Charles Beagrie Ltd

New ‘Preservation Metadata (Second Edition)’ Technology Watch Report released to DPC members

Charles Beagrie Ltd and the Digital Preservation Coalition (DPC) are delighted to announce the release of a preview version to DPC members of the latest in the series of DPC Technology Watch Reports, the Second Edition of ‘Preservation Metadata.’ Written by Brian Lavoie and Richard Gartner, and published in association with Charles Beagrie Ltd., this report focuses on new developments in preservation metadata since the last report, made possible by the emergence of PREMIS as a de facto international standard.

Specialists in the field of electronic information provision for digital preservation at OCLC Research and the Centre for E-Research at Kings College London, Brian and Richard pick up from the first edition of the report, telling us that ‘it is no exaggeration to assert that preservation metadata, and the PREMIS Data Dictionary in particular, have become part of best practice underpinning responsible long-term stewardship of digital materials.’

The report goes on to outline key implementation topics that have emerged since the publication of the PREMIS Data Dictionary, including community outreach, packaging, tools, PREMIS implementations in digital preservation systems and implementation resources.

The report is primarily intended for digital preservation practitioners interested in learning about the key developments in preservation metadata, especially as these developments concern the PREMIS Data Dictionary; and the report will also be of interest to anyone seeking to learn more about the general topic of preservation metadata.

Neil Beagrie, Director of Charles Beagrie Ltd praises the report, noting that “this is the 2nd edition of a deservedly popular DPC Technology Watch report first published in 2005. It has been extensively updated to reflect developments over the past eight years in preservation metadata practice. It is the first Tech Watch report to have a 2nd edition and the Editorial Report is committed to regularly reviewing the DPC reports list: both to commission work in new areas of interest to DPC members and the digital preservation community; and to identify further worthwhile revisions of existing technology watch reports.“

The DPC Technology Watch Reports identify, delineate, monitor and address topics that have a major bearing on ensuring our collected digital memory will be available tomorrow. They provide an advanced introduction in order to support those charged with ensuring a robust digital memory, and they are of general interest to a wide and international audience with interests in computing, information management, collections management and technology.

The reports are commissioned after consultation among DPC members about shared priorities and challenges; they are commissioned from experts; and they are thoroughly scrutinized by peers before being released. The authors are asked to provide reports that are informed, current, concise and balanced; that lower the barriers to participation in digital preservation; and that they are of wide utility. The reports are a distinctive and lasting contribution to the dissemination of good practice in digital preservation.

Preservation Metadata is  is the seventh report in the DPC technology watch series to have been commissioned with Charles Beagrie Ltd as series editors.

public release of guidance document Research Data Management and REF2014

The Research360 project is pleased to announce the public release of its guidance document Research Data Management and REF2014 prepared by staff at the University of Bath and Charles Beagrie Ltd. It is being disseminated and shared with the research community in Bath and other universities.

Many universities are still in the process of enhancing and formalising strategies for research data management at this time, so this paper may contribute to planning for future assessment exercises beyond REF2014, as well as business cases for further development of strategies and procedures for research data in research-intensive universities.

With the results from the REF determining institutional quality-related (QR) funding allocations (just over £1.3 billion in 2012/13), the research element of QR funding is one of the key funding streams for research in UK universities. Support for future assessment exercises is therefore a potential element in any business case for research data management.

The Research Data Management and REF2014 document can be downloaded in Word or PDF formats from: http://opus.bath.ac.uk/35518/.

The REF guidance document follows on from the previous release of the summary stakeholder benefits analysis (based on the KRDS Benefits Framework) from the Research Data Management business case for the University of Bath. The stakeholder benefits analysis is also still available separately to download in PDF format from http://opus.bath.ac.uk/32509.

The Research360 project is funded by Jisc and is developing the technical and human infrastructure for research data management at the University of Bath, as an exemplar research-intensive university.

Web-Archiving Report now publicly available

Charles Beagrie Ltd and the Digital Preservation Coalition are delighted to announce the public release of the latest DPC Technology Watch Report ‘Web Archiving’ by Maureen Pennock. This is the fifth report in the DPC technology watch series to have been commissioned with Charles Beagrie Ltd as series editors.

‘Web Archiving,’  presents a constructive study of the fast-paced digital age and the pressures we face in attempting to capture web based information for the future. Maureen’s report outlines some of the current issues faced by organisations engaged in this challenging occupation. “The speed at which the web has become part of everyday life is unprecedented…Yet the very speed at which it develops poses a threat to our digital cultural memory, of its technical legacy, evolution and our social history,” she explains.

‘Web Archiving’ advises on some of the technical approaches to web archiving and, crucially, provides valuable information on the resources available to support organisations tackling this ‘moving target.’

Abbey Potter of the US Library of Congress has endorsed the report on behalf of the International Internet Preservation Consortium’s saying. ‘This is an excellent introduction to the topic of web archiving.” The UK’s National Archives’ Amanda Spencer concurs, praising the report as covering “all the significant themes and issues relating to web archiving today.”

The report has been eagerly awaited by those responsible for managing the lifecycle of web content and wishing to broaden their knowledge of web archiving prior to embarking on or revising their own initiatives. It has also been well received by organisations or individuals who are new to web archiving, and existing practitioners are finding value in the report’s summative nature.

The not-for-profit Digital Preservation Coalition (DPC) is an advocate and catalyst for digital preservation. The coalition ensures its members can continue to deliver resilient long-term access to digital content and services through knowledge exchange, capacity building, assurance, advocacy and partnership. Its primary objective is raising awareness of the importance of the preservation of digital material and the attendant strategic, cultural and technological issues. The DPC Technology Watch Reports support this objective through an advanced introduction to topics that have a major bearing on its vision to ‘make our digital memory accessible today.

Web Archiving is the latest in the state of the art ‘Technology Watch Reports’ that give an advanced introduction to ensuring that high-value and vulnerable digital resources can be managed beyond the limits of technological obsolescence. Neil Beagrie of Charles Beagrie Ltd acts as managing editor of the series.

Maureen Pennock’s report ‘Web Archiving’ is available as a PDF from:  http://dx.doi.org/10.7207/twr13-01

 

New Report: Preserving Computer-Aided Design (CAD)

Charles Beagrie Ltd and the Digital Preservation Coalition are delighted to announce the release of the DPC members’ preview of the latest Technology Watch Report ‘Preserving Computer-Aided Design (CAD)’. This is the sixth report in the DPC technology watch series to have been commissioned with Charles Beagrie Ltd as series editors.

Written by Alex Ball, and published in association with Jisc’s Digital Curation Centre (DCC) and Charles Beagrie Ltd, this report provides a comprehensive overview of the development of CAD, the threat caused by its own innovative application and its vendors’ race to continuously upgrade; often leaving users with inaccessible versions and models.

A specialist in digital curation at the DCC and UKOLN at the University of Bath, Alex writes ‘CAD is an area of constant innovation…, resulting in CAD systems that are ephemeral and largely incompatible with each other.’ The report provides valuable insights into the key standards, techniques and technologies developed in an attempt to slow the seemingly inevitable obsolescence associated with native CAD formats.

The report is primarily aimed at those responsible for archives and repositories with CAD content, but will also appeal to creators of CAD content who want to make their models more amenable to preservation.

‘I’m delighted to welcome this report to the series,’ commented William Kilbride of the DPC. ‘Although CAD plans and drawings are limited to specialist domains they are typically complex to maintain and of very high value. Moreover, because they tend to relate to buildings, places or products with long lifecycles their preservation is a pressing issue. Alex’s contribution to the series is eagerly anticipated.’

The report is available as a preview to DPC members: http://www.dpconline.org/component/docman/doc_download/844-preserving-cadpreviewapril2013

If you’re not yet a member of the DPC you can get a preview by joining at: http://www.dpconline.org/join-us

It will be released to the public in the second quarter of 2013.

Praise for DPC Technology Watch Reports

Four reports have now been released in the new series of DPC Technology Watch titles and it is great to see the high-level of interest and praise they are gathering.

The Library of Congress voted the DPC Technology Watch reports into its “Top Ten Digital Preservation Developments of 2012”.

Individual reports have also been gathering praise for example Digital Forensics (see blog reviews by Jose Padilla in The Signal and Barbara Sierman in Digital Preservation Seeds) and IPR and Digital Preservation (see Current Cites January 2013 edited by Ray Tennant).

Part of the aim of the new series and adding DOIs for the reports and an ISSN for the series was to encourage more citations and reviews and to introduce the reports to a wider audience.

Although they are “e-only” and published electronically as PDFs, they are peer-reviewed, free to download and accessible to all. I hope we can encourage more editors of relevant professional print journals as well electronic media to consider reviews of e-titles in the DPC Technology Watch reports and bring them to the attention of the widest possible audience.

Additional new titles in the series to be released in 2013 include: Web-archiving; Preservation Metadata (2nd edition); Preserving Computer-Aided Design (CAD); and Preservation, Trust and Continuing Access for e-journals.

Webinars on Keeping Research Data and the Challenges of Decade Level Data Access and Security

Readers of the blog may be interested in three webinars on different aspects of Keeping Research Data and the Challenges of Decade Level Data Access and Security that are being made available by Arkivum, a company  specialising in long-term archiving. Each webinar is around 30 minutes in length and particularly focussed on researchers and institutions in the UK.  I will be contributing an independent view to the second of these webinars on 4th February.

The opening webinar by Matthew Addis was on 14th January but it is being re-run at 13:00 GMT on Thursday 24 January so there is a chance for people to catch it again.  You can sign up for it at https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/1414848611823277056 .

I listened in to that opening Webinar and thought it did a really good job of addressing the issues in a very even-handed way. It focussed on exploring the landscape of retention and access for research data in UK higher education institutions from Funding Bodies such as MRC and ESPRC, and what the drivers are from Library, IT and Research groups for keeping research data and the challenges of decade level data security. The webinar also incorporated a short element on how Arkivum’s solutions offer a way of keeping valuable research data safe, secure and accessible over extended timescales.

The second webinar at 1pm (GMT) on 4th February involving myself and Matthew Addis will be on the topic of “Long-term data management: in-house or outsource”.

A third webinar in March will focus on the real costs of long-term archiving.

I have known Matthew for quite a few years and many readers may be aware of his work on digital preservation whilst at the University of Southampton IT Innovation Centre. He is now CTO at Arkivum.

Digital Forensics and Preservation – report now publicly available

We are pleased to announce the public release of ‘Digital Forensics and Preservation’ by Jeremy Leighton John– the latest in the popular DPC Technology Watch Report series.

‘Digital forensics is associated in many people’s minds primarily with criminal investigations’, explained the author, ‘but forensic methods have emerged as an essential source of tools and approaches for digital preservation, specifically for protecting and investigating evidence from the past.’

‘There are three basic principles in digital forensics: that the evidence is acquired without altering it; that this is demonstrably so; and that analysis is conducted in an accountable and repeatable way. Digital forensic processes, hardware and software have been designed to ensure compliance with these requirements.’

‘Forensic technologies allow archivists and curators to identify confidential content, establish a proper chain of custody, transfer data without changing it and detect forgeries and lost items. They can extract metadata and content, enable efficient indexing and searching, and facilitate the management of access.’

Cal Lee, an authority on digital forensics at the University of North Carolina welcomed the report. ‘Those who know Jeremy Leighton John’s work will not be surprised that he provides a great deal of food for thought in this report.  Jeremy has been a pioneer in the application of digital forensics to archival collections, and he has thought deeply about the implications of these activities.’

The report will be especially useful to those collecting and managing personal digital archives.  The diversity of objects and intricacy of their relationships make personal digital archives highly complex. Almost anything may appear in such an archive, from poet’s drafts, astronomer’s datasets, digital workings of mathematicians, and notes of political reformers. With their diverse content, organization and ancestry, personal digital archives are the epitome of unstructured information and serve as a test bed for refining preservation techniques more generally.

This is the fourth report in the DPC Technology Watch Series to have been commissioned with Charles Beagrie Ltd as series editors: recent titles have included Preserving Email, Preserving Digital Sound and Vision, and IPR for Digital Preservation.  Four more reports are in  development: Preservation, Trust and E-Journals; Preserving Computer Aided Design; Web Archiving; and Preservation Metadata.

The series editor has been supported by an Editorial Board drawn from DPC members and peer reviewers who have commented on the text prior to release.  The Editorial Board comprises William Kilbride (Chair), Neil Beagrie (Principal Investigator and Managing Editor for the series), Janet Delve (University of Portsmouth), Sarah Higgins (Archives and Records Association), Tim Keefe (Trinity College Dublin), Andrew McHugh (University of Glasgow), Dave Thompson (Wellcome Library).

The report is available online as a PDF file at: http://dx.doi.org/10.7207/twr12-03 .

Project Update: the Impact of the Archaeology Data Service: a study and methods for enhancing sustainability

We are now just over half-way through the project that commenced in February 2012 and will conclude in July 2013. We have successfully completed desk research and two surveys of ADS Users and Depositors respectively.

In November we held our community focus group and presentation of interim results at a workshop in York. The aims of the workshop were to seek stakeholder feedback on the emerging results, establish any change of perception of the ADS amongst participants as a result of the study, and seek their views on how the study results might be presented to the archaeological community and its funders.

Invitations were sent to a range of sector representatives and eleven delegates attended the workshop, of which four were from the Local Authority sector, three from National Authorities, one from Universities, one from the Commercial sector, one shared university/commercial sectors, and one from Publishing. It was an extremely valuable day and the feedback will help shape our final phase of dissemination of the study results and contribute to our final report.

We have recently made our project workshop presentation of interim/provisional findings from the study and our post-dissemination activity value perception report (a report of workshop participant feedback) available on the project webpage.

We are now working on the final weighting of the economic analysis with the aim of incorporating the latest results in presentations, posters and leaflets that can be presented and distributed at forthcoming events during 2013 including the International Digital Curation Conference, The World Archaeological Congress, and Computer Applications in Archaeology.

Stakeholder Benefits from Research Data Management: new document from Research360 project

We are pleased to announce that the JISC-funded Research360 Project has released the summary stakeholder benefits analysis (based on the KRDS Benefits Framework) from the Research Data Management business case for the University of Bath. The 4 page document is available to download in PDF format from opus.bath.ac.uk/32509

The benefits summary covers the following groups:

University Community

  • Academic Staff and Researchers
  • Students
  • Professional Services
  • Institution

External Partners

  • Industry and Commerce
  • Public and Voluntary Sectors
  • Government
  • Society

Industry and private sector partnerships alongside public sector and voluntary sector partnerships are key elements of many university research programmes. Frequently partners sharing their practice, results data and laboratory methodologies can lead to vital knowledge transfer activities, improved services and products, creation of spin-out companies and further investment in the Higher Education sector.

As part of the Research360 project at the University of Bath, we are examining the data management implications, challenges and benefits associated with Faculty-Industry and Faculty-Not-for-Profit research collaborations. As part of this work, we have developed the summary list of stakeholder benefits that can arise from research data management in these collaborations. This list is now being shared with other universities and their research partners. We hope the generic list can be used as a brain-storming tool and assist in articulating benefits for selected stakeholders from research data management. Users can sharpen these short generic expressions of benefits into more focused value propositions for specific stakeholder audiences as required. Those interested in applying KRDS benefits analysis for stakeholders in research data preservation and curation as well as research data management will also find it of interest.

The Research360 project is funded by JISC and the stakeholder analysis has been developed by Charles Beagrie Ltd and UKOLN at the University of Bath.

New Report – Digital Forensics and Preservation

We are pleased to announce that the Digital Preservation Coalition is offering its members a preview of the latest DPC Technology Watch Report ‘Digital Forensics and Preservation’ by Jeremy Leighton John of the British Library. This is the fourth report in the DPC technology watch series to have been commissioned with Charles Beagrie Ltd as series editors.

The report provides a broad overview of digital forensics with pointers to resources and tools that may benefit the preservation of digital cultural heritage. More specifically, the report focuses on the application of digital forensics to the curation of personal digital archives.

‘Digital forensics is associated in many people’s minds primarily with the investigation of crime. However, In recent years, digital forensics has also emerged as an essential source of tools and approaches for facilitating digital preservation, specifically for protecting and investigating evidence from the past,’ explained the author. ‘Institutional repositories and professionals with responsibilities for personal archives can benefit from using forensic tools and technique to address digital authenticity, accountability and accessibility.’

‘Forensic technology makes it possible to identify privacy issues, establish a chain of custody, employ write protection for capture and transfer of data, and detect forgeries. It can extract relevant metadata and content, it enables efficient indexing and searching, and it facilitates the management of access rights.’

Four more reports are in development – on Preservation, Trust and E-Journals; Preserving Computer Aided Design; Web Archiving; and Preservation Metadata.

The series editors have been supported by an Editorial Board drawn from DPC members and peer reviewers who have commented on the text prior to release. The Editorial Board comprises William Kilbride (Chair), Neil Beagrie (Principal Investigator and Managing Editor for the series), Janet Delve (University of Portsmouth), Sarah Higgins (Archives and Records Association), Tim Keefe (Trinity College Dublin), Andrew McHugh (University of Glasgow), and Dave Thompson (Wellcome Library).

The report is currently available as a preview for DPC members only and a login required. It will be available for general public release from the DPC website in Spring 2013.

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