Braindump for Q3 2010

  • Reviewing digital library platforms for the e-Content Stewardship Council – Patricia and I have completed all user interviews and platform demonstration sessions, and have finished evaluating all four in-scope platforms (CONTENTdm, Olive, DPubS, and ETD-db) along a set of twenty-odd criteria defined in a comparative analysis project at Purdue.  Next up is identifying themes from the evaluation for our report’s executive summary.  We had hoped to finish this work in May, but apparently summer is a hard time to get stuff done.  Who knew?
  • Institutional repository of electronic records – Work has begun on our e-records system via the inclusion of records use cases in another pilot project.  More on that later.
  • Learning more about “big data” and continuing the data management discussion I attended Research Data Access and Preservation Summit in April. A number of themes emerged from RDAP: 1) methods for involving researchers in curation activities, 2) the user-friendliness of the data deposit process, and 3) the boundary between preservation and curation, caused by the dynamic nature of research data and barriers to repository ingest such as complicated processes and a write-once assumption.  We at Penn State have not yet gotten our big data focus group, under ITANA, off the ground but hope to do so later this year.
  • Storage strategies – Following the dissolution of the Data Storage Working Group, Digital Library Technologies continued the discussion of storage strategies to guide purchase, allocation, and management of storage from the short- to the mid-term.  We have just this week written a project charter to explore the idea, culminating in a strategic plan for storage in December.
  • Evaluating next-generation information discovery tools for the libraries with the Libraries’ Department of Information Technology – The RFP process has finished and we have selected a product that meets our many needs.  We will be announcing our decision as soon as the ink dries on the paper.
  • Working on requirements for a draft institutional identifier standard with the NISO I2 working group – The I2 group distributed a survey about features and requirements of the draft I2 standard, and has begun analyzing the results.  Feedback has been provided primarily from the library sector, and has largely validated our work thus far.
  • Attending Open Repositories 2010 – See conference report.
  • Planning Curation Technology Camp (CURATEcamp) 2010 – Since I last wrote about the camp, the conference planning group has been busy dotting “i”s and crossing “t”s.  We’re all looking forward to the camp which is coming up soon (mid-August).
  • Curation microservices pilot – A short-term pilot project involving software developers and curators will explore a number of strategic aims of the Content Stewardship Program: defining curatorial requirements, building and testing a curation architecture, engaging software developers and curators at other institutions, treating data in a cross-platform manner, exploring roles and workflows that cross unit boundaries, and building a testbed for electronic records curation services.  Project work will include curating copies of a small sample of data selected from e-records, CONTENTdm, Olive, DPubS, and ETD-db; building and integrating existing lightweight digital curation tools based upon curation microservice specifications; applying those tools and specifications to curate the sample dataset; examining the benefits, costs, and limitations of the microservice approach; and determining if microservice-based curation architecture is viable at Penn State.
  • MetaArchive implementation roadmap – Penn State is now a member of the MetaArchive distributed digital preservat cooperative.  I am working with a team of four on an implementation roadmap, detailing a timeline, new roles that will need to be defined for our involvement, and hardware specifications.  This is a short-term project.