In this section
What's New - Issue 49, September 2012
In this issue:
- What's On - Forthcoming events from September 2012 onwards
- What's New - New reports and initiatives since the last issue
- Who's Hiring - Job advertisements from DPC members
- What's What - One Small Step, William Kilbride, DPC
- Your View? - Comments and views from readers
What's New is a joint publication of the DPC and DCC
The DCC have a number of events coming up that may be of interest to you. For further details on any of these, please see our DCC events listings at http://www.dcc.ac.uk/events/. You can also browse through our DCC events calendar to see a more extensive list of both DCC and external events.
IT as a Utility Information workshop
4 September 2012
IT as a Utility is about the provision of information and technology in a transparent and highly usable manner. It is closely related to Grid and Cloud Computing with its emphasis on making IT resources effortlessly and almost invisibly available the end user. Cloud paradigms for access to applications and infrastructure are now well established, and are changing the way users interact with applications, especially where the application is accessible from multiple devices and users.
The Shape of Knowledge
4 September 2012
This ISKO UK meeting will focus on the ways in which knowledge and information can be analysed and presented, for example to bring out underlying patterns or to emphasize specific aspects of the information.
Digital Humanties Congress 2012
6-8 September 2012
A new conference intended to promote the sharing of knowledge, ideas and techniques within the digital humanities. At Sheffield we understand the digital humanities to mean the use of technology within arts, heritage and humanities research as both a method of inquiry and a means of dissemination. We’re therefore excited to have a varied programme with speakers from disciplines across the arts, humanities and heritage domains.
Working with DataCite: a technical introduction
10 September 2012
This practical workshop is aimed at those who are considering incorporating DataCite services into their repository and would like to learn more about how to work with the technology. DataCite Technical Lead, Ed Zukowski, will present an overview of the DataCite technical infrastructure and participants will have an opportunity to sample the services on offer through a series of hands-on sessions.
Managing the Material: Tackling Visual Arts as Research Data
14 September 2012
The Visual Arts Data Service (VADS) in conjunction with the Digital Curation Centre (DCC), through the JISC-funded KAPTUR project invites Information Managers, Research Data Managers, Librarians, and other UK higher education staff or researchers with an interest in managing visual arts research data to this workshop.
2nd SPRUCE 'Mashup', London 18-20 September
18-20 September 2012
JISC funded SPRUCE Project cordially invites you to the second SPRUCE Digital Preservation Mashup. SPRUCE is organising a series of free events around the UK that will provide support and technical expertise to address the real digital preservation challenges that institutions face. The best work from event attendees will be awarded funding to develop the activity and embed it within business as usual processes. £60k is available for these awards.
NISO Forum: Tracking it Back to the Source: Managing and Citing Research Data
24 September 2012
As data creation increases exponentially across nearly all scholarly disciplines, new roles and requirements are rising to meet the challenges in organization, identification, description, publication, discovery, citation, preservation, and curation to allow these materials to realize their potential in support of data-driven, often interdisciplinary research. NISO’s Forum, Tracking it Back to the Source: Managing and Citing Research Data, will focus on several new initiatives to improve community practice on data citation and data discovery.
Research Networks: Underpinning Discovery, Supporting Knowledge Transfer
27 September 2012
The UK is ranked as having the second strongest research base in the world behind only the US. The UK's universities and research centres have an exceptional international reputation, but there is room for improvement. Given the spiralling costs associated with research and development, the process needs to become more efficient and deliver better value for money. That may mean working more closely with other institutions, with the private sector, across disciplines and across international borders. If research is better coordinated and if resources are pooled more effectively, then it is more likely that outcomes will achieve excellence and commercial success. The conference aims to explore how to foster pioneering research and innovation. The programme will showcase best practice of knowledge transfer, collaboration and excellence, highlighting the network infrastructures that can help to deliver results.
2nd International Workshop on Semantic Digital Archives (SDA)
27 September 2012
The workshop "Semantic Digital Archives" aims to promote and discuss sophisticated knowledge representation and knowledge management solutions specifically designed for improving Archival Information Systems.
iPRES 2012: Preserving for the Future
1-5 October 2012
The ninth annual iPRES conference on digital preservation will be hosted by the University of Toronto iSchool (Faculty of Information) in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Successful fundraising for preservation and conservation
4 October 2012
This Preservation Advisory Centre workshop explains how to include conservation and preservation activities in funding bids. It covers the type of information to include, how to generate that information, and how to prepare briefs for external conservators and specify surveys. Guidance is provided on what funders are looking for in applications and discussion sessions draw on group experience to encourage fresh approaches to fundraising
Digital Preservation Training Programme (DPTP)
2-3 October 2012
The DPTP is a modular training programme, built around themed sessions that have been developed to assist you in designing and implementing an approach to preservation that will work for your institution. Through a wide range of modules, the DPTP examines the need for policies, planning, strategies, standards and procedures in digital preservation, and teaches some of the most up-to-date methods, tools and concepts in the area. It covers these topics via a mixture of lectures, discussions, practical tasks and exercises, and a class project. (The course does not, however, offer hands-on training with any of these tools, and is not an 'enabling' course).
Digital Preservation of Business Processes
16 October 2012
A free Training Day on Digital Preservation of Business Processes will take place on Tuesday, October 16 supported by the TIMBUS project in association with PASIG 2012. This full-day event is open to any interested party on first-come-first serve basis.
Preservation and Archiving Special Interest Group (PASIG)
17-19 October 2012
PASIG, the Preservation and Archiving Special Interest Group, will be holding its 11th international meeting 17-19 October, 2012, in Dublin, Ireland. This independent, community-led meeting is open to and welcoming of practitioners, researchers, industry experts and vendors in the digital preservation and archiving field.
23rd International CODATA Conference “Open Data and Information for a Changing Planet”
28-31 October 2012
The theme “Open Data and Information for a Changing Planet” encompasses some relevant issues in data-intensive scientific fields. Nurturing an open environment for data and information is crucial for disseminating research results to a wide audience and allowing thorough, collaborative analysis. Also, the theme distinguishes between data and information and by so doing highlights the role data-intensive science plays in transforming raw observations into applicable, intelligible results and discoveries. CODATA 23 will bring together stakeholders from industry, research and academia who will highlight, debate and address these issues over a three day period. It will provide an international forum where these stakeholders, in collaboration with the ICSU and CODATA international networks and other networks can create a dialogue on legal, economic, and technological challenges; evaluate societal impacts; and put forward possible solutions that can in turn benefit the planet. Nurturing an open environment for data and information plays a pivotal role in this process. This will be the underpinning message of the conference.
APA 2012 Conference
6-7 November 2012
APA 2012 Conference to be held at the European Space Agency in Frascati, nr Rome, Italy, this year the programme will include:
- Influencing European and Global decision makers about the importance of ensuring digital data is preserved
- High level speakers from around the world
- The benefits to scientific communities, historians, library archives, medicine, culture, finance and industry – in other words, every aspect of our lives
- Latest research currently being undertaken by APA members
- Updates on the APA member projects
- Opportunities to engage with EU officials and digital preservation experts
- Information on training courses and workshops
How to set up and run a data service: the challenges of social science data
8-9 November 2012
This is a once-a-year opportunity to go behind the scenes and learn first hand from specialists at the UK Data Archive. how to set up and run an archive. Over one and a half days, 8 and 9 November 2012, participants will learn about the strategies and practices used in the Archive's daily work, with a focus on storing and sharing social science data, including microdata, aggregate, qualitative and historical data. The Archive has over 40 years experience in selecting, ingesting, curating and providing access to data. We are a designated Place of Deposit for The National Archives and are internationally acknowledged experts in this field.
RDMF9: Shaping the infrastructure
14 - 15 November 2012
Examples of technological change designed to assist the producers, users and managers of research data are becoming increasingly prevalent. The impetus for this is varied. At a broad national level, for example, the JISC Managing Research Data programme has recently sponsored a number of infrastructure initiatives; from the funders' perspective, many institutions have now embarked on a three year programme of transition to achieve research data readiness as defined by the nine EPSRC expectations; and the DCC's own series of targeted institutional engagements has identified significant opportunities for improving infrastructure that will support and enhance the research process. Other socio-technical advances bringing influence to bear on data management practice are legion.
RDMF9, the last Research Data Management Forum to be held before the end of the DCC's third phase, will consider not only the technology solutions that are being offered but also the policies and players who are shaping them.
DPC AGM and Digital Preservation Awards Ceremony
3 December 2012
The Annual General Meeting of the Digital Preservation Coalition will take place at the Wellcome Library, Euston Road, London on the 3rd of December 2012. This will be followed in the evening by the Digital Preservation Awards Ceremony. Four awards will presented this year to mark the DPC's 10th anniversary.
Data Seal of Approval Conference
10 December 2012
The Data Seal of Approval is an initiative to provide basic certification to data repositories. Receiving the DSA signifies that data are being safeguarded in compliance with community standards and will remain accessible into the future. The DSA and its quality guidelines are of interest to researchers, organizations that archive data, and users of the data.
Conference topics will include:
- Information on the Data Seal of Approval, including how to apply for the DSA
- An overview of the European Framework for Audit and Certification of Digital Repositories
- Case studies
Trusted Digital Repositories and Trusted Professionals
11-12 December 2012
Following the success of previous conferences, Fondazione Rinascimento Digitale is delighted to announce the 3rd edition of the “CULTURAL HERITAGE on line - Trusted Digital Repositories and Trusted Professionals” Conference (http://www.rinascimento-digitale.it/conference2012 ) that will be held on 11-12 December 2012 in Florence, with a rich program of specialised events and tutorials. This year the focus is on competences and skills necessary to manage trusted digital repositories. In particular the following topics will be investigated:
- how to preserve digital contents in a trusted digital repository
- how to understand cultural heritage and digital humanities specific requirements
- long term preservation policies for trust and sustainability
- the role of standards and the importance of cooperation among user communities
- user needs for training and re-skilling of professionals in cultural institutions
- a focus on the Italian policy framework for the cultural and scientific heritage
8th International Digital Curation Conference
14 - 16 January 2013
IDCC brings together those who create and manage data and information, those who use it and those who research and teach about curation processes. Our view of ‘data’ is a broad one – video games and virtual worlds are of just as much interest as data from laboratory instruments or field observation. Whether the information originates in the arts, humanities, social or experimental sciences the issues faced are cross-disciplinary. Digital curators maintain, preserve, and add value to digital information throughout its life, reducing threats to its long-term value, mitigating the risk of digital obsolescence, and enhancing the potential for reuse for all purposes. If you are a curator, if you teach or train future curators, or if you depend on them for your work, IDCC is for you.
The 8th International Digital Curation Conference (IDCC13) will be held in Amsterdam at the Mövenpick Hotel Amsterdam City Centre and IDCC will be organised by the Digital Curation Centre, UK in partnership with the Coalition for Networked Information (CNI). There will be a programme of pre-conference workshops on Monday 14 January and the main conference will run from 15-16 January 2013
For more information on any of the items below, please visit the DCC website at http://www.dcc.ac.uk.
DPC are offering scholarships to the UK Data Archive’s annual 'How to set up and run a data service' training event in Colchester in November. ‘How to set up and run a data service: the challenges of social science data’ is a once-a-year opportunity to go behind the scenes and learn first-hand from specialists at the UK Data Archive. Over one and a half days, participants will learn about the strategies and practices used in the Archive's daily work, with a focus on storing and sharing social science data, including microdata, aggregate, qualitative and historical data. The UK Data Archive has over 40 years of experience in selecting, ingesting, curating and providing access to data. Attendance normally costs 250GBP per person. However, the Digital Preservation Coalition is pleased to offer two fully funded scholarships which meet the costs of the course. Applications are welcomed from DPC members and associates. The scholarship covers all tuition fees, course materials, access to online resources, lunch and refreshments. Travel, accommodation and subsistence are not funded.
ANDS webinar by Margaret Henty on "Ethics and data"
The Australian National Data Service (ANDS) have made a recording of this webinar available via the ANDS website and the ANDS vimeo channel. The slides are also available via our website.
Research Information and Digital Literacies Coalition (RIDLs) established
Getting the importance of information literacy recognised by everyone with a stake in higher education research: that is the aim of a new initiative that brings together different partners from the academic world. The Research Information and Digital Literacies Coalition (RIDLs) was established in July 2012 to promote the value of information and digital literacies for academic researchers; and to enable activities which help to advance relevant knowledge, understanding and skills.
Slides from IKSO event now available
The slides form IKSO’s “I think, therefore I classify” seminar are now available for download.
Cloud Computing and the Law Webcast now available
This webcast examined the legal challenges for colleges and universities that are using or considering using cloud computing services.
Open Exeter project report on Data Asset Framework survey
Members of the list may be interested in the Open Exeter (funded under the JISC Managing Research Data Programme) project report on a recent Data Asset Framework (DAF) survey. The survey was adapted from the Data Curation Centre’s Data Asset Framework methodology, and comprised an online questionnaire and a series of follow up interviews. The survey aimed to gather information about research data management practice and attitudes to Open Access across the University: how researchers created data, where they stored their data, whether they backed up their data and what happened to their data when the project was finished. As with similar surveys conducted by other HEIs the survey was open to PGR students as well as academic staff. The survey attracted 284 responses and follow up interviews have been conducted with over 60 academics and professional services staff both within the University’s central services and individual colleges.
LoC Digital Preservation newlsetter
The August 2012 Library of Congress Digital Preservation Newsletter is now available.
PrePARe project outputs now available
The PrePARe project team is pleased to announced that the PrePARe project is now finalised and the outputs are available. It was funded under the JISC Digital Infrastructure Programme – Digital Preservation Strand and was led and executed by Cambridge University Library. The aim was to improve the digital preservation and information management skills of the academic community at the University of Cambridge.
Wiley Moves Towards Broader Open Access Licence
John Wiley & Sons, Inc. recently announced revised licensing arrangements for proprietary journals published under the Wiley Open Access program. The journals will adopt the Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) licence which allows commercial use of published articles. The Wiley Open Access portfolio also includes journals published with society partners, many of which will similarly transfer to the Creative Commons Attribution licence. Wiley is responding to recent developments in funder and government policies and supports the sustainable evolution of scientific publishing.
New publication: Aligning National Approaches to Digital Preservation, edited by Nancy McGovern
On May 23-25 2011, more than 125 delegates from more than 20 countries gathered in Tallinn, Estonia, for the Aligning National Approaches to Digital Preservation conference. A new publication which contains a collection of peer-reviewed essays that were developed by conference panels and attendees in the months following the conference is now available. Rather than simply chronicling the event, the volume deliberately broadens and deepens its impact by reflecting on the ANADP presentations and conversations and establishing a set of starting points for building a greater alignment across digital preservation initiatives. Above all, it highlights the need for strategic international collaborations to support the preservation of our collective cultural memory.
APARSEN project newsletter available
The APARSEN project involves a very broad set of organisations from academia, research laboratories, major national libraries, national membership organisations and industry. We seek to develop a common vision for the research agenda for digital preservation and to create a Virtual Centre of Excellence in digital preservation.
The JISC-funded MaRDI-Gross project (Managing Research Data INfrastructures for Big Science) supports big-science projects in developing suitable Data Management and Preservation (DMP) plans for the data they generate. The project team have produced a v1.0 report, intended to act as an ‘intellectual toolkit’ for individuals or groups who are developing a DMP plan for a large-scale project, but which should be of interest to others with large-scale data-management concerns.
Job vacancies with DPC members and associated organisations
Digital Preservation Analyst, Archives New Zealand
Location: Wellington, New Zealand
Position Type: Permanent, Full Time
Salary:NZ$81,051 - NZ$109,658m
Closing Date: 7/9/2012
For more information and a job description please go to: http://www.bfound.net/detail.aspx?jobId=108628&CoId=164&rq=6
What's What - Editorial - One Small Step
William Kilbride, Executive Director, DPC
To a generation that celebrates naive celebrity, personal ambition and easy achievement, Neil Armstrong's life points in a very different direction. His achievements were astonishing at the time and they are still difficult to comprehend. Moreover his insistent self-deprecation is a master-class in humility. The Apollo 11 landing - a 'stick and rudder' descent with dwindling fuel and no landing site - remains the plucky-deed par excellence, the summa-cum-laudae of derring-do and the apogee of experimental aviation. It came to dominate his life and not always in a good way. The story goes that, during an open-top motorcade in downtown Manhattan, bundles of IBM punch cards were tossed from the 100th floor of an office block to the jubilant throng below. Instead of unwinding, this modern ticker-tape hurtled to earth like a ferocious little shower of meteors, battering the cadillacs and barely avoiding serious injury to the VIPs. Buzz and Neil were safer in Tranquility Base than on Earth.
Whatever else one thinks about Apollo, these were engineering accomplishments and they were approached as such. Armstrong was a 'White socks, pocket-protector nerdy engineer' and 'took substantial pride in the achievements of my profession'. The great mounds of component performance data, lunar reconnaissance surveys, geological analyses, cislunar navigational know-how and sheer operational geekery which resulted are first and foremost technological outputs for engineers and scientists. The great minds behind them had little time for the superstructures of politics, economy or culture in which they were wrapped.
It's probably why the public became so bored with Apollo so quickly. There was always a sort of vacuum between its practical but boring realities and popular imagination. Even at the time of the landings there were those who simply denied the truth evident in front of them. No matter how much evidence is presented, the persistent rumour, the persistent bete-noire of Apollo is that it never happened at all. Armstrong became inured to the belligerent letters denouncing him as a hoax and decrying the 'pack of lies and deceit' which he and his colleagues had perpetrated. For the long-suffering Armstrong patience and equanimity were the only response: 'There's always going to be that fringe element on every topic ... it will all pass in time'. Buzz grew so frustrated with the conspiracists that he punched a guy in the face live on telly.
It makes me wonder how much evidence you really need to build a convincing and coherent narrative. Put another way, if we can't persuade people of something as benign and well-documented as Apollo, what hope have we got for the stuff that really matters. What about climate change? Nuclear safety? Dolly the sheep? The sinking of the Belgrano? The fixing of LIBOR? The awarding of the World Cup 2018 to Russia? Take your pick.
Physicists observe that the past and the future are illusions to be taken on trust. The past by its very nature cannot be measured and cannot be managed and cannot be examined. We cannot cross-examine its inhabitants and we cannot map its geography. The modern record is always to some extent a contentious, fragmentary and lifeless proxy for a whole and dynamic reality. The histories which we impose on the past are always somewhat disputable, often contradictory and frequently reveal more about the predilections of historians than their absent subjects.
That’s all quite nihilistic and it periodically provokes outbursts of the trendy relativist kind. But the problem with historical relativism is that it needs to account for the record. The record creates the conditions for informed interpretation - hermeneutics if you will permit such jargon. It is methodological and invokes obscure expedients like Ockham's razor to discount wilder assertions and the false conclusions that are drawn from them. It confronts the wilder speculation and keeps us all sane.
But, in the digital age, the record is not as certain as it used to be. In fact it has the characteristic of being decidedly uncertain. In digital preservation this is mostly expressed as fears of obsolescence: but it's not just survival that matters, it's also authenticity.
Archaeologists call it context: the problem with metal detectors is that they haul things out of the ground without recording the specific stratigraphic context and thus all of its relationships to everything else. Museologists call it provenance: it's easy to fake an artwork: it's harder to put a story together about how you came to have it. Lawyers call it chain of custody: courts need to know that evidence has not been tampered with. Archivists call it authentication: that a document really is what it purports to be and has not been counterfeited.
In digital preservation, ‘trust’ is normally presented as a virtue of the repository. But that's not all the battle, in fact it's probably less than half the battle. There are really very few cases when a user needs to trust a repository: in precise terms they probably want to trust the digital resources and that's a different proposition. All those questions of certification, sustainability, preservation planning and staffing fade to grey while issues of authenticity and provenance come to life.
There is general recognition about the value of checksums for fixity checks and a few standards like BSI10008 which some agencies have to implement: but it is surprising that trust - ie authenticity and provenance of objects rather than the repositories - is not more often discussed. More accurately, there has been quite a lot of discussion in some quarters but there are relatively few working solutions. The CASPAR project offered an outline authenticity protocol while the InterPARES project, which approached preservation as an issue in lifecycle management, investigated the procedures and processes by which custody of documents is transferred. And this is not just a preservation concern. Records management standards like MoReq2010 are also relevant.
Much of the effort in the APARSEN network of excellence has been about 'trust'. You could be forgiven for confusing that with a focus on certification. In fact some of the more interesting research lately has looked again at these issues of provenance and authenticity. Silvio Salza and colleagues have provided a straightforward model for the lifecycle of digital objects and the various events in that lifecycle which could erode the authenticity of a digital resource. (http://www.alliancepermanentaccess.org/wp-content/plugins/download-monitor/download.php?id=D24.1+Report+on+Authenticity+and+Plan+for+Interoperable+Authenticity+Evaluation+System) They have also proposed a model 'authenticity evidence record' which helps track the history of a digital resource and thus give it a strong provenance.
It's hard to tell the extent to which this model is actually the solution that we need: I can imagine already the complaints that preservation metadata is already complicated and costly and it's certainly true that not every element proposed here will be needed in every circumstance. So the development and testing of a parallel authenticity protocol (including at UKDA) is almost as important. It moves from slightly abstruse theorising to actual practical implementation (http://www.alliancepermanentaccess.org/wp-content/uploads/downloads/2012/04/APARSEN-REP-D24_2-01-2_3.pdf) This has illustrated strengths weakness in the protocols and strengthened to some extent the practices of the repositories where they have been applied.
Why does this matter? It matters because it will be the antidote to wrathful conspiracists, chippy lawyers and post-modern obscurantists, not to mention the researchers and teachers who just want to know where evidence has come from and whether they can trust it. It matters because the photographs coming back from the Mars Curiosity lander look surprisingly like the desert of New Mexico. It matters because it is not just the quantity of evidence that makes a case, but the quality too. The quality of evidence can degrade quickly the further you get from the origin.
It matters because only twelve people have walked on the Moon. Last month we could ask nine of them about it. This month we can ask eight.