The Book of Trogool

Archives for December, 2009

New Year tidbits

Wishing all of us a happy, prosperous, data-filled 2010. Unfortunately behind paywall: Nature says (rightly) that it’s not quite as simple as “throw the data out there.” Combining datasets carelessly may magnify faults in the original, eliminate crucial explanatory variables, or otherwise make a big hash of things. In which economics and computer science walk…

Making author authority easier

I wrote last week about name authority control for authors. I hinted that systems are coming. I hope that journals, databases, catalogues, and repositories adopt them when they emerge, the sooner the better. Even when they do, though, there’s an immense problem to solve, in the form of the millions (billions? I shouldn’t wonder) of…

Top-down or bottom-up?

As I watch the environment around me for signs of data curation inside institutions, particularly in libraries, I seem to see two general classes of approach to the problem. One starts institution-wide, generally with a grand planning process. Another starts at the level of the individual researcher, lab, department or (at most) school; it may…

Tidbits, 22 December 2009

Every time I do a tidbits post, I think to myself, “gosh, that was a lot of tidbits; I’ll never fill up the queue again.” Every time, I’m wrong. The climate-data scandal staggers on: Gavin Baker has another great summary post, from which I particularly appreciated the Climategate article. We also have a climate skeptic…

Authority control, then and now

Since the end of the year is a fairly quiet time for my particular professional niche, I’ve taken the opportunity to do some basic name authority control on author name-strings in the repository. Some basic what on what, now? Welcome back to my series on library information management and jargon. The problem is simple to…

“Just print it!”

A common response, including in the comments at Book of Trogool, to raising digital-preservation issues is a chortle of “Guess print doesn’t seem so bad now! Let’s just print everything out, and then we’ll be fine!” Leaving aside my own visceral irritation at that rather rude and dismissive response?no, we won’t. “Just print it out”…

Tidbits, 9 December 2009

I’m at home today owing to last night’s epic snowfall in Madison shutting down practically the entire university, so it’s time for tidbits! The biggest data story of the week is the climate-data hijacking. Gavin Baker has the best roundup I’ve seen. I also strongly recommend Cameron Neylon’s thought-provoking response. The Digital Curation Blog has…

Avoiding roach motels

The latest issue of the International Journal of Digital Curation is out; if you’re in this space and not at least watching the RSS feed for this journal, you should be. I was scanning this article on Georgia Tech’s libraries’ development of a data-curation program when I ran across a real jaw-dropper: One of the…

This is the question I was asking myself while reading this fairly straightforward paper on open access in high-energy physics (hat tip to Garret McMahon). It’s impossible to be in my particular professional specialty and not know about the trajectory of self-archiving in high-energy physics, but I learned a smallish detail from that paper that…

Training? Or jobs?

There have been a number of piercing calls for training of data professionals (of various stripes) in the last year or so. Schools of information have been answering: Illinois, North Carolina, others. Honestly, I’m getting a sinking feeling in my stomach. If I were to label it, the label would go something like “where are…