File Information Tool Set (FITS). August 6, 2009.
With the increase of digital projects that introduce new formats, it is increasingly important to have tools that deal with issues such as file format identification, validation and metadata extraction tools. FITS, developed by Harvard, acts as a wrapper for some existing tools, including JHOVE, Exiftool, the National Library of New Zealand Metadata Extractor, DROID, Ffident, and two original tools: FileInfo and XmlMetadata. The files can identify a file with a single result, or in the case of a conflict, can handle it in several ways. It is written in java and can be run from a command line or an interface. It is available for download and has a user guide.
Research Data Preservation and Access: The Views of Researchers. Neil Beagrie, et al. Ariadne. July 2009.
Data is becoming more central to interdisciplinary projects and has grown in size and complexity. This study tries to assess the feasibility and costs of developing and maintaining a shared digital research data service. It shows, with text and graphs, the disciplines where research data issues were of greatest concern, the storage features that are needed most, the retention period for data once the projects have ended, and how the data is shared. University managers have serious concerns about the cost, scalability and sustainability of purely local solutions.
Library of Congress Digital Preservation Newsletter. August 2009.
LC has developed new tools (including bagit) to transfer large quantities of digital content. BagIt, and related transfer tools, prepare to transfer data by packaging the collection in a directory with a manifest file that lists the contents. Specifications and other tools are on the tool and services page. More on this: 21st Century Shipping. D-Lib Magazine. Michael Ashenfelder. July/August 2009
The California Digital Library has opened its Web Archiving Service collections. The service was created to support the Web-at-Risk project, and is funded by the NDIIPP and the University of California.
A workshop on photometadata aimed at helping digital photographers use metadata when creating and distributing their work. The program demonstrated applications to embed metadata in photographs; it was stated that each digital photo can and should contain information about itself, its creator and its licensing conditions. Industry professionals told how metadata increased their business.
Online textbooks are gaining popularity, changing how students study. Dani Martinson. Missourian. August 6, 2009.
Online textbooks can provide additional information and resources for students, including direct links to audio and video. Digital textbooks are usually 50%cheaper than regular textbooks, though there is no buyback, and the books are often available only for a semester. Information can be updated easier and more frequently. A study found that the professors were more accepting of digital textbooks than students. They expect the demand will increase when the digital content is specifically designed for digital, rather than just a PDF version of the printed textbooks.