Friday, May 09, 2008

Digital Preservation Matters - May 9, 2008

Bill targets messy e-records. Ben Bain. Federal Computer Week. May 5, 2008.

The proposed Electronic Communications Preservation Act will require federal agencies to preserve electronic communications in an electronic format. This should preserve e-mail and other messages that would leave gaps in the historical record. NARA would be in charge of this. The existing policies do not require the records be preserved in the native format, nor the authority to enforce the policies during an administration. “The loss of documents through indifference should be viewed with as much alarm as their loss through a system breach.” Having preservation standards to capture, manage, preserve and retrieve electronic communications “could save money in the long run.”

Innovations in Digital Asset Management, Circa 2008. Joseph Bachana. CMS Watch. May 7, 2008.

Overview of the development of the digital asset management market. Digital asset management vendors have also been working to add web services and improve the product. The market wants to integrate digital asset management systems into other management systems, such as web content, customer relationship, editorial workflow, e-learning platforms, marketing resource systems, and others. Most of the vendors in this area are small and have limited resources, or are divisions of larger companies, and can’t address all these areas. Some main products have included eXtensible Metadata Platform, Version Cue, SharePoint. A few of the current trends include:

  • single asset management repository
  • XML content that can be republished, reformatted, or changed into different assets
  • Open source, but the digital asset management development isn’t significant yet

“What is new, from my vantage point: no single DAM vendor has the resources to address all of these varied needs in a timely fashion. In the end, it may take the harnessed fervor of the open source community to bring all these threads and more together in the marketplace over the next 24 to 36 months.”

Demand for Collaboration Driving $330 Million Digital Asset Management Markets. Nicole Fabris. Reuters. May 8, 2008.

The market for Digital Asset Management solutions was more that $330 million in 2007 and is growing. The sheer number of digital assets helps drive this, but also “the need for different departments of an organization to have a seamless workflow in handling the same library of digital content.” The digital environments are no longer a separate silo. The report by ABI Research Report shows that the vendor landscape is fragmented with different types of products and in different sectors.

EThOS: a national OAI and digitisation service for e-theses in the United Kingdom. Chris Awre, et al. Open Repositories. April 2008.

The ETHOS project in the UK is an effort to promote a national repository and the digitization and sharing of theses and dissertations. Just putting items in the repository doesn’t mean that anyone uses it or even harvests the metadata. Promoting a repository increases its use. A toolkit is being created at It helps to outline the culture change needed, the business requirements for the institutional repository, technical options, and training for staff.

Open access does not mean the same thing as free access. There are still costs. The libraries who contribute are charged for digitization, researchers are charged for the added value of the digital file. They now have theses that are moving beyond PDF and going to multi-media theses. The sustainability of these files requires the efforts of the community. The British Library provides e-theses and there are some concerns about whether or not they have the right to put them on the internet. They have decided it is more important to make them available and will take them down for copyright problems if there is an actual take-down request from the owner.

DLESE: A Case Study in Sustainability Planning. Mary Marlino, Tamara Sumner, Karon Kelly and Michael Wright. Open Repositories. April 2008.

There are currently no models for sustainability planning. Need to define the core library components and what needs to be sustained. What happens when the project ends? How to prepare for it? This is important in a partnership. Determine before hand the system administration, the application support, the content processes, workflow, and maintenance. Sustainability planning should be started at the beginning of the project. Distributed infrastructure doesn’t often have sustainability in mind, and in this structure it is critical to develop a disciplined model for cost. Sustaining the community is the most important and difficult aspect of library sustainability-user base, culture, embedded expertise. A definition of sustainability is: meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs (wikipedia).

Building Personal Collections and Networks of Digital Objects in a Fedora Repository Using VUE. Anoop Kumar. Open Repositories. April 2008.

Today’s technology makes it feasible to setup repositories for large institutions and also smaller groups and individual.
This utility was created to be a publishing module to create content maps in a Fedora repository and build a knowledge base of objects, the metadata, and the relationships between them. Anyone can create the objects and upload resources; owners can modify their objects and anyone can add or modify the relationships. VUE (Visual Understanding Environment) can be used with other repositories and allows search, browse and deposit.

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