T A B L E O F C O N T E N T S
S E P T E M B E R / O C T O B E R 2 0 1 5
Volume 21, Number 9/10
E D I T O R I A L
Editorial by Laurence Lannom, Corporation for National Research Initiatives
A R T I C L E S
Success Criteria for the Development and Sustainable Operation of Virtual Research Environments
Article by Stefan Buddenbohm, Göttingen State and University Library; Heike Neuroth, University of Applied Science Potsdam; Harry Enke and Jochen Klar, Leibniz Institute for Astrophysics Potsdam; Matthias Hofmann, Robotics Research Institute, TU Dortmund University
Abstract: In many areas of research, virtual research environments (VREs) have become an essential part of modern research processes. The providers of VREs need to respond to this growing importance with functioning and efficient processes for the development, operation and quality assurance of VREs. We have developed a life-cycle model for VREs, which focuses in particular on the success-critical points for the transition to a VRE's sustainable operation. Furthermore, we discuss a set of success criteria that enables all involved in the VRE (operators, funding bodies, users) to identify which aspects will be relevant to their specific needs prior to the creation of a new VRE. In light of the heterogeneity of VREs, this set of criteria is supplemented in individual cases by discipline-specific criteria.
Enduring Access to Rich Media Content: Understanding Use and Usability Requirements
Article by Madeleine Casad, Oya Y. Rieger and Desiree Alexander, Cornell University Library
Abstract: Through an NEH-funded initiative, Cornell University Library is creating a technical, curatorial, and managerial framework for preserving access to complex born-digital new media objects. The Library's Rose Goldsen Archive of New Media Art provides the testbed for this project. This collection of complex interactive born-digital artworks are used by students, faculty, and artists from various disciplines. Interactive digital assets are far more complex to preserve and manage than single uniform digital media files. The preservation model developed will apply not merely to new media artworks, but to other rich digital media environments. This article describes the project's findings and discoveries, focusing on a user survey conducted with the aim of creating user profiles and use cases for born-digital assets like those in the testbed collection. The project's ultimate goal is to create a preservation and access practice grounded in thorough and practical understanding of the characteristics of digital objects and their access requirements, seen from the perspectives of collection curators and users alike. We discuss how the survey findings informed the development of an artist questionnaire to support creation of user-centric and cost-efficient preservation strategies. Although this project focuses on new media art, our methodologies and findings will inform other kinds of complex born-digital collections.
Enhancing the LOCKSS Digital Preservation Technology
Article by David S. H. Rosenthal, Daniel L. Vargas, Tom A. Lipkis and Claire T. Griffin, LOCKSS Program, Stanford University Libraries
Abstract: The LOCKSS Program develops and supports libraries using open source peer-to-peer digital preservation software. Although initial development and deployment was funded by grants including from NSF and the Mellon Foundation, grant funding is not a sustainable basis for long-term preservation. The LOCKSS Program runs the "Red Hat" model of free, open source software and paid support. From 2007 through 2012 the program was in the black with no grant funds at all. The demands of the "Red Hat" model make it hard to devote development resources to enhancements that don't address immediate user demands but are targeted at longer-term issues. After discussing this issue with the Mellon Foundation, the LOCKSS Program was awarded a grant to cover a specific set of infrastructure enhancements. It made significant functional and performance improvements to the LOCKSS software in the areas of ingest, preservation and dissemination. The LOCKSS Program's experience shows that the "Red Hat" model is a viable basis for long-term digital preservation, but that it may need to be supplemented by occasional small grants targeted at longer-term issues.
The Value of Flexibility on Long-term Value of Grant Funded Projects
Article by Lesley Parilla and Julia Blase, Smithsonian Institution
Abstract: The Field Book Project is an initiative to increase accessibility to field book content that documents natural history primary source documents that describe the events leading up to and including the collection of specimens or observations during field research. It is a partnership between Smithsonian Institution Archives, National Museum of Natural History, and Smithsonian Libraries. The Project began in 2010 with a grant from the Council for Library and Information Resources (CLIR) to identify, locate, and catalog field books across the Smithsonian Institution. Since then, the Project has cataloged more than 7,500 field books across 8 departments and divisions of the Institution. Field book catalog records were made available to the public for the first time in December 2012 on Smithsonian's Collection Search Center. The Project is now digitizing the cataloged field books which are available on Collections Search Center and Biodiversity Heritage Library.
Taking Control: Identifying Motivations for Migrating Library Digital Asset Management Systems
Article by Ayla Stein, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Santi Thompson, University of Houston Libraries
Abstract: This paper analyzes and discusses results from "Identifying Motivations for DAMS Migration: A Survey," which traces institutions' motivations for migrating from one DAMS to another. Using data from the survey, the researchers ask two questions: "What motivations prompted institutions to migrate from one DAMS to another?" and "In what directions are institutions moving?" The researchers find that respondents desire more local control over the library DAMS and, when faced with the decision to migrate, institutions are more often than not choosing open source software systems. The researchers conclude the paper by reviewing lessons learned from the research methodology and discussing future areas of exploration related to this study. The findings of this study can inform future DAMS selection and development.
The Future of Institutional Repositories at Small Academic Institutions: Analysis and Insights
Article by Mary Wu, Roger Williams University
Abstract: Institutional repositories (IRs) established at universities and academic libraries over a decade ago, large and small, have encountered challenges along the way in keeping faith with their original objective: to collect, preserve, and disseminate the intellectual output of an institution in digital form. While all institutional repositories have experienced the same obstacles relating to a lack of faculty participation, those at small universities face unique challenges. This article examines causes of low faculty contribution to IR content growth, particularly at small academic institutions. It also offers a first-hand account of building and developing an institutional repository at a small university. The article concludes by suggesting how institutional repositories at small academic institutions can thrive by focusing on classroom teaching and student experiential learning, strategic priorities of their parent institutions.
C O N F E R E N C E R E P O R T
The Sixth Annual 2015 VIVO Conference
Conference Report by Carol Minton Morris, DuraSpace
Abstract: The 2015 VIVO Conference was held in Boston, Massachusetts, August 11 - 14, 2015. It was an opportunity for stakeholders and interested community members to exchange information in many areas related to the theory and practice of what it means to "connect, share, and discover" with VIVO, an open source semantic web application.
N E W S & E V E N T S
In Brief: Short Items of Current Awareness
In the News: Recent Press Releases and Announcements
Clips & Pointers: Documents, Deadlines, Calls for Participation
Meetings, Conferences, Workshops: Calendar of Activities Associated with Digital Libraries Research and Technologies
F E A T U R E D D I G I T A L
C O L L E C T I O N
Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) is located in the heart of Richmond, Virginia. VCU Libraries' Digital Collections reflect the diverse Special Collections that span the University's two campuses; Tompkins-McCaw Library for the Health Sciences, and James Branch Cabell Library on the Monroe Park campus. These digital collections strive to preserve and make library resources widely available to scholars and researchers.
VCU's Digital Collections showcase one of the largest collections of comic arts, alternative newspapers, and zines in the United States. Historic and medical artifacts, rare books and periodicals, architecture and urban planning materials, and collections concerning civic engagement and social activism are also represented.
In addition to library collections, VCU's Digital Collections reflect collaborative digitization partnerships with local organizations. Richmond and Central Virginia area history is represented in several collaborative digital collections with local institutions such as The Valentine and Historic Richmond. Future digital projects will include a focus on items from the Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden and oral histories concerning segregation and Rosenwald schools in Goochland County, Virginia.
More than 25,000 images, documents, sound, and video are searchable and downloadable from the collections. Many audiovisual collections have complete transcriptions for use and search. Special digital projects for collections such as the Baist Atlas of Richmond, VA (1889) also include downloads of geospatial data and connect users to an interactive version of the atlas. The majority of Digital Collections are in the public domain or are free of copyright restrictions.
VCU Libraries' Digital Collections are part of several national collaborative digital projects and platforms, including the Digital Public Library of America, where VCU Libraries has shared content via participation in the University of Georgia Civil Rights Digital Library and the Association of Southeastern Research Libraries' Civil War in the American South projects. VCU is also a member of The Commons on Flickr, with the aim to increase access to publicly held photography and image collections worldwide.
D - L I B E D I T O R I A L S T A F F
Laurence Lannom, Editor-in-Chief
Allison Powell, Associate Editor
Catherine Rey, Managing Editor
Bonita Wilson, Contributing Editor