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D-Lib Magazine

July/August 2014
Volume 20, Number 7/8



July/August Issue

Laurence Lannom
Corporation for National Research Initiatives



We have a full issue this month, covering work flows, authority files, access restrictions, and the needs of researchers, plus a provocative position paper. Leading off are Gregory and Williams describing metadata provisioning for the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA). The North Carolina Digital Heritage Center provides aggregated digital collection metadata to DPLA and this article describes in detail the technical aspects of serving as a DPLA hub, aggregating metadata from 150 institutions. Those interested in DPLA will want to read their report. Our second article, by Neatrour et al, looks at the SIMP (Submission Information Metadata Packaging (SIMP) tool developed at the University of Utah's J. Willard Marriott Library. The tool was built to ease the workflow aspects of feeding both their digital asset management system as well as their digital preservation system.

Our third article, by Hickey and Toves, details the creation of the Virtual International Authority File (VIAF) at OCLC. This is quite a large authority file, significant in and of itself, but the key to the article is their description of the clustering process through which they attempt to smooth out the usual ambiguities and vagaries that have always been an issue in authority files of any size.

Prost and Schöpfel provide our fourth article on access restrictions in institutional repositories. The basic question they ask is whether the current state, in which many open repositories are open only in the sense of open metadata without access to full text or access to full text in only some cases, is a temporary or more permanent state of affairs. They examine the issue through a literature review and a survey of 25 institutions. Our fifth article, by DeRidder and Matheny, examines the needs of researchers in their use of online primary source materials. They do this primarily through an in-depth qualitative study of humanities faculty at the University of Alabama. They find a considerable gap between the needs of researchers and current digital library interfaces.

Finally, Oldman, et al., lay out a "Manifesto for Data Provisioning & Aggregation Services for Digital Humanities." They argue that the past 20 years of experience have shown that top down schemas, fixed fields, and the notion of core data are inadequate for the presentation and use of dynamic and nuanced cultural data. A new reference model, Synergy, together with the CIDOC Conceptual Reference Model (CRM), is being developed to address this issue. While reactions are sure to vary, we hope that you will find the article thought provoking.


About the Editor

Photo of Laurence Lannom Laurence Lannom is Director of Information Services and Vice President at the Corporation for National Research Initiatives (CNRI), where he works with organizations in both the public and private sectors to develop experimental and pilot applications of advanced networking and information management technologies.
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