphia on June 4, 2008. Tony Grafton's recent article in The New Yorker provoked the theme of the symposium: we'll be travelling both the wide smooth road through the screen and the narrow difficult road of books and archives for a long time to come.

The audience of librarians, archivists, museum professionals and senior managers discussed administrative issues and opportunities for the use of digitized special collections. The academic speakers, however, spoke to us directly about their expectations of special collections and proposals for collaboration with scholars. These scholars emphasized the critical roles rare books, archives and other materials play in both teaching and research, and called for specific directions for libraries and archives to take in the near future. The primary users of primary resources presented clear imperatives for collections and custodians: work with faculty to understand current research methods and materials; go outside the library or archive to build collections and work with faculty; and continue to build digital and material collections for both teaching and research.

Switzerland: Test Your ISP's Net Neutrality

The Electronic Frontier Foundation has released Switzerland, an open source software tool for testing your ISP's net neutrality.

Here's an excerpt from the announcement:

Part of EFF's "Test your ISP" project, Switzerland is an open source, command-line software tool designed to detect the modification or injection of packets of data by ISPs. Switzerland detects changes made by software tools believed to be in use by ISPs such as Sandvine and AudibleMagic, advertising systems like FairEagle, and various censorship systems. Although currently intended for use by technically sophisticated Internet users, development plans aim to make the tool increasingly easy to use.

National Center for Research in Advanced Information and Digital Technologies to Be Established

A National Center for Research in Advanced Information and Digital Technologies will be established as part of the Higher Education Opportunity Act (see Sec. 802).

Here's an excerpt from the Digital Promise press release on its home page:

The new program is entitled the "National Center for Research in Advanced Information and Digital Technologies." It is a Congressionally originated 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation located within the Department of Education. It will have a nine-member independent Board of Directors appointed by the Secretary of Education from nominations by members of Congress. Grants and contracts will be awarded on merit, and policies will be developed following the tested procedures of NSF and NIH. Given its status as a non-profit, independent corporation, the Center will be able to receive grants, contracts, and philanthropic contributions, as well as federal appropriations. . . .

Our next challenge is to secure FY09 appropriations for the Center. Because of the delay in passing the Higher Education Act, it was not possible for appropriations of the, until now, unauthorized National Center to be included in the Labor, HHS or Education funding bills that were passed in Committee in June. It is widely expected that final appropriations for FY09 will not be enacted until early next year. We are working hard to have funding for the National Center included in final appropriations legislation. We are requesting $50 million for FY09.

According to the About Digital Promise page one of the functions of the center will be to "commission pre-competitive research and fund the development of prototypes to . . . Digitize America’s collected memory stored in our nation’s universities, libraries, museums and public television archives to make these materials available anytime and anywhere."

Copyright Alert: Senate Passes Higher Education Opportunity Act

The Senate passed the Higher Education Opportunity Act, which includes provisions that require higher education institutions to take steps to curb illegal file sharing. The bill now goes to President Bush for signature.

Read more about it at "College Funding Bill Passed with Anti-P2P Provisions Intact" and "Mixed Reviews for Illegal File-Sharing on Campus."

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