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Published on February 20, 2008

Author: Savin


The Whys, Whats, Hows, and For Whoms of Web Archiving: Lessons from the Digital Library Research Agenda :  The Whys, Whats, Hows, and For Whoms of Web Archiving: Lessons from the Digital Library Research Agenda David Seaman Executive Director, Digital Library Federation The National Library of Australia, Canberra International Web Archiving Conference 11 November 2004 What is the Digital Library Federation?  What is the Digital Library Federation? 33 members – major academic and national libraries, including the British Library; 5 allies (CNI; RLG; OCLC; LANL; JISC) The Times Higher Education Supplement World University Rankings: 1) Harvard University 2) University of California, Berkeley 3) Massachusetts Institute of Technology 7) Stanford University 8) Yale University 9) Princeton University What is the Digital Library Federation?:  What is the Digital Library Federation? Created in 1996 by directors of US research libraries; fills a need not simply met by larger library organizations Focuses exclusively on Digital Library needs and strategies for large libraries Nimble, agile, collaborative Practical and strategic areas of activity Cluster of working groups and initiatives DLF Work -- background:  DLF Work -- background USER SERVICES Dimensions and use of the scholarly information environment IMS –repository/courseware integration Distributed single collection of our own material METADATA STANDARDS OAI-PMH (The Open Archives Initiative) METS (Metadata Transmission Standard) DLF Work -- background:  DLF Work -- background RESOURCE MANAGEMENT XML format for license content (ERMI) Registry of Digital Masters PRODUCTION Production benchmarks and good practices PRESERVATION NDIIPP Global Digital Format Registry Why: Finding Order in Chaos:  Why: Finding Order in Chaos New library disciplines still solidifying; new skills sets and work habits Non-library arbiters of access to scholarship Seismic events are routine and continuing: Mosaic; Google; eBay; PDA; wireless; blogs Strong sense of cultural mission and service Strong print-world analogs Clearer sense of the dangers and potentials How: The Collaboration Imperative:  How: The Collaboration Imperative Collaboration is raised from something that is good to do to an imperative survival skill Even for libraries (a more collaborative discipline than most), fundamental collaboration is really hard Shifting focus on where we compete onto services and local customization, not content. How: The Collaboration Imperative:  How: The Collaboration Imperative Deep reliance on others for core needs (SAKAI) and for mission-critical pieces of infrastructure (GDFR): a difficult emotional hurdle Greater focus on sites actively declaring themselves ready to be harvested (at the metadata level at least): OAI-PMH Digital Object packaging and management: METS What: Archives and Repositories:  What: Archives and Repositories Little real work on web archiving even of our own sites in the university library community Lots of focused collecting and production Growing sense of the user as amateur archivist, a hunter-gatherer of re-purposeable web content Strong interest in federating the repositories – coordinating a network of archives It is the repository more than the archive that has caught our attention Repositories:  Repositories “There is an growing interest in the more coordinated management and disclosure of digital assets of institutions — learning objects, data sets, e-prints, theses, dissertations and so on.” OCLC Environmental Scan, 2003. Not really demand-driven. Different disciplines react differently to the service and opportunities that repositories offer. Repositories:  Repositories The key issues are social and not technical: how to populate it; who gate-keeps it; how to build trust in it; how to advertise it? how to stop in becoming last year’s thing and the first thing that gets cut in lean times? How do you embed deep in an institution’s conscience a sense that archiving is a long-term pledge of persistence. Archiving as social promise:  Archiving as social promise Real danger of broken promises between institution and faculty. Core university question: how is the arrival of the Archive, Institutional Repository and Open Access tied in with changes in the faculty rewards system? How integrated into institution’s reflection of valuable and rewardable contributions? …And for Whom?:  …And for Whom? Users are simultaneously over-whelmed with the time it takes to find relevant information in a “data silo” landscape, and (outside the sciences) under-whelmed by the lack of good material in their particular discipline. TIME: 39% of all respondents (60% faculty) report insufficient time as their major problem [Dimensions and use] Persistent Identification (ARK; DOI; handles) Malleability:  Malleability Every publisher (and library production unit and web archive?) is an island; we produce silos of data that plays badly with others. A good silo is a lovely thing – but not sufficient always. The need to have content that encourages local re-organization and creation of services, and that permits “beyond browsing and searching” engagement by individual users Malleability:  Malleability Little ability to work with content or even metadata cross-publisher and cross-aggregator. Or cross-library. Digital couch potatoes versus rip/mix/burn: We invite our users to visit sites and watch content channels (TV); they want to sample, re-use and re-package as a personal library, a classroom presentation (the music mix). The user as personal archivist Using what tools?:  Using what tools? Chronic lack of tools of all sorts, with some bright spots Discovery ( Visualization of results (Grokker) Hunter gatherer (Berkeley’s Scholars Box) Personal Library on top of an archive or repository (NZ’s Greenstone) Annotation (Michigan State’s Matrix) DLF’s Distributed Open Digital Library:  DLF’s Distributed Open Digital Library DLF Strategic Goal New level of interdependence and deep sharing of master files Two-phase Finding System, initially OAI Digital Object Sharing or richer library services and better scholarship New infrastructure and data creation needs – what are the characteristics of sharable content? Closing:  Closing Need more dialogues of this nature between the research university libraries and the national libraries The transformation from isolation to integration is our central challenge and opportunity– with some enormous payoffs. Network the Archives. Libraries, at least, can demonstrate how to create “archive-friendly” content: use of formats; persistent names; harvestable metadata; clear use policies. Closing:  Closing Innovative users need malleable content with which to innovate: users want to enrich, re-shape, re-package, annotate, and contextualize the data once they have found it. At whatever scale and with whatever focus, if we don’t stay central to the web archiving and digital preservation fields, with all our accumulated skills and sense of mission, we fail the cultures we serve. Slide20:  David Seaman Executive Director, Digital Library Federation Council on Library and Information Resources 1755 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Suite 500 Washington, DC 20036, USA tel: 202-939-4762; fax: 202-939-4765 e-mail: web:

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