Friday, November 03, 2006

Weekly readings - 03 November 2006

Using Digital Images in Teaching and Learning: Perspectives from Liberal Arts Institutions. Wesleyan University and The National Institute for Technology and Liberal Education. October 2006. [Sometimes the blog doesn't handle the link; if so, paste this link in your browser: ]

A report that looks at digital resources in teaching and learning situations. Faculty use digital images mostly from personal collections (90%) or from Google Images. “Many faculty need considerable assistance in organizing and managing these collections, ” such as providing cataloging and management tools. Often faculty need better quality images that those in Google Images. There are free databases of images, but few faculty use them, possibly because they don’t know they exist. The LionShare project, for example, has created a way for peer-to-peer file exchanges among faculty worldwide.

The majority of faculty never use licensed or library image databases. The institution should bring together image collections from different departments, museums and special collections into a single institutional collection, though it is a difficult and complex undertaking. Faculty have said “using digital images had revolutionized their teaching.” The complexity, difficulty and expense of deploying digital images and the transition, is a longer, more ongoing process than we have expected. It is more of an ongoing process than a transition.

They recommend:

· Develop and share tools and services to help faculty organize, catalog, and manage their personal digital collections, in a user-centered content model.

· Encourage and enhance the relationship between individual personal digital image collections and the evolving institutional collection.

· Publicize and direct users to especially good online image resources in any given subject area.

· Publicize and demonstrate locally-available digital image resources to faculty and, where possible, research faculty’s most pressing digital image needs in order to match them with available resources.

· Create institutional collections serving many departments

· Develop a plan with faculty to provide digital image services when closing analog slide collections

· Publicize new tools as they become available

Long-term Stewardship of Digital Data Sets in Science and Engineering. ARL Report of workshop held on September 2006.

This 160 page report examines the role of research and academic libraries in the stewardship of scientific and engineering digital data. The stewardship of digital data is fundamental to research. Because of the large challenge regarding digital data stewardship, responsibilities should include partnerships with institutions and disciplines. Universities have played a leadership role in the long-term preservation of knowledge through their libraries. “Stewardship of digital resources involves both preservation and curation. Preservation entails standards-based, active management practices that guide data throughout the research life cycle, as well as ensure the long-term usability of these digital resources. Curation involves ways of organizing, displaying, and repurposing preserved data.” There needs to be a close link between digital data archives and scholarly publications. Preservation occurs throughout the lifecycle or stages of data production.

Preservation consists of

· the management practices based on standards for the metadata and data throughout the research life cycle

· the long-term care for these digital products.

· the standards-based output of metadata and data for their long-term care, access, migration and refreshment.

Preservation of digital data has forced a re-examination within the library/archives community of existing assumptions about responsibility, use, oversight,

and cost. Long-term preservation and curation are understood as preserving and reading bits, but also as a system that requires cooperation across many organizations and stakeholders in a sustainable model. Preservation is both an organizational and a technical challenge. The OAIS model is a useful mechanism for preservation.

Data preservation has distinctive requirements for

· Resources: storage, systems, maintenance, services

· Continuity: migrate without interruption

· Metrics of success: no serious loss of data

· Funding: address long-term commitment

In building a preservation model, some research topics include: prototyping different types of technical architectures; specifying ingest systems at different scales; deploying data models across organizations; and creating tools for automatic metadata harvesting.

Academic libraries need to expand their work to include storage, preservation, and curation of digital scientific and engineering data. This requires evaluating where in the research process chain the preservation activities should occur, who should do them, and how they should be accomplished. In discussing models for economical sustainability of such activities: one model was “The Mormon Church, which combines tithing, user fees, and sales.” Multiple strategies will be required to meet the different circumstances that exist. Repository experiments should address key issues such as transition between media/formats/institutions, self-sustainability, and exit strategy.

Some recommendations include:

· Involve experts in developing economic models for sustainable data preservation

· Set up multiple repositories and treat them as experiments.

· Develop tools for automated services and standards to manipulate data easily

“Digital information is fragile and we do not have the luxury of letting time take its course.” There needs to be sustainable framework for long-term stewardship of digital data. “We don’t get anywhere if we don’t start somewhere.”

1 comment:

cle said...

For some reason, the link for the first item, Using Digital Images in Teaching and Learning: Perspectives from Liberal Arts Institutions, is not connecting. The url is correct, so you may need to copy the link location and put it in another window.