Friday, November 28, 2008

Digital Preservation Matters - 28 November 2008

The Future of Repositories? Patterns for (Cross-) Repository Architectures. Andreas Aschenbrenner, et al. D-Lib Magazine. November/December 2008.

Repositories have been created mostly by academic institutions to share scholarly works, for the most part using Fedora, DSpace and EPrints. While it is important to look at manageability, cost efficiency, and functionalities, we need to keep our focus on the real end user (the Scholar). The OpenDOAR directory lists over 1200 repositories. The repository adoption curve shows cycles, trends, and developments. “It is the social and political issues that have the most significant effect on the scholarly user and whether or not that user decides to use a repository.” The repository's primary mission is to disseminate the university's primary output. Researchers, not institutions, are the most important users of repositories. The benefits of repositories may not be clear to researchers, and the repository needs to “become a natural part of the user's daily work environment.” To do this we should focus on features such as:

  • Preserve the user's intellectual assets in a long-term trusted digital repository
  • Allow scientific collaboration through reuse of publications as well as primary data
  • Embed repositories into the user's scientific workflows and technology (workbench)
  • Customize the repository to the local user needs and technology
  • Manage intellectual property rights and security

Individual repositories may not be able to address all these issues. Preservation is one of the main motivators for people to use a repository. “Trust in a stable and secure repository service is established through the repository's policies, status among peers, and added-value services.” Users want someone to take responsibility for the servers and tools. Trust depends on:

  • The impact a service has on users' daily lives
  • How the service blends into their routine,
  • If the repository's policies and benefits works for the users.

Managing the collective Collection. Richard Ovenden. OCLC. 6 November 2008. [pdf]

A PowerPoint presentation on managing a collection in the future. Looks at Uniformity vs. Uniqueness, and the sameness of e-resources. The collective collection is now an aggregated digital collection rather than a distributed print collection. Access to the core aggregated collection is no longer a factor of time and craft but one of money. With this new sense of uniformity, uniqueness has a new value.

Local unique: Sensible stewardship of locally-generated assets:

Institutional repositories
University archives
Research Data

Global unique: Selected and curated content that has been actively acquired through competition

“Traditional” Special collections
Personal digital collections
Copy-specific printed books

Personal digital collections: new phenomenon, new problem.

Acquisition from older media

New management issues

Implications of Google: Google is not curated!
Preservation of the unique more important than ever.
Who will bear the cost of keeping print?
New models of collaboration

Expectations of the Screenager Generation. Lynn Silipigni Connaway. OCLC. 6 November 2008. [pdf]

Lot of information here. Some notes: Some attitudes of the newer generation: Information is information; Media formats don’t matter; Visual learners; Different research skills. They meet Information Needs mostly through the Internet or other people. They are attracted to resources based on convenience, immediate answers, and no cost. They prefer to do their own research. They don’t use libraries because they don’t know they, they are satisfied with other sources, the library takes too long or too difficult to use. The image of libraries is Books. They do not think of a library as an information resource. Search engines are trusted about the same as a library. What can we do? Encourage, promote, use creative marketing, build relationships, understand their needs better.

Digital preservation of e-journals in 2008: Urgent Action revisited. Portico. January 2008. [pdf]

The document has been out for a while, but I found it interesting in light of current efforts. It presents the results of a survey concerning eJournals. The survey was designed to:

  1. Analyze attitudes and priorities that can be used to guide Portico
  2. Assist library directors in prioritizing and allocating limited resources.

Here are some of the findings:

  • 76% said they do not yet participate in an e-journal preservation initiative.
  • 71% felt it would be unacceptable to lose access to e-journal materials permanently
  • 82% agreed that “libraries need to support community preservation initiatives because it’s the right thing to do.”
  • 73% agreed that “our library should ensure that e-journals are preserved somewhere
  • 4% believed preservation could be achieved by publishers holding redundant copies of eJournals

Libraries are unsure about how urgent the issue is and whether they need to take any action in the next two years. This appears to follow the interest of the faculty in the issue. Where the library was interested in eJournal preservation, 74% had been approached by faculty on the issue. When the library was not interested, only 34% had ever been approached by faculty, and less than 10% had ever been approached by faculty more than twice. Many libraries feel the issue is complicated and are not sure who should preserve the eJournals. They are uncertain about the best approach, and there are competing priorities. “Research institutions are far more likely than teaching institutions to have taken action on e-journal preservation.” Most libraries do not have an established digital preservation budget, and the money is borrowed from other areas, such as the collections budget.

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