RLG-OCLC Report “…an organization that has responsibility for the long-term maintenance of digital resources, as well as for making them available to communities agreed on by the depositor and the repository.” From: Attributes of a Trusted Digital Repository: Meeting the Needs of Research Resources. An RLG-OCLC Report. August Accessed on
Cliff Lynch’s definition… (Exec. Dir., Coalition for Networked Information) “… a set of services that a university offers to the members of its community for the management and dissemination of digital materials created by the institution and its community members. It is most essentially an organizational commitment to the stewardship of these digital materials, including long-term preservation where appropriate, as well as organization and access...”
From A Computer Science Viewpoint… …a central place where data is stored and maintained. From Webopedia.com (an online dictionary of computer science terminology)
Potentially university-wide, statewide, or national. Resources (funds, equipment, etc.) are shared. Digital content is made widely accessible: OAI compliant, federated searching, interoperability, metadata standards Repository initiative is centrally managed. Selected material: digital, unique. Digital content is preserved and administered to ensure longevity and continued access. These factors may vary from project to project…
Some Examples of Content… Digitally-born material and digitized material. Large data sets. Conference proceedings. Course materials. Student portfolios. Published and pre-published articles, research reports. E-journals. Digitized collections from archives. Unique images used in teaching and research. Theses and dissertations.
Possible Scenarios for a University-Wide Digital Repository Digital Preservation Advisory Services: Storage (server space) provided. Preservation support not provided. Metadata support not provided. Institution-wide preservation policies and procedures are put in place so that different depts. on campus can use them in order to maintain digital projects and collections on their own and on their own servers. Only advisement is given on metadata issues, storage and preservation issues. Related skills taught (in FDI sessions, for instance). Leave it up to individuals to preserve, describe and maintain scholarly material across campus. Digital Preservation Services: Storage (server space) is provided. Preservation support provided. Metadata support not provided, but advisory service and training (FDI?) provided. A server on which digital material is stored. Less emphasis is placed on powerful searching across repository "items" (which could be tiff's, xml files, html files, etc.) because of the complexity of creating a "union catalog" of such varied material for a wide diversity of needs. URL’s are designated. Could include databases but these would not be searchable via the software used to “browse” the repository items – would have to be searched exclusively (?). Preservation policies and procedures in place and preservation maintained on one server (reduces duplication of effort and ensures preservation of scholarly material across campus). Digital Preservation Services II: All the same as above, but with full metadata support. Designated staff to catalog digital material.
Related Concepts & Scenarios
“Digital Library” Concept This phrase is often used to describe a collection of digital resources/collections/objects. Usually there is a “hub” or portal that points to various digital collections. How is this different from a Digital Repository Concept? Usually no long-term preservation policies for digital material. Much of the material is not “digitally-born”. Collections are held on multiple servers. May or may not offer federated searching. Example: California Digital Library (CDL)
Metadata Harvesting/Middleware/Portal Technology that allows (federated) searching of digital collections, including resources normally associated with libraries (databases, e-journals, e-books). How is this different from a Digital Repository Concept? Just technology. No long-term preservation policies. Resources are held on multiple servers. Library resources-oriented, as opposed to university-based resources. Examples: Endeavor’s ENCompass University of Michigan, OAIster
Benefits Contributors Preservation of important and unique digital works. Unique digital files are centrally managed. Digital works are shared with a much wider community of users. Duplication of effort minimized. End Users Access to digital works via a single interface. Access to important and unique digital works not traditionally available. Access to pre-published material. University Represents the quality intellectual output of the university. Attract potential students, faculty, researchers and donors. Potential cost-savings. Preservation of digital material now being lost as faculty resign or retire, or as data is corrupted on local hard drives or disks.
Challenges Costs associated with ramp-up, implementation and ongoing management. Management of resources: the need for dedicated staff (systems, cataloging/metadata control, preservation, policy, etc.) How to choose content? How restrictive should the policies be? Collaborative, centralized effort. How to maintain interest, contribution and financial stability. Technology is constantly evolving: how to maintain standards and control costs.
Strategic Plans & Goals University Strategic Plan Research and Scholarship: 1] Increase the stature of Virginia Tech as a national research university in quality of research and scholarship Increase interdisciplinary research and scholarship. 1.2] Increase the quality, scope, and focus of research and scholarship to match characteristics of universities ranked Establish an electronic university press. University Libraries Strategic Plan Collections: Acquire, organize, and make available scholarly or scientific contributions originating at Virginia Tech.
Examples of Projects at VATech… United States History Online (History Dept. modules) Virtual Jamestown (currently hosted by UVA) Digital Library Network for Engineering and Technology: America Strikes Back: Critical Media Literacy in Times of War: Projects spawned within DLA: E-Journals/Scholarly Publishing: Electronic Theses and Dissertations: Faculty Archives: Imagebase: SARHC Digital Library:
Recent Developments…Just a Few Harvard Library Digital Initiative CDL, e-scholarship Repository Fedora, Cornell & UVA at MIT
Future Plans… Continue to meet with individuals and groups on campus. Collect information on related projects and initiatives on campus. Proof of need/interest. Symposium/Forum/Workshop: Spring 2004? Create a final report that makes a recommendation to either initiate a digital repository program or not. Will include a cost analysis, outlines of different possible scenarios.