Volume 22, Number 7/8
Table of Contents
Corporation for National Research Initiatives
As sometimes happens with a D-Lib issue we find ourselves with an accidental focus area resulting simply from the chances of timing and the order in which we have received submissions. We have six articles and an opinion piece in this issue and four of the articles provide a nicely rounded view on preservation and closely related activities and the articles have been arranged to match this point of view.
We start with Houghton on "Preservation Challenges in the Digital Age". In a relatively brief span she provides a high-level summary of the challenges faced by the preservation community, including technical, legal, and organizational aspects. The constant in many of these areas is rapid change and the need across all of them is to anticipate future needs based on our current rather limited experience. This is followed by Pääkkönen et al., on "Exporting Finish Digitized Historical Newspaper Contents for Offline Use". The authors give a detailed account of the development of a new export format for the National Library of Finland historical newspaper collection, including the reasons for developing the format. They also address future plans with an eye towards closer collaboration with the researchers who use the material in order to best allocate limited resources and to look for potential joint activities and funding opportunities.
Our third article, "The Pathways of Research Software Preservation: An Educational and Planning Resource for Service Development", by Rios, addresses an aspect of research data preservation that has yet to receive as much attention as it may deserve, the preservation of software produced as part of the research process. The reasons to preserve research data also apply to the software used in the creation and analysis of research data, especially the need for reproducibility. The author examines this topic through a visualization approach developed at Johns Hopkins Sheridan Libraries Pathways of Research Software Preservation. At this early stage it is seen as a way to present a high level view of the issues and to encourage discussion and analysis. Our fourth article is a case study, "Deploying Islandora as a Digital Repository Platform: a Multifaceted Experience at the University of Denver Libraries". Yeh et al. report on the university having to migrate fairly rapidly from an existing collaborative platform that dissolved due to funding and organizational issues and they thoroughly describe the process from selection through implementation. While the process was generally considered a success there were many challenges to overcome and the article should be useful to other institutions considering the Islandora approach.
The fifth article in sequence, by Liew and Cheetham, is a literature review looking at "Participatory Culture in Memory Institutions: of Diversity, Ethics and Trust?". If memory institutions serve as the curators of cultural heritage, whose heritage are they preserving? As part of the study the authors examine the policies and guidelines of major New Zealand cultural heritage projects and find a largely legal focus, a lack of attention to inclusivity, and they close with suggestions for making progress in that direction. Our final article is "Analysis of International Linked Data Survey for Implementers", by Smith-Yoshimura. The survey, from OCLC Research, took place in 2014 and 2015 and garnered responses from 90 institutions on 112 linked data projects or services, many of them at the experimental or early stages. The analysis looks at many aspects including what the institutions are doing, the technical and licensing details of what they are doing, why they are doing it, and the barriers to both publishing and consuming linked data. They recommend that their analysis be seen as a snapshot of an evolving environment and conclude with advice from their respondents to those considering linked data projects.
We conclude the issue with an opinion piece by VandeCreek on "Text Mining at an Institution with Limited Financial Resources". The opinion consists of advice to the makers of library database products used in the digital humanities and that advice is that they should consider expanding their market, while at the same time contributing to future scholarship, by moving from an all or nothing approach to one in which selected segments of their products are made available on an à la carte basis, making them affordable to a larger number of research organizations.
About the Editor
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.