19 July 2012 | 11:00 - 16:30 Cambridge | Lucy Cavendish, University of Cambridge

Widely-distributed, highly-volatile and tightly-integrated data streams create a particular challenge for preservation. One could be forgiven for thinking that digital preservation was principally concerned with safeguarding of self-contained packets of information that may have interdependencies but which are so carefully tucked into stand-alone files that they have a sort of independence and autonomy which ensures their integrity. This has never been the case. Nonetheless recent developments in data presentation have shown the potential that can be gained from liberating data from clumsy format wrappers and enabling retrieval and integration of individual data points. The emerging 'Linked Data' approach enables new types of interaction with and between structured data and it challenges existing paradigms of data sharing. It also challenges us to think about preservation in new ways: it creates the potential for long chains of interdependencies and it means we need to think all the more carefully about provenance and authenticity. The question arises as to whether Linked Data will simply deliver a new generation of broken links – stifling the innovation it promises and creating the conditions for new and avoidable forms of disenfranchisement.

Simultaneously, the digital preservation community has put considerable effort into the development of persistent identifiers, services that seek to ensure that essential links are not lost and that the highly distributed contexts in which information is presented are protected against the vagaries of time and obsolescence.

This briefing day will introduce the topics of persistent identifiers and linked data, discussing the practical implications of both approaches to digital preservation. It will consider the viability of services that offer persistent identifiers and what these offer in the context of preservation; it will review recent developments in linked data, considering how such data sets might be preserved; and by introducing these two parallel topics it will go on to consider whether both approaches can feasibly be linked to create a new class of robust linked data. Based on commentary and case studies from leaders in the field, participants will be encouraged to consider practical implications for their own work and new directions for research and development in the field.

The day will include discussion of key topics such as:

  • Practical experiences in persistent identifiers
  • What is linked data and why it matters
  • How might linked data be preserved
  • Emerging trends in persistent identifiers
  • Metadata and linking

Who should come?

  • Collections managers, curators and archivists in all institutions
  • Data scientists interested in presenting, accessing and safeguarding linked data
  • Tools developers and policy makers in digital preservation and data science
  • Innovators, researchers and investors in information management
  • Innovators, researchers and funders in computing science and digital preservation
  • Vendors and providers of digital preservation and continuity of business services 

Provisional Programme (details subject to change)

1030 Registration and Coffee

1100 Welcome and introductions (William Kilbride, DPC)

1105 Persistent Identifiers and Digital Preservation (Elinor Robinson, London School of Economics) [PDF 769KB]

1135 Linked data case study (Alan Danskin, British Library) [PDF 3352KB]

1205 Case study: the DataCite service (Elizabeth Newbold, DataCite)[PDF 439KB]

1235 Q+A

1245 Lunch

1345 Pragmatic Linked Data (Chris Gutteridge, Southampton University) [PDF 1156KB]

1415 Emerging trends and new research in persistent identifiers (Maurizio Lunghi, Fondazione Rinascimento Digitale) [PDF 2262KB]

1445 Linked data and preservation metadata: emerging work at the BNF (Sébastien Peyrard, Bibliothèque nationale de France)[pdf 975KB]

1515 Coffee

1545 Panel discussion: persistend identifiers, linked data and digital preservation (Chair TBC)

1645 Wrap up and thanks (William Kilbride DPC)

By 1700 Close

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