Friday, February 09, 2007

Weekly readings - 9 February 2007

Digital Curation for Science, Digital Libraries, and Individuals. Neil Beagrie. The International Journal of Digital Curation. Autumn 2006.

Digital Curation is becoming a more common term. It refers to the actions to maintain digital materials for their entire life-cycle. The term, along with ‘digital preservation’ and ‘digital archiving’, is still evolving. Terminology has different meanings to different people. The terms all mean that we are developing a different approach to creating and managing digital materials. One comment defines them this way: “these are terms of increasing specificity in this context: preservation is an aspect of archiving, and archiving is an activity needed for curation. All three are concerned with managing change over time.”

Another definition is: “Digital curation, broadly interpreted, is about maintaining and adding value to, a trusted body of digital information for current and future use.” While not all digital information has long term value, a significant part of it will, though it will vary by area. Therefore, “curation and long-term preservation of digital resources could be of increasing importance for a wide range of activities.” Digital curation has implications for many different areas. The data must be continuously updated. “Significant effort needs to be put into developing persistent information infrastructures for digital materials” and for researchers and information professionals to develop the needed curation skills. Without this, the digital information will only have short term benefits.

A Vision for FEDORA’s Future, an Implementation Plan to Get There, and a Project Update. Peter Murray. Disruptive Library Technology Jester website. 24 Jan 2007.

This is a review of an update on Fedora at the Open Repositories 2007 conference. Many different kinds of projects will be using Fedora for

  • repository services: managing, accessing, versioning, and storing digital materials
  • preservation services: integrity checking, monitoring, alerting, migrating, and replicating
  • process management services: workflow and messaging applications
  • collaboration services: annotating, discussing, and rating digital objects

The Fedora project is evolving into an organization called Fedora Commons. It will be a non-profit organization, to allow users to better collaborate on projects and use the information better. This will be a multi-year effort to build the organization to be more responsive to user needs and create a more robust product.

Open Source for Open Repositories — New Models for Software Development and Sustainability. Peter Murray. Disruptive Library Technology Jester website. 24 Jan 2007.

This is a summary of an excellent presentation at the Open Repositories 2007 conference by James Hilton. Organizations may be more willing to turn to open source software in a systematic way because of:

  • Fear. Business decisions by vendors lessen the comfort of buying a software application.
  • Disillusionment. Software seems to bring an endless upgrade cycle and the institutions still need to build in the support structure.
  • Incredulity. Software is disruptive, expensive, and may not lead where they need.
  • Increasing collaboration. In the ‘new order’ the new competitive advantage will be picking the right collaborative partners.

There are different meanings to ‘open’; it does not always mean ‘free’, and this needs to be reviewed carefully to determine the consequences. The benefits of open source may be that you can control your own destiny, it builds community support, it separates ownership from support, and leverages the links between the institution and others. The challenges may be that “clean” code is impossible to guarantee, licenses and patents may be difficult to manage, and lawsuits may happen. Open source is more of a commitment to build. Licensing is a contract and must be maintained and understood. Communities don’t just happen; they require shared purpose, governance, discipline, and cooperation. If institutions are going to use open source, they must make commitments to it.

iSymantec software captures IM traffic. Lucas Mearian. Computerworld. January 31, 2007.

Symantec Corp. announced Veritas Backup Reporter 6.0, an enterprise backup reporting tool that gives IT administrators a single corporate view of backup and recovery operations and better able to perform capacity planning. Enterprise Vault 7.0 allows IT managers to archive and classify e-mail, instant messaging and other content either automatically, by user classification, or integrated with records management systems.

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