Thursday, September 03, 2015

NMC Horizon Report: 2015 Library Edition

NMC Horizon Report: 2015 Library Edition The New Media Consortium. September 2015. [PDF]     This report looks at how key trends, significant challenges, and developments in technology will impact academic and research libraries, and that this will be a technology-planning guide.  Among other things, it looks at research data management and access. Some notes and quotes:
  • The move to a more expansive online presence is calling for state-of-the-art data management processes that both make content more discoverable and ensure long-term preservation. Libraries have long played key roles in this area and are continuing to refine their workflows as well as the digital infrastructures that support them. 
  • Experts argue that librarians must recognize how social media is changing the nature of scholarly record elements and develop plans to properly capture and preserve these activities.
  • Formats: Cambridge University Library in the UK offers researchers guidelines for choosing different formats for their data, with an emphasis on long-term sustainability. They assert that the format used for data collection can be different than the one used to archive that data, and recommend that researchers wait until the project is completed to convert their materials to any new formats. Other institutions encourage researchers to look to national agencies for digital file format best practice
  • As universities generate more data over time, libraries are well poised to be the managers and curators of this information. By digitally archiving the datasets from every publication they contain, tagging them with keywords, and making them searchable, library databases can uncover links and patterns between studies, revealing the full trajectory of an idea as it grows.
  • Metadata: The metadata preserves the meaning of data, ensuring the research materials will be searchable, discoverable, and accessible long-term
  • Enhanced formats and workflows within the realm of electronic publishing have enabled experiments, tests, and simulation data to be represented by audio, video, and other media and visualizations.  The emergence of these formats has led to libraries rethinking their processes for managing data and linking them between various publications.
  • As the types of mediums for research and data expand over time, library leaders must strategize and build sustainable databases that can house enormous amounts of research materials in nearly any format.
  • An example of digital curation: Digital Curation at ETH Zurich. Through the ETH Data Archive, ETH-Bibliothek provides an infrastructure for the medium and long-term storage of digital information such as research data, documents, or images.
  • Some institutions have data management services that were created to assist researchers with organizing, managing, and curating research data to "ensure its long-term preservation and accessibility".  They provide a data management planning tool plus an online repository for storing research materials and associated metadata. 
  • Some libraries help researchers design digital data management and archival plans for the grans that they are applying to. 
  • Digital  strategies [which includes Preservation/Conservation  Technologies]  are not so much technologies as they are ways of using devices and software to enrich teaching, learning, research, and information management.

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