Monthly Archives: December 2013

LoCloud Picking Up Steam!

The LoCloud project has been up and running for about six months now, and we’ve just finished a productive and enjoyable plenary meeting in London. The project is starting to take shape, with an ambitious agenda for content to be delivered to Europeana, along with an array of microservices under development, geared towards the needs of small to medium sized heritage organisations.

Each of the partners whose role in the project is national aggregator for their country, have now submitted their action plans. These aggregators have been responsible for identifying small to medium sized heritage organisations who may wish to make their digital holdings discoverable within Europeana. While many LoCloud partners will be focussed on museums, as the national aggragator for the UK, ADS will focus on the Historic Environment Records (HERs) and Sites and Monuments Records (SMRs), as it is a sector we know well. In addition, museums in the UK are being well served by the Europeana Inside project, led by the Collections Trust.

The microservices under development include tools for geolocation enrichment, metadata enrichment, alignment to controlled vocabularies in a variety of languages, work with historic place names, and the exploration of content aggregation though Wikimedia and crowd sourcing. The service gaining the most attention however, is the Lightweight Digital Library (LDL), primarily under development by the Poznań Supercomputing and Network Center (PSNC) in Poland. The LDL is meant to address the needs of smaller organisations, which typically lack internal IT support. It is meant to be an affordable and easy to use solution, allowing easy integration with the LoCloud infrastructure. An initial version is planned for release in July of 2014, with the final version due to be completed the following December.

Now that the planning is largely complete for LoCloud, the hard work really begins! Over the next year, the creation of the microservices will start in earnest, along with training for the national aggregators on using the core tools for mapping and enrichment of metadata, in preparation for making it discoverable within Europeana. Watch this space!

LoCloud partners at the pub!
In proper London fashion, the LoCloud partners head to the pub for a good pint and a packet of crisps after the close of the plenary!

Topping Up your Credit (or how you can learn to stop worrying and love your data)

“Data that is loved tends to survive” (Kurt Bollacker, Data Scientist)

We all want better ways to make research data available and to give more credit to the researchers who create and share their data. Yet even when that hard work culminates in data being deposited in an accredited archive, the level of recognition and academic credit gained is still limited.

In an attempt to redress this, Internet Archaeology has established a series of peer-reviewed, open access ‘data papers’ where authors characterize the content and the re-use potential of a dataset they have deposited in one of a number of trusted digital archives (e.g. ADS, but also tDAR and Open Context in the USA for example) and describe it in a way that promotes data sharing and reuse.  After all, data generated in the course of archaeological research are just as valuable as the content of journal papers or monographs.
Continue reading Topping Up your Credit (or how you can learn to stop worrying and love your data)

Data Seal of Approval: we’ve still got it!

Avid followers of the progress of the ADS recall that in early 2011 we were thrilled to be awarded the internationally recognised Data Seal of Approval (DSA); at the time only the second digital archive in the UK to receive the award, after the mighty UK Data Archive in Essex. What you may not know is that in order to retain the award you have to re-apply periodically. It’s a bit like keeping an MOT up to date to make sure a car is road worthy. So until we have our own Ministry of Archives (MOA) test we’ll use the DSA to make sure we remain archive worthy!

As you may imagine the renewal was certainly easier than the initial application and much remained the same. We, in essence, use the same procedures and policies now as we did two years ago although these are reviewed on an annual basis. So what has changed? We were able to include in our renewal application a number of enhancements to both our public interfaces and our back-room procedures. Enhancements for users have included the addition of Digital Object Identifiers (DOIs) to each of our collections for greater clarity when finding and citing datasets; the completion of the new editions of the online Guide to Good Practice series; and the establishment of digital licences for depositors. Behind the scenes we have redeveloped elements of our Collections Management System to accommodate file level metadata and implemented the use of DROID, a file profiling tool developed by the National Archive.

We’re really pleased that the progress we have made over the last two years has been recognised and are proud to have had our accreditation renewed.

See our Data Seal of Approval here