The Book of Trogool

Archives for September, 2009

A comment Chris Rusbridge left on a previous post leads me to clarify the extent to which the subject matter of this blog draws on my own position in the institution where I work, and that institution’s take on matters data-curational. In brief: It doesn’t. I don’t talk about my place of work here, and…

The dreaded backfile

One of the problems practically every nascent data-curation effort will have to deal with is what serials librarians call the backfile, though the rest of us use the blunter word backlog. There’s a lot of digital data (let’s not even think about the analog for now) from old projects hanging around institutions. My institution. Your…

Good user experience is not optional

Sometimes it’s worthwhile to let my “toblog” folder on del.icio.us marinate a bit. Posts I recently ran across on two different blogs illuminate the same point so well that they deserve their own post here! Off the Map offers Huffman’s Three Principles for Data Sharing, which are really principles for data-collection and -display applications: Create…

Because I feel neglectful

I know I said I’d be neglecting the place for a bit? but I still feel bad about that! Here’s what I’ve been working on. I’m afraid this is sort of the Cliff’s Notes version, but at least it looks pretty? Grab a bucket! It’s raining data! If you’re coming to Access 2009 next week,…

In many of the data-curation talks and discussions I’ve attended, a distinction has been drawn between Big Science and small science, the latter sometimes being lumped with humanities research. I’m not sure this distinction completely holds up in practice?are the quantitative social sciences Big or small? what about medicine??but there’s definitely food for thought there.…

I commented here earlier, not without frustration, about a pair of researchers who built and abandoned a disciplinary repository. I was particularly annoyed that they seemed to have done this purely for self-aggrandizement, apparently feeling no particular attachment to the resulting repository. Such as they should not open repositories. Neither they nor any service they…

Tidbits, 16 September 2009

The Book of Trogool turns another page… Social scientists and medical researchers, pay attention to this: “Anonymized” data really isn’t?and here’s why not. If informaticists aren’t starting to run similar analyses on their own “anonymized” data, they should be. This is a serious concern. One for the humanists: the rather vaguely-named Scholarly Communication Institute Report…

DIY LOCKSS?

When I was but grasshopper-knee tall, my father the anthropologist took me to his university’s library to help him locate and photocopy articles in his area of study for his files. He had two or three file cabinets full of such copies. (He may still.) I have similar file cabinets, two of them: my del.icio.us…

ETDs as the data-curation wedge?

Many doctoral institutions now accept and archive (or are planning to accept and archive) theses and dissertations electronically. Virginia Tech pioneered this quite some time ago, and it has caught on slowly but steadily for reasons of cost, convenience, access, and necessity. Necessity? Afraid so. Some theses and dissertations are honest digital artifacts, unable to…

Webcast in a week

I wanted to call attention to this event at Harvard, which will be webcast live next Friday at 12:15 Central. The difficulties in combining data and information from distributed sources, the multi-disciplinary nature of research and collaboration, and the need to move to present researchers with tooling that enable them to express what they want…