In the Washington, DC area, the editorial home of D-Lib, summer is upon us. Traffic is lighter, stores are emptier, and if the living isn't exactly easy it is a bit less hectic. And while I can't honestly characterize our July/August issue as beach reading, I do hope that you find your time with us profitable and enjoyable, in whatever season you find yourself.
Our first three articles are all about maturation in library services, including institutional repositories (IRs), data curation, and MOOCs. We lead with Younglove describing Rochester Institute of Technology evaluating its current decade-old IR, which has a "multi-disciplinary institution-wide acceptance policy", and deciding to change both its focus and its implementation. Along the way she examines the strengths and weaknesses of four basic IR models as well as the selection of, and in this case a major shift in, the IR platform used. Any institution that finds itself ten or so years into an IR that is not meeting expectations will find this to be an interesting read.
The second article, by Wright et al., addresses the increasingly important topic of research data services in academic libraries. She and her colleagues describe using the existing Data Curation Toolkit to develop Data Curation Profiles to inform the development of Cornell's Datastar research data registry. It is a small but in-depth survey of the real needs of researchers and should be useful to other institutions considering entering this arena. Our third article, by Fowler and Smith, reports on the development of a library-based copyright and permissions service for MOOCs (Massively Open Online Courses) at Duke University. The issue, of course, is what material faculty members do or do not need permissions to include in this new instructional approach, a topic on which faculty frequently need help and libraries may be well positioned to assist. As the authors point out it can also bring home the value of open source material, which simplifies the problems considerably.
We close the issue with a pair of articles from Allen on model-oriented information organization. He argues that we need new approaches to information organization to take advantage of the growing "interconnected collections of cultural materials" and that schematic modeling of the content will support the needed new approaches to interacting with that content. The first article explains the basic approach of developing those models and the second using them, both done in the context of historical materials. These articles are a bit outside of our normal comfort zone of current projects and near term advances, but they pose the interesting challenge of developing a new generation of digital libraries that can take advantage of the swelling tide of rich content instead of being buried by it.
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