Acquisition, Access, and Preservation
Welcome to the May/June 2013 issue of D-Lib Magazine. We feature four articles, two conference reports, a featured collection, and the usual array of brief pieces and pointers. You will find an emphasis on preservation, with two of the articles and the featured collection focused on that topic but taken as a whole, the issue covers the waterfront of digital library topics, i.e., acquiring information, making it accessible, and preserving it.
The lead article summarizes a late 2011 survey of preservation storage approaches as practiced by members of the National Digital Stewardship Alliance (NDSA). Their membership includes both public and private institutions, 78% of which responded to the wide-ranging survey. The results, as summarized in the article, are extremely interesting and cover topics such as geographic distribution of copies, participation in distributed preservation cooperatives, and attitudes towards using facilities directly controlled by the institution versus third-party cloud services. NSDA plans to repeat the survey periodically and it will be interesting to see what changes over time and technology. The second preservation-focused article provides a detailed look at web archiving, specifically comparing an existing labor-intensive acquisition approach to a more automated approach. The UCLA Online Campaign Literature Archive has been collecting campaign literature from the web since 1998. The article describes evaluating the California Digital Library's Web Archiving Service (WAS) against existing manual methods by creating duplicate captures and comparing the results. I won't give away the ending, but anyone involved in web archiving will want to review the article.
Our third article gives an overview of the IMLS Digital Collections and Content (DCC) Flickr Feasibility Study. This consisted of a pilot project to use DCC aggregator services to provide Web 2.0 services to cultural heritage institutions, specifically engaging users in the curation of image collections, e.g., user-generated metadata. DCC currently aggregates collections from over 1,100 cultural heritage institutions, providing a single access point for over 1M items and it seemed clear that those efficiencies could be carried into the social space. The article documents and summarizes the technical and organizational challenges encountered in the successful pilot as well as the lessons learned thereby.
The last of our four articles also addresses social data, such as tags, comments, ratings, and so on, but in the context of Open Educational Resources (OERs). The dramatic developments underway in distance education contribute to the importance of this topic. The authors use the well-known Learning Resource Exchange (LRE) to explore ways in which registries of OERs can be used to collect and exchange the interaction data that is currently locked into the environments in which the interactions take place. Tools and approaches to gather and aggregate this data are proposed and future challenges are described.
These four articles, combined with conference reports on education for digital curation and development of cyber infrastructure for earth sciences, to say nothing of lurid trial pamphlets, constitute this D-Lib issue's contribution to the science and practice of information asset acquisition, access, and preservation.
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