Saturday, 5 January 2008

More posts on the 3rd Digital Curation Conference

Somewhat belatedly, I found a series of posts blogged during the 3rd International Digital Curation Conference in Washington last month by K-State Libraries Conference Reports (more than one individual). The posts included (with some highly selective personal choice extracts):

Digital Curation Conference: a general comment
"I just spent four days hearing over and over again, however, how thousands of scientists in many countries make use of the very same technologies used by your average teenager--namely, blogs, wikis, Facebooky things, etc.--to do essential work and collaborate with their peers. The head of Web publishing at the Nature Publishing Group, certainly no lightweight or frivolous organization, proudly states that they're creating social networking tools built directly on the Facebook model, and sees in blogging part of the future of scientific communication. Scientist after scientist stood up and showed how wikis and blogs are used for essential communication and collaboration, how some labs have gone nearly entirely over to a social collaborative model."
Digital Curation Conference: Surveying Bloggers' Perspectives
Digital Curation Conference: Sustaining Engineering Informatics
"[Joshua Lubell] then outlined the three access scenarios (the three Rs): reference, reuse, and rationale. The first is simply the ability to view and visualize the engineering data. Reuse is what it sounds like (STEP [ISO 10303] supports this), namely, taking the data and modifying or reengineering it. Rationale is the ability to display information such as construction history, design intent, etc., which go beyond the design itself. He compared this to the chess column in a newspaper, where, in addition to a snapshot of the board at some point in the game, you get a description of the moves required to reach that state. Loosely put, it's the set of 'why' questions that can arise from a design. STEP does not include this rationale piece, which is the point behind his work."

Digital Curation Conference: Moving Archival Practices Upstream
Digital Curation Conference: Day Two Keynote
"Carol Goble, U of Manchester

"[n.b.- This talk was the highlight of DCC for me. Rather than highlighting, again, only the challenges without really offering solutions, she showed concrete examples and tools, in pretty good detail.]"
Digital Curation Conference: Towards Distributed Infrastructures
Digital Curation Conference: Day One Closing Plenary
"Could it be that we are well enough funded to be too comfortable with our traditional roles? Rick Luce asked this question near the end of his first day closing keynote. Otherwise, his talk was a fairly standard review of what's going on and what needs to be done to solve some of the pressing issues, but this question struck me as unique. He's right, I think. Our funding is sufficient to continue operating much as we have for a long time; sure, making incremental changes, but never really taking the great leap forward to stop doing most of what we do now and really take on some major new challenges."

Digital Curation Conference: Sustainable Access to the Records of Science
"... liked to say Fedora, too, as did many people at the CNI meeting. Clearly, it's the flavor of the week, and I sensed a lot of uncertainty among library leaders at CNI who did not yet have a Fedora installation at their library. "We need to move to Fedora now" appears to be the current mantra. That's a bit amusing. Sure, Fedora is great, and can do many wonderful things, but so can a lot of other platforms and solutions, who were either popular way back when (2005, gasp) or have yet to gain traction but are on the horizon. What I've seen and heard in the last three days convinces me that my gut feeling about Fedora is not incorrect: if you have a crew of developers, it might work well for you, but if you lack the commitment to hire and hold such a crew, Fedora is not for you."
Digital Curation Conference: National Perspectives
"In something of an aside, [Rhys Francis] pointed out that computer science began 60 years ago, communications (in the network sense) about 15-20 years ago, and he thinks that something significant and as yet unnamed and vague happened about three years ago. He said we're now living in the data deluge, and in future decades we'll look back and have a name for what is happening now. For me, that's both an exciting and somewhat unsettling notion, since those working in these areas during periods of inception and definition tend to look rather silly to their successors (don't we laugh at the notion of typing catalog cards, after all?), only much later to be recognized for their efforts and innovations.

"In his opinion, there are four facets for collaboration: data, compute, interoperation, access. One must do all four, not one or two or three, which he noted is a key message to an audience largely consisting of data managers of one sort or another.

"One of his closing questions was whether data is actually infrastructure."
David Rosenthal was also at the conference, and was also taken with Carole Goble's day 2 keynote, as he noted in his blog:
"She's a great speaker, with a vivid turn of phrase, and you have to like a talk about science on the web in which a major example is, a shoe shopping site."
David was interested in Carole's myexperiment implementation, and his blog is worth reading for other insights into that. But I also liked this
"The emerging world of web services is the big challenge facing digital preservation. Her talk was a wonderful illustration both of why this is an important problem, in that much of reader's experience of the Web is already mediated by services, and why the barriers to doing so are almost insurmountable."
(I think "doing so" here means preserving the reader's experience in this environment.)


  1. Dear Chris

    You missed a very important link off your blog - I had to go all the way to David Rosenthal's blog to get the link to the VivalaDiva shoe site!

    Priorities, man, priorities!


  2. Sorry,

    I didn't realize the DCC was just a cover for aspirational cross dressers. Now I do, I feel more at home than ever.

    Sounds like it was a VERY good conference. Have done the rounds of (all?) the third part reports, and the wacking great ppts on the DDC site (you have heard of slideshare? Here's one preso, at another conference, which will interest you =

    Also made a note on Dan's blog which gets to the sustainability nut, of the scholarly problem with your fashion-conscious playmates' media.

    I know you may have felt a little disappointed with the initial non pick up of the forum. But that's three years ago, and you know how fashions change.

    With the MOU's you're signing, and the appearance of their foreign agents on the DCC forum, we might be in the situation now where the DCC and its semi-related communities will see the utility of providing one forum (a communications environment) for many domains, rather than having them do their own thing.

    Utility (computing) is something which even middle America is noticing.

    And while a forum might be a useful hub to aggregate asynchronous conversations, would you give some thought, while your Sustainable Digital Future mates are talking, to this.

    The sdsc do have a very big 'real time' tool which could do 'big time', what Skypecast is attempting. They have a new initiative called scivee, which is trying to design the front end of a TV station, while also putting it's (many communities') forums together.

    Do you think we might make an attempt at putting together a well designed comms hub (forums, blogs, etc) for these global communities, and 'back in' a real time network (of which a VoIP network is the first step, and a full blown AG multicast network, the last).

    It's getting very tiring, watching GROUPS of people trying to build comms hubs around National (institutional) domains. Just for a change can we try building ONE between your global group's members? If we get it right, maybe your communities of interest will follow.


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