Friday, December 14, 2007

Digital Preservation Matters - 14 December 2007

CNI in DC: Integrated Digital Library on the Fedora Platform. David Kennedy. December 12, 2007.
This is one item in a blog report of the CNI conference and the Digital Curation Conference: National Perspectives conference. It is worth reading the others also. University of Maryland uses Fedora not for the IR (they use DSpace), but for the digital collections. They wanted to use it to build in sustainability and transitions. Some of their organizational issues were institutional support, development time, off the shelf vs. Fedora-type system, and others. It took almost 18 months of development. They found working with Fedora similar to java, and "programmer friendly." They use a hybrid metadata schema with METS wrappers. What have they learned?
  • metadata - uses a complex schema, but don't force users to understand the underlying schema
  • authentication - not dealt with yet, but need to do more work
  • archival storage - greater need for more space
  • need to have Quality Control standards when modifying objects and creating metadata

They have at least three or four developers working on the project, as well as a number of other team members. Since they use their own metadata scheme, it may not be possible to offer their work to others, so if they were to do it again, they may use a standard metadata schema.

New 1 day AIIM PDF/Archive Training Program. Atle Skjekkeland. AIIM Knowledge Center Blog. December 12, 2007.
The AIIM organization intends to introduce a new PDF/A training program next year. It will be focused on the use of PDF/A and its use as a file format in the archiving of data. The concept of PDF/Archive began as an AIIM standards committee in 2002 and has been accepted as an ISO standard.

Digital Preservation Pioneers: Margaret Hedstrom. Resource Shelf. December 13, 2007.
A brief bio about Margaret Hedstrom who has done a great deal for digital preservation. Her works include several articles that are definitely worth reading: Digital Preservation: A Time Bomb for Digital Libraries, It’s About Time, Invest to Save, and Incentives for Data Producers to Create Archive-Ready Data Sets.

Pooling Scholars’ Digital Resources. Andy Guess. Inside Higher Ed. December 12, 2007.
Access to documents and copyright issues have been two factors slowing the development of online scholarly repositories. George Mason University seeks to bypass libraries entirely and go directly to scholars by creating an open archive of scholarly resources in the public domain. They are creating a way for scholars to upload existing documents, make them text –searchable, and put them in a database available to the public. It will use the Zotero plug-in for Firebox, which stores web pages, collects citations and lets scholars annotate and organize online documents. It is funded by a two year Mellon grant.

Manakin: A New Face for DSpace. Scott Phillips et al. D-Lib Magazine. November/December 2007.
The increasing online scholarly communication makes digital repositories more important for preserving and managing information. This looks at Manakin which was designed to help create individual, customized repository interfaces separate from the underlying repository, which is currently DSpace. It helps a library ‘brand’ its content, better understanding of the metadata, and provides tools to create extensions of the repository. It uses schema, aspects and themes as the basic components. There is a movement to adopt Manakin as the default DSpace user interface.

SOA. IT Strategy Guide. Dave Linthicum. InforWorld. December 10, 2007. [pdf]
The essence of an organization must be identified so all activities influencing that can be identified and improved. This is the first step in realizing the benefits of a service-oriented architecture (SOA). This requires not only technology, but also a shift in the way business and IT work together. Organizations need to adopt clearly defined roles within an organization, allowing the stakeholders to understand each other’s goals and tasks. This includes understanding both the human aspects and the lifecycle management of the services. Management support for the strategy is crucial. This requires an investment in people and technology to establish the appropriate context for the strategy. “the hardest part isn’t the technology; it’s redrawing the business processes that provide the basis for the architecture — and the often contentious reshuffling of roles and responsibilities that ensues. It is important to define the value, get investment and commitment from the top, and concentrate on the long term.”

Census of Institutional Repositories in the U.S. Soo Young Rieh, et al. D-Lib Magazine. November/December 2007.
There are great uncertainties underlying institutional repositories regarding practices, policies, content, systems, and other infrastructure issues. This article looks at IR’s in five areas: leaders, funding, content, contributors, and systems, and how they are perceived. Some notes:

  • college and university libraries are the driving force behind most IRs,
  • vast majority of survey respondents have done no planning of IRs to date
  • only 10.8% respondents have actually implemented an IR
    • 52.1% have been operational less than one year,
    • 27.1% have been operational between one and two years,
  • respondents agree that the funding comes or will come from the library, typically by absorbing costs into routine library operating expenses
  • Majority of existing IRs contain fewer than 1000 items
  • DSpace is the most prevalent system for pilot-testing and use. Fedora and ContentDM are regularly pilot-tested but rarely implemented.

“Once each academic institution has a clear vision and definition of what the IR will be for its own community, subsequent decisions such as content recruitment, software redesigning, file formats guaranteed in perpetuity, metadata, and policies can flow from that vision.”


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