Guest post by Gillian Oliver, co-author of Digital Curation, 2nd edition
As with any love story with a happy ending, a successful relationship with data will take effort and commitment. Here are five practical ways to ensure the course of true love runs smoothly:
1. Data by design
Unlike human relationships you can specify your ideal characteristics and so make sure you’re working from the best possible starting point. It’s never too early to begin design, project planning should incorporate awareness of data requirements from the perspectives of the stakeholders involved. If you need convincing, remember that up-front awareness and being proactive will greatly assist in reducing the overall costs involved in data curation. The types of features to think about are likely to include choices relating to open or proprietary file formats, metadata schema and workflows, naming conventions and storage requirements.
2. Learn from others
Learn from others. Don’t try to go it alone – there’s a wealth of experience out there and much of it is freely accessible to make use of. Here are just two examples of websites which can be mined for practical advice: The Digital Preservation Coalition contains many useful reports, especially the Technology Watch series. The Digital Curation Centre has an astonishing wealth of content, ranging from basic explanations of core definitions to very practical tools and guidance.
3. Don’t try to reinvent the wheel
This is further emphasising the point above, which can’t be repeated often enough. There are many standards available, such as the Open Archival Information System standard which provides ahigh level conceptual model for digital archives, or the Dublin Core schema for descriptive metadata. These standards have been developed by international and cross-disciplinary communities, and are subject to ongoing review.
4. Don’t be a loner, get out and socialise
There are plenty of opportunities to collaborate and work together with people grappling with the same problems which can only enrich your relationship with your data. Sharing your knowledge will help continue to build and grow the worldwide community of practice. Socialising can be face to face, if you’re fortunate enough to be able to take advantages of the many conferences, workshops and events that take place around the world, or online. The Open Preservation Foundation provides a central hub for tools, advice and knowledge exchange – particularly useful are the blogs which provide insight into current activities, both successes and failures.
5. Never give up
Good relationships can be established at a much later stage, unappreciated and unloved data need not be rejected if there are signs that there is potential for a fulfilling and positive future. But you will need specialist advice if you need to go down this track. BitCurator provides a gateway to digital forensics tools and methods in the cultural heritage context. Brown Dog is a project that seeks to bring the long tail of data into the light – the focus of their efforts is past and present uncurated data.
So, what are you waiting for? Love your data, starting today!
Gillian Oliver is Associate Professor at Monash University and the co-author of Digital Curation, 2nd edition (Facet 2016) and Records Management and Information Culture (Facet 2014), the co-editor of Engaging with Records and Archives (Facet 2016) and a Co-editor in Chief of the journal Archival Science.
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As Love Your Data Week continues, today we have made a new chapter from Managing Research Data available Open Access. The chapter, The lifecycle of data management by Sarah Higgins, is available to download here.
We will be releasing more Open Access chapters throughout the week and publishing blogposts from our authors. For a chance to win one of our research data management books, share a tweet about why you (or your institution) are participating in Love Your Data Week 2017 using #WhyILYD17. More details about the prize draw are available here.
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Facet Publishing have announced the release of Practical Ontologies for Information Professionals
David Stuart’s new book is the first accessible introduction and practical exploration of ontologies specifically written for library and information professionals.
More data and information are being created than ever before. Ontologies, formal representations of knowledge with rich semantic relationships, have become increasingly important in the context of today’s information overload and data deluge. The publishing and sharing of explicit explanations for a wide variety of concepts, in a machine readable format, has the power to both improve information retrieval and discover new knowledge. Information professionals are key users of and contributors to the development of new and increasingly useful ontologies.
Speaking about the book, David Stuart said, “Practical Ontologies for Information Professionals has three aims; firstly to demonstrate the importance of ontologies for knowledge discovery, secondly to show the important contribution information professionals can make to the development of ontologies, and finally to provide a practical introduction to the development of ontologies. The book covers the semantic web and existing ontologies including RDF, RDFS, SKOS and OWL 2 and shows you how to adopt, build and interrogate ontologies.”
David Stuart is an independent information professional and an honorary research fellow at the University of Wolverhampton, and was previously a research fellow at King’s College London and the University of Wolverhampton. He regularly publishes in peer-reviewed academic journals and professional journals on information science, metrics, and semantic web technologies, and in 2015 began writing a regular column for the journal Online Information Review called ‘Taming Metrics’. He has previously published Web Metrics for Library and Information Professionals (Facet Publishing, 2014) and Facilitating Access to the Web of Data (Facet Publishing, 2011).
Preserving our Heritage: Perspectives from antiquity to the digital age by Michele V Cloonan is the recipient of the 2016 Society of American Archivists’ Preservation Publication Award.
The book offers a unique compilation of key texts from a range of international contributors, charting the development of preservation from its origins to modern day practice and offers an overview of longevity, reversibility, enduring value and authenticity of information preservation.
The Awards Committee said “Preserving Our Heritage is undeniably a monumental achievement and a welcome contribution to the bookshelves of preservation professionals everywhere”.
Established in 1993, the SAA Preservation Publication Award recognises and acknowledges the author or editor of an outstanding published work related to archives preservation and, through this acknowledgement, encourages outstanding achievement by others.
Facet Publishing have announced the publication of Managing Digital Cultural Objects: Analysis, discovery and retrieval edited by Allen Foster and Pauline Rafferty both at Aberystwyth University.
The book explores the analysis and interpretation, discovery and retrieval of a variety of non-textual objects, including image, music and moving image.
Bringing together chapters written by leading experts in the field, the first part of this book provides an overview of the theoretical and academic aspects of digital cultural documentation and considers both technical and strategic issues relating to cultural heritage projects, digital asset management and sustainability. The second part includes contributions from practitioners in the field focusing on case studies from libraries, archives and museums. While the third and final part considers social networking and digital cultural objects.
Managing Digital Cultural Objects: Analysis, discovery and retrieval draws from disciplines including information retrieval, library and information science (LIS), digital preservation, digital humanities, cultural theory, digital media studies and art history. It’s argued that this multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary approach is both necessary and useful in the age of the ubiquitous and mobile web.
Key topics covered include:
- Managing, searching and finding digital cultural objects
- Data modelling for analysis, discovery and retrieval
- Social media data as a historical source
- Visual digital humanities
- Digital preservation of audio content
- Photos on social networking sites
- Searching and creating affinities in web music collections
- Film retrieval on the web.
The book will provide inspiration for students seeking to develop creative and innovative research projects at Masters and PhD levels and will be essential reading for those studying digital cultural object management. Equally, it should serve practitioners in the field who wish to create and develop innovative, creative and exciting projects in the future.
About the editors:
Allen Foster has a BA in Social History, a Master’s in Information Management and a PhD in Information Science. As Reader in Information Science, he has held various roles, including Head of Department for Information Studies, at Aberystwyth University. His research interest areas span the research process of Master’s and
PhD students, the development of models for information behaviour and serendipity, and user experience of information systems, creativity and information retrieval. He has guest edited for several journal special issues, is a regional editor for The Electronic Library and is a member of journal editorial boards, international panels and conference committees.
Dr Pauline Rafferty MA(Hons) MSc MCLIP is a Senior Lecturer and Director of Teaching and Learning at the Department of Information Studies, Aberystwyth University. She previously taught at the Department of Information Science, City University London, and in the School of Information Studies and Department of Media and Communication at the University of Central England, Birmingham.
Sarah Higgins, Aberystwyth University
Katrin Weller, GESIS Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences
Hannah Dee, Aberystwyth University
Lorna Hughes, University of Glasgow
Lloyd Roderick, Aberystwyth University
Alexander Brown, Aberystwyth University
Maureen Pennock, British Library
Michael Day, British Library
Will Prentice, British Library
Corinne Jörgensen, Florida State University (Emeritus)
Nicola Orio, University of Padua
Kathryn La Barre, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Rosa Ines de Novias Cordeiro, Federal Fluminense University, Rio de Janeiro
Useful as both a teaching text and day-to-day working guide, Digital Curation outlines the essential concepts and techniques that are crucial to preserving the longevity of digital resources.
In this revamped and expanded second edition, Gillian Oliver comprehensively revises Ross Harvey’s original text; widening the scope to address continuing developments in the strategies, technological approaches, and activities that are part of this rapidly changing field.
The key topics covered include:
- the scope and incentives of digital curation, detailing Digital Curation Centre’s (DCC) lifecycle model as well as the Data Curation Continuum
- key requirements for digital curation, from description and representation to planning and collaboration
- the value and utility of metadata
- considering the needs of producers and consumers when creating an appraisal and selection policy for digital objects
- the paradigm shift by institutions towards cloud computing and its impact on costs, storage, and other key aspects of digital curation
- the quality and security of data
- new and emerging data curation resources, including innovative digital repository software and digital forensics tools
- mechanisms for sharing and reusing data, with expanded sections on open access, open data, and open standards initiatives
- processes to ensure that data are preserved and remain usable over time.
The American Archivist said that the first edition was, “…clearly written, useful, and fascinating. If you are new to this subject or even if you think you know a lot about it already, this book will provide you with new insights.”This book will be essential reading for any information professional, records manager or archivist, who appraises, selects, organizes, or maintains digital resources and has responsibilities as a digital curator.
Cultural Heritage Information: Access and management, edited by G G Chowdhury and Ian Ruthven, the first book in the iResearch series, provides an overview of various challenges and contemporary research activities in cultural heritage information focusing particularly on the cultural heritage content types, their characteristic and digitization challenges; cultural heritage content organization and access issues; users and usability as well as various policy and sustainability issues associated with digital cultural heritage information systems and services.
The book contains eleven chapters that have been contributed by seventeen leading academics from six countries including; Melissa Terras, UCL; Paul Clough, University of Sheffield; Chris Alen Sula, Pratt Institute; Juliane Stiller, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin; Hussein Suleman, University of Cape Town and Ali Shiri, University of Alberta, Edmonton.
iResearch is a new academic series edited by G G Chowdhury, Professor in Information Science and Head of the Department of Mathematics and Information Science at Northumbria University. This peer-reviewed monograph series supports the vision of the iSchools and creates authoritative sources of information for research and scholarly activities in information studies. Each book in the series addresses a specific aspect or emerging topic of information studies and provides a state-of-the-art review of research in the chosen field and addresses the issues, challenges and progress of research and practice.
The series is overseen by an editorial board comprising; Peter Willett, University of Sheffield; Ian Ruthven, University of Strathclyde; Dorothy Williams, Robert Gordon University, Harry Bruce, University of Washington; Jonathan Furner, UCLA; Edie Rasmussen, University of British Columbia; Michael Seadle, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Fabio Crestani, University of Lugano; Schubert Foo, Nanyang Technological University and Shigeo Sugimoto, University of Tsukuba.
G G Chowdhury said, “I am excited with the launch of the iResearch series. I am very pleased to have an editorial advisory board that comprises experts from around the world in Information Science. I hope that Cultural Heritage Information and the future titles in the series will be able to address the growing market demand for monographs addressing different topical and emerging areas of research in Information.”
More info about the book: http://www.facetpublishing.co.uk/title.php?id=049306&category_code=603#.VO7_RPmsUew
More info about the series: http://www.facetpublishing.co.uk/category.php?category_code=603&series=y