Science and Industry

SMPTE announces 2015 Archival Technology Medal Award

The Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE) has announced that the 2015 Archival Technology Medal Award will be presented to James A. Lindner for his research into the JPEG-2000 format as a target preservation codec for moving image conservation. He also is cited for development of the SAMMA workflow and systems for digitizing videotape. For further information and details of other award recipients see the SMPTE press release.

20 years in DP: eScience and Digital Preservation 2004

eScience and Digital Preservation, presentation to Association for Information Science and Technology (ASIST) conference November 2004, Rhode Island USA, available now on Slideshare is the sixth of 12 presentations I’ve selected to mark 20 years in Digital Preservation. The remainder will be published at monthly intervals over 2015.

It is closely related to the previous slideshare for May on the Jisc continuing access and digital preservation strategy but focuses just on the science component.

This is one I wasn’t able to present in person but it was kindly delivered by Gail Hodge.

My brief for the presentation was “thoughts or citations you have for the impact of e-science, particularly the GRID, on information management, particularly archiving, preservation and long-term access.”

It is a short presentation of 15 slides covering collection-based science, the Grid, data publishing, and the background and rationale for the Digital Curation Centre (just launched two weeks before in the UK).

It is a snapshot in time and of key issues in 2004 – interesting to contrast with what one would write 10 years on and ponder on progress made.

Digital Preservation of e-journals and e-prints, presentation at 1st iPRES conference, Beijing China 2004

Digital Preservation of e-journals and e-prints presentation 1st iPRES conference Beijing China2004 available now on Slideshare is the fourth of 12 presentations I’ve selected to mark 20 years in Digital Preservation. The remainder will be published at monthly intervals over 2015.

This is one of the four presentations I gave as part of the very first iPRES conference at the Chinese National Academy of Sciences in July 2004.

iPRES was conceived in 2004 by the Chinese Academy of Science and Electronic Information for Libraries, as a forum to exchange ideas and expertise in digital preservation between China and Europe. Since then, it has expanded to attract delegates from around the world. For me it was a great founding conference with wonderful hospitality: there can be few better places in the world to visit if you like archaeology, culture and food.

I have chosen the e-journals preservation presentation from the conference as it is a thread of work that I have returned to many times over the last decade (including a DPC Technology Watch report in 2013).

It was also the most intriguing, as I gave an additional invited private seminar on the topic of preservation and continuing access for international STM e-journals to Chinese colleagues during the conference. At the time tensions were rising over Taiwan: it was probably the only time I sensed digital preservation was felt to be (and probably could be funded as) a national security issue….

 

2014 Archival Technology Medal Awarded to Neil Beagrie

 

Press Release Date 30/10/2014

Award of the 2014 SMPTE Archival Technology Medal to Neil Beagrie

At a ceremony in Hollywood on 23 October 2014, the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers® (SMPTE®) awarded the 2014 Archival Technology Medal to Neil Beagrie in recognition of his long-term contributions to the research and implementation of strategies and solutions for digital preservation.

The full citation for the award reads “Mr. Beagrie played a key role in the development of a collaborative approach to the study and dissemination of knowledge relating to Digital Preservation, Research Data Management, Digital Curation and Data Archives.  He was responsible for establishing the Digital Preservation Coalition, with major members from industry, national libraries, broadcasters and archives. In addition, he was responsible for establishing the digital preservation program within Jisc.  This program helped to create the Digital Curation Centre, which seeks to actively manage, preserve, and curate digital data throughout the research lifecycle.”

William Kilbride, Executive Director of the Digital Preservation Coalition said: “‘I am delighted to hear that Neil’s work is being recognised with this well-deserved accolade.  He is highly regarded among colleagues in the UK and internationally for his calm, approachable manner, his clear advice, and the high standards he sets.  These virtues are woven into the fabric of the Digital Preservation Coalition, an organisation which he helped create.  I extend congratulations on behalf of all of the DPC’s members and staff, and we are honoured that DPC should be associated with this award.”

Rachel Bruce, Deputy Chief Innovation Officer, from Jisc added: “This award is recognition not only of Neil’s enormous contribution to digital preservation over the years but also the work he has done to clarify and explain aspects of managing research data. This has focused particularly on economic perspectives with the ‘Keeping Research Data Safe’ phases of work and more recently with an influential series of reports on the value of data centres. We are delighted that SMPTE has honoured Neil in this way, it is very much deserved, and we are pleased that some of the initiatives that Jisc has established, such as the digital preservation coalition and our research data programmes and services, are acknowledged as globally valuable.”

The SMPTE is the worldwide leader in motion-imaging standards and education for the communications, media, entertainment, and technology industries.

The SMPTE Archival Technology medal recognizes significant technical advancements or contributions related to the invention or development of technology, techniques, workflows, or infrastructure for the long-term storage, archive, or preservation of media content essence.

Pervasive, fluid and fragile: digital data is a defining feature of our age. The creative industries, Government, research and education, health, the heritage sector, and private life depend on digital materials to satisfy ubiquitous information needs. Digital preservation is an issue which all organisations and individuals will need to address. The 2014 award can also be viewed as a reflection of:

  • the growing importance of digital preservation to major industries such as film and television as their content is dominated by digital; and
  • the profile that digital preservation and research data management in the UK has achieved internationally in the last decade and the impact of the UK Digital Preservation Coalition and Jisc innovation programmes.

Others recognised by the SMPTE at the 2014 Honors & Awards Ceremony included George Lucas and John Logie Baird.

Further information

Neil Beagrie is Director of Consulting at Charles Beagrie Limited (www.beagrie.com), an independent consultancy company based in Salisbury, Wiltshire, UK, specialising in the digital archive, library, science and research sectors.

Charles Beagrie Limited email: info@beagrie.com ; telephone +44 (0)1722 338482

William Kilbride, Digital Preservation Coalition (www.dpconline.org) email: William@dpconline.org ; telephone +44 (0)7967128632

A low, medium, and high resolution version of the photograph of the award at the SMPTE 2014 Honors and Awards Dinner and Ceremony is available for editorial use only at https://www.flickr.com/photos/smpte/15650350081/in/set-72157648600445387 . The Editorial Use Only license means that the images cannot be used for commercial advertising purposes. An Editorial Use Only image can be used: in a newspaper or magazine article; on a blog or website for descriptive purposes; or in a non-commercial presentation.

SMPTE 2014 Honours and Awards Press Release – https://www.smpte.org/2014honors_awards

Science and Innovation: ESDS Impact study is 1 of 3 Stand-Out Studies Internationally

Our ESDS Impact Study was selected in a recent BIS report as one of just three studies internationally considered to “stand out as being particularly good examples of good practice in the measurement of economic impacts”.

In case readers haven’t seen it (or like us have a large “to read pile”), we are flagging up the “Big Science and Innovation” report undertaken for the UK Government Department of Business Innovation and Skills (BIS) that was published in October last year (Technopolis 2013 https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/big-science-and-innovation–2 ).

The report presents the findings of a study to explore the impact of large research facilities on innovation and the economy. It is a reference document, providing advice about approaches to the evaluation of innovation outcomes alongside a review and bibliography of around 100 past evaluations internationally.

The report mentions our impact study of the Economic and Social Data Service (ESDS) for the ESRC on pages 31-32, 36, 37 and appendix E on p87. They discuss our strengths and weaknesses on p91 (note our Archaeology Data Service and British Atmospheric Data Centre impact studies were underway but had not reported when this report was being written). They noted the element of the counter factual in our approaches (the only study they found to do so), but do not really mention that we did address the issue of representativeness through weighting the results, and had innovation impacts (highly and implicitly) in the return on investment model.

They identified 18 published reports that had measured the economic benefits made possible by specific research infrastructures, and which they considered to be of sufficient quality to be instructive to BIS and colleagues. John and I were very pleased to be selected and highlighted to BIS as one of just three studies which they considered to stand out as being particularly good examples of good practice in the measurement of economic impacts from all the international studies they reviewed. The three good practice studies were:

  • The economic impact study for the Berkeley Lab (by CBRE Consulting, 2010)
  • The study of the economic impact of the Human Genome Project (by Battelle Technology Partnership Practice, 2011)
  • The economic impact evaluation of the Economic and Social Data Service (carried out by Charles Beagrie Ltd and The Centre for Strategic Economic Studies (CSES) University of Victoria, 2012)

On completion of the ESDS, ADS and BADC impact studies, we authored a synthesis to summarise and reflect on the combined findings. This was published by Jisc earlier this year see The Value and Impact of Data Sharing and Curation: A synthesis of three recent studies of UK research data centres. If you are interested in our ESDS impact study and the methods, issues, and findings, we would recommend the synthesis for a short overview and summary of our work. Alternatively, the full report of the ESDS study is available from the ESRC website.

Neil Beagrie and John Houghton

Science, Publishers and Libraries – The Future of the Article?

Last month I attended an excellent Academic Publishing in Europe 2014 conference in Berlin on the theme of “Redefining the Scientific Record: The Future of the Article, Big Data & Metrics” . Also notable was the inclusion for the first time at the conference, of a full session devoted to preservation of e-journals and the scientific record.

The preservation session on Permanent Access to the Record of Science was organised by Marcel Ras (Netherlands Coalition for Digital Preservation – NCDD) and the KB (the Dutch National Library). The Powerpoint presentations are now available with a blog post on the conference on the NCDD site. The presentations are overviews of the state of the art  and present the problem from the perspectives of different stakeholders:

The problem.  An introduction to Preservation, Trust and Continuing Access for e-Journals – from me – expanding on my recent DPC Tech Watch devoted to e-Journals

Ensuring access to the record of science: driving changes in the role of research libraries  – from Susan Reilly (LIBER)

The Publisher. Remaining Future-proof: Publishers and Digital Preservation – from Eefke Smit (STM Publishers)

The Archivist. Ensuring the Scholarly Record is kept safe: measured Progress with Serials – from Peter Burnhill (EDINA)

If you are interested in the other themes of the conference such as data publishing (I was!), a selection of the discussions were also video recorded and are available online here.

New Study Shows Availability of Research Data Declines Rapidly with Article Age

A Nature news item “Scientists losing data at a rapid rate“ reports and provides a valuable commentary on, a research article by Timothy Vines et al published today in Current Biology that looked at the availability of research data for Ecology articles over 2-22 years.

The researchers had requested data sets from a relatively homogenous set of 516 Ecology articles published between 2 and 22 years ago, and found that availability of the underlying data was strongly affected by article age. For papers where the authors gave the status of their data, the odds of a data set being extant fell by 17% per year over that period. Availability dropped to as little as 20% for research data from the early 1990s. In addition, the odds that they could find a working e-mail address for the first, last, or corresponding author fell by 7% per year.

Although solely focussed on Ecology, this is an interesting addition to a growing body of research on data sharing and availability, and to the case for archiving initiatives such as Dryad, Figshare, and institutional data repositories when no international or disciplinary archive exists.

Measuring the Value and Impact of Research Data Curation and Sharing

My colleague John Houghton gave an excellent 20 minute Presentation at the October 2013 Open Access Research Conference in Brisbane on recent studies conducted by Charles Beagrie Ltd and Victoria University covering the value and impact of sharing research data via three UK research data centres. I highly recommend it as an accessible, concise, overview. The video of the presentation is now available at https://vimeo.com/82043019

It summarises recent studies exploring the impact and value of the Economic and Social Data Service (ESDS), the Archaeology Data Service (ADS), and the British Atmospheric Data Centre (BADC). The aim of the studies was to both assess the costs, benefits, value and impacts of the data centres, and to test a range of economic methods in order to ascertain which methods might work across three very different fields, with very different data production and use practices, and very different user communities. The presentation focuses on the methods used and lessons learned, as well as the headline findings.

As blogged previously the three reports for the ESDS, ADS, and BADC are all available now as individual open-access publications. A short synthesis of all three reports is being published by Jisc in the New Year.

New study released: the Value and Impact of the British Atmospheric Data Centre (BADC)

Jisc in partnership with the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) have commissioned work by Neil Beagrie of Charles Beagrie Ltd and Professor John Houghton of Victoria University to examine the value and impact of the British Atmospheric Data Centre (BADC).  We are pleased to announce publication today of the study report.

The key findings

The study shows the benefits of integrating qualitative approaches exploring user perceptions and non-economic dimensions of value with quantitative economic approaches to measuring the value and impacts of research data services.

The measurable economic benefits of BADC substantially exceed its operational costs. A very significant increase in research efficiency was reported by users as a result of their using BADC data and services, estimated to be worth at least £10 million per annum.

The value of the increase in return on investment in data  resulting from the additional use facilitated by the BADC was estimated to be between £11 million and £34 million over thirty years (net present value) from one-year’s investment – effectively, a 4-fold to 12-fold return on investment in the BADC service.

The qualitative analysis also shows strong support for the BADC, with many users and depositors aware of the value of the services for them personally and for the wider user community.

For example, the user survey showed that 81% of the academic users who responded reported that BADC was very or extremely important for their academic research, and 53% of respondents reported that it would have a major or severe impact on their work if they could not access BADC data and services.

Surveyed depositors cited having the data preserved for the long-term and its dissemination being targeted to the academic community, as the most beneficial aspects of depositing data with the BADC, both rated as a high or very high benefit by around 76% of respondents.

The study report

The study report is available for download as a PDF file at: http://www.jisc.ac.uk/whatwedo/programmes/di_directions/strategicdirections/badc.aspx

The British Atmospheric Data Centre (BADC)
The BADC, based at the STFC Rutherford Appleton Laboratory in the UK, is the Natural Environment Research Council’s (NERC) Designated Data Centre for the Atmospheric Sciences. Its role is to assist UK atmospheric researchers to locate, access, and interpret atmospheric data and to ensure the long-term integrity of atmospheric data produced by NERC projects. There is also considerable interest from the international research community in BADC data holdings.

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.

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