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Assessment of UKDA and The National Archive (UK) Compliance with OAIS and METS Standards

Interesting report applying the Open Archival Information System (OAIS) model and the Metadata Encoding and Transmission Standard (METS) to the UK Data Archive; a very useful convergence of preservation strategies and articulation of what the model means for data and disciplinary focused digital repositories/archives.Email from the Digital Preservation Department at the UK National Archives:

 

In conjunction with the UK Data Archive, The National Archives have released a report comparing their preservation practices to the leading internationally recognised standard for digital archives. This provides a model for other organisations to test the compliance of their own systems.

 

Using the Open Archival Information System (OAIS) Reference Model the two organisations were able to compare their preservation practices within a common framework: an opportunity that was particularly timely because, in January 2005, the UKDA was appointed as a legal place of deposit for National Archive documents.

 

The OAIS reference model (ISO 14721) is the major international standard addressing the structure and operations of digital archive facilities. The Metadata Encoding and Transmission Standard (METS) is a schema for encoding descriptive, administrative, and structural metadata regarding objects within a digital library.

 

The assessment was carried out by the UKDA, The National Archives and the Estonian Business Archive, with a funding award from the Joint Information Systems Committee - under its Institutional Digital Preservation and Asset Management Programme.

 

Full story: http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/news/stories/79.htm

 

The report is available here: http://www.data-archive.ac.uk/news/publications.asp

 

Paper copies are available from the National Archives and from the UK Data Archive.

 

Contact: digital-archive@nationalarchives.gov.uk
or publicity@esds.ac.uk

 

For further information on Digital Preservation at the National Archives, please see: http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/preservation/digital.htm

 

Press Enquiries: Contact Stuart Brennan in The National Archives Press Office on 0208 8392 5277 or stuart.brennan@nationalarchives.gov.uk

 

Contributed by Ann Green

ICPSR to Participate in Project to Certify Digital Archives

ICPSR will be taking part in the RLG-NARA Digital Repository Certification project to identify the criteria repositories must meet for reliably storing, migrating, and providing access to digital collections.ICPSR has been selected to serve as a "test subject" in the Center for Research Libraries (CRL) project to develop an audit checklist for certification of trusted digital repositories. Funded by the Mellon Foundation, this project builds on the work of a Task Force consisting of members from the Research Libraries Group (RLG) and the U.S. National Archives and Research Administration (NARA). The Task Force is charged with developing criteria to identify digital repositories capable of reliably storing, migrating, and providing longterm access to digital collections.

RLG has released a draft of the "Audit Checklist for the Certification of Trusted Digital Repositories," which is available at http://www.rlg.org/en/page.php?Page_ID=20769. This represents the fifth generation of the RLG-NARA group’s work and provides best, current practice and thought about the organizational and technical infrastructure required for a digital repository to be considered trustworthy and capable of certification.

Leveraging the RLG-NARA audit tool, the CRL project will test audit criteria and metrics with three test subjects, including:

  • Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR)
  • Koninklijke Bibliotheek National Library of the Netherlands, which maintains the digital archive for Elsevier Science Direct Journals
  • Portico, an archive for electronic journals incubated within Ithaka Harbors, Inc.

Stanford's LOCKSS system will also participate in this effort, which runs through October 2006.

Comments on the draft are welcomed and are due before mid-January 2006 to Robin Dale, the RLG-NARA Task Force Co-chair and project manager: Robin.Dale@rlg.org (+1-650-691-2238).

Contributed by Ann Green

The Practice of User Registration to Access Data

The practice of requiring users to register prior to receiving permission to access data files is increasing among distributors of data. In a message posted on the IASSIST discussion list on September 8, 2005, Libbie Stephenson mentioned various forms of registration employed by data distributors. She has heard it argued that such practices have become barriers to data access and are increasing the cost of research. She asked the IASSIST community if anyone has evidence of registration practices actually increasing the cost of research, whether such costs are related to time, staff, hardware, software or some other aspect of research.

Papers from First E-Social-Science Conference Online

The papers from the first conference on e-social science, which was held in late June of 2005 in Manchester, England, are now online.

-Contributed by Jim Jacobs

Data versus Conventional Wisdom: A Book Review

Topic:

Freakonomics by Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner provides an economist's analysis of some social issues not normally associated with economics, such as, the causes of crime, the impact of parenting on child development, and the power of information in combating racial discrimination. more...

CODATA meeting notes

Notes from US National Committee for CODATA (Committee on Data for Science and Technology) meeting, July 13-14, 2005, with follow-on activities proposed for IASSIST member involvement

IASSIST Members Participate in Social Science Week

As part of the celebration of ESRC Social Science Week (June 20-24, 2005) in the UK, guest authors were invited to post articles on a blog dedicated to this event. Three IASSIST members (Alastair Allan, Robin Rice and Melanie Wright) contributed pieces about online access to data.

Report on Access to Scientific Research Data

The final report of the Canadian National Consultation on Access to Scientific Research Data has just been released containing eighteen recommendations to improve open access to research data in Canada. While some of these recommendations are unique to the Canadian context, others share a close relationship with the recommendations of the International Council for Science report, Scientific Data and Information.Supported by the National Research Council of Canada, a task force was established in June 2004 to provide advice about improving access to scientific research data. more...

Postmodern Values that Threaten National Data Archives

Following John Curtice's plenary address in Edinburgh about postmodernism and Session G3 on Transforming Data Archives, I wrote an essay outlining the threat that certain postmodern values pose for national data archives. This discussion summarizes this argument and proposes actions aligned with the IASSIST Strategic Plan to present a line of defense for data archives.

Discovering a Profession: the accidental data librarian

A session at the Edinburgh conference addressed a topic that arose earlier in the year on the IASSIST email discussion list about how people prepare and enter the profession of data librarianship. In general, is there a profession of data librarianship?An interesting question was presented on the IASSIST email discussion list earlier this year asking how one becomes a data librarian. Several people replied by relating personal accounts about their entry into this profession. Out of this discussion came the observation that many were 'accidental' data librarians, that is, they had not pursued a career as a data librarian but by happenstance discovered the profession.

This conversation was continued in a session at the Edinburgh conference: E4. Discovering a Profession: the accidental data librarian. Speaking in this session, Paul Bern (Syracuse University) questioned whether data librarianship qualifies as a real profession. He listed three attributes that W.M. Sullivan in Work and Integrity (2005) uses to characterize a profession:

  • a commitment to public service
  • public recognition of a degree of autonomy to regulate themselves
  • specialized training in a field of codified knowledge.

Paul noted that the first characteristic is one on which we clearly qualify as a profession. Data librarians are known for their dedication to public service. How data librarianship measures up to the next two characteristics, however, is debatable. This blog entry is dedicated to continuing this debate.

  • IASSIST Quarterly

    Publications Special issue: A pioneer data librarian
    Welcome to the special volume of the IASSIST Quarterly (IQ (37):1-4, 2013). This special issue started as exchange of ideas between Libbie Stephenson and Margaret Adams to collect

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    A space for IASSIST members to share professional resources useful to them in their daily work. Also the IASSIST Jobs Repository for an archive of data-related position descriptions. more...

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