Presentation on theme: "1 Getting to Know the Score: Using the First 20 Years to Plan the Next Peter Burnhill & Alison Bayley director & deputy director, EDINA national data."— Presentation transcript:
1 Getting to Know the Score: Using the First 20 Years to Plan the Next Peter Burnhill & Alison Bayley director & deputy director, EDINA national data centre & Edinburgh University Data Library Ottawa, IASSIST 2003
2 “It was twenty years ago today...” Internationally: mainframes & magnetic tapes ruled, but Internet entering its modern age: , ftp; remote log-on; TCP/IP IBM PC newly out; MS-DOS version 2.0 ; Lotus 1-2-3, Wordstar, etc. UK: rise of JANET & multi-access (file-based) computing National (London & Manchester) & Regional Computing Centres (eg Edinburgh RCC); Government-backed ICL computers Edinburgh: Program Library Unit (PLU) had national role converted source code of ‘IBM mainframe’ software (eg SPSS) for ICL / VME wrote SASPAC, census data extraction software (in use for over 20 years)
3 “So may [we] introduce to you, the act you’ve known for all these years” Edinburgh University Data Library (EUDL)... ‘Data Library’ conceived in 1983 (Trevor Jones left for CACI)) researchers petitioned Library & PLU University-wide provision for large data files disk storage very expensive & file space strictly rationed Peter Burnhill, social statistician, appointed Manager in 1984 started with 1.5 fte staff: programmer & computing assistant (Audrey Stacey as”fifth Beatle”) Alison Bayley joined the Band as computer programmer in 1985
4 Factoids about the Band (EUDL) 3 piece band: statistician + programmer + librarian based on top of extensive computing infrastructure online disc files not magnetic tapes told to get external funding for development early holdings: censuses & big national surveys e.g. Population & Agricultural Census; the GHS & the LFS research data from Universities of Edinburgh, Glasgow & Strathclyde use UK Data Archive at Essex as clearinghouse datalib (1985) early version of online information about holdings & services custom-written hypertext system, available to all university mainframe users
5 “Sgt. Pepper taught the band to play …” “A Little Help from (Our) Friends” (ie IASSIST) 1985: first overseas gig in Amsterdam at IASSIST’85 Sue Dodd visits UK as Guest Singer ‘Towards the development of data libraries in the UK’ (NSF/ESRC) 1986: West Coast Tour UC Berkeley, Stanford, Seatle, UCB Vancouver (Liane Ruus) 1989: metadata gig at Statistics Canada & 1990 ‘Learneds’ 1991: played Moscow (with Laura Guy) before Paul “Back in the USSR” 1993: IASSIST plays Edinburgh in 1993
6 Branching out into Jazz/Rock Fusion - preparing for the ‘digital library’ Many projects & services during 1980s & early 1990s ‘bridging conceptual gap between Library & Computing Services’ DATAC, SASPAC & CSO software development RAPID online database linking research activity to published ‘outputs’ (1988/1997) monographs & journals, software, datasets & learning materials SALSER 'virtual' catalogue of serials in Scotland’s university libraries (1992/94 -) SCIMMS web-based access to information on manuscript collections in University (1994) ‘Numbers, pictures, words & sounds: priorities for the 1990s’ (IASSIST 1990, in Poughkepsie)
7 Sing Something Spatial / Finding Our Place Geographic information: particular focus from the beginning convert parish-based agricultural census data to grid square estimates contributed to 1986 BBC Domesday Disc (as did UKDA) visualisation of land use & population change (ICA Prize, 1991) ESRC Regional Research Laboratory for Scotland, GIS & large-scale data UKBORDERS digital boundary map data server, Developed first as part of ESRC research grant, then launched as service in 1994 part of ESRC/JISC 1991 Census Programme Laid foundation for later activity Digimap : web-based delivery of digital map data (AGI Prize, 2000)
8 “Can I tell you a secret?... Will you promise not to tell?” During first half of 1995, we considered breaking up the Band? AwayDay among 10 staff to review SWOT & derive stragegy strengths: could now be seen as preparation for role in ‘digital library’ movement weaknesses: was there a role, or has the world taken over? Data Library had become odd mix of services (local & national) & projects ‘Crowded House’ or “(Can’t get no) Satisfaction” Internationally, power of the desktop & emergence of World Wide Web, multimedia & client/server model In UK, rise of BIDS & MIDAS (MIMAS) as two datacentres, respectively for national online bibliographic & numeric dataset services Failure, at last hurdle, of bid to ESRC to become national resource centre
9 1995: Opportunity Knocks... Data Library designated as 3rd National Data Centre, July 1995 remit for provision of data services to the entire UK academic community mix of bibliographic (A & I) and geographic data services began recruiting to host more services critical mass of staff expertise & computing resource new ‘functional’ management structure EDINA launched on 25 January 1996 as National Data Centre Edinburgh Data & INformation Access; old poetic name for Edinburgh designated by the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) of UK funding bodies for higher, and now further, education
10 EDINA as National Ensemble... plays to staff & students in all universities and colleges in UK 42 fte staff, based in Edinburgh & St Helens College, Merseyside EDINA & MIMAS are both designated as UK National Data Centres service delivery of online services for all disciplines, inc social sciences collaborate, & required to compete for new service contracts now combine to meet needs of Learning & Teaching in further as well as higher education National Learning Network & JORUM (online repository for IMS-compliant learning materials) EDINA had made ‘numbers, pictures, words & sounds’ its priority via several ‘web-rooms’ on our new Web site
11 “ … it’s getting better all the time” strategic role for geographic data services, based round delivery of access to Ordnance Survey mapping via Digimap (2000 -) download of documentary films via Education Media OnLine (EMOL) Collaborative project activities, leading to contracts to provide ‘shared services’ for UK Common Information Environment eg National OpenURL Router; locate brokers for serials; Go-Geo Portal, Geo-Xwalk gazetteers; use of digital certificates for authentication Support Partner, in association with GBHGIS, to British Library for ‘Collect Britain/A Sense of Place’ New project, with Ex Libris, to set-up SUNCAT: union catalogue of serials for UK
12 Reforming the Town Band Town Band (3 fte staff) plays to University of Edinburgh don’t neglect your roots: ensure local remit Donald Morse first manager of the new Local Services team (now with Computing Services) Joan Fairgrieve University's first Data Librarian, 1996 Present Band line-up (library qualifications!!) Robin Rice imported from US (Madison) as Data Librarian, 1999 Stuart Macdonald (local talent show) as Assistant, 2001 Town Band can call on players from National Ensemble (EDINA) eg for computing infrastructure & delivery of GIS & Moving Picture services
13 What of the next twenty years? “Will you still be sending me a Valentine … Will you still need me, will you still feed me?” Just what does the future hold in the run-up to 2023? Let’s take the long view … “Imagine all the people …” Students & researchers, of uncertain age, sitting in corners of noisy canteen, trying to complete that overdue multimedia essay: fingers of eGlove tapping away; light reflecting on VideSpecs, doing what on the Internet? Fanciful, or conservative?
14 IASSI ST : Technology always moves on... personal mobile workstations: wear-ables even easier access to networks & to servers that can process / play / view / copy / amend / mix & more So, how will the need for Information Services persist? Should we promote access to evidence (data) for use in learning & teaching, as well as for research? Will the shape of library-like provision to remain for as long as we have a university? How can effort spent on preservation lead to better access? (How to position ourselves to meet the new e-Demands?)
15 eLearning & eScience will Virtual Learning Environments (VLEs) succeed, and how should we serve these new intermediaries? students demand online access to course materials, but will lecturers cope? how will VLEs be managed to ensure that they are robust and given priority? will the Grid & Internet2 succeed in their ambition, and will they have their own services? The social sciences identified ‘data sharing’ but will there be new procedures and practices imposed from the physical & life science?
16 will open archive, pre-print and e-print movements succeed? lessening dependence upon the appetites of commercial publishers, but demanding much of data publishing will scholars get speedy dissemination? backed by procedures that ensure enduring preservation and access BUT scholars, as authors, rarely make good publishers how should be assist researchers in make their stuff available in electronic form, as finished works, with supporting material need to look again at university infrastructure for ePublishing ePrints & Pre-Prints
17 Finally – a local twist We have a new University Principal, schooled in Informatics, who is promoting eLearning, eScience & widening participation We will report to a new Vice-Principal for Knowledge Management & Librarian to University (from Melbourne, Australia!!) So, when we return, for another AwayDay, we must prepare for change, holding on to core beliefs Edinburgh University will continue to endure and excel. the term “digital library” should include - rather than exclude - 'data' The Data Library adds value Our long-time involvement with IASSIST should help us, to find a future that allows us both to deliver good quality services, and continue to have fun.
18 Thank you “We hope that you’ve enjoyed the show … We’re sorry but it’s time to go”