Praxis

The Book of Trogool

Category archives for Praxis

One way and another, I heard quite a lot of talk at Science Online 2010 relevant to the interests of institutional-repository managers and (both would-be and actual) data curators. Some of the lessons learned weren’t exactly pleasant, but there’s just no substitute for listening to your non-users to find out why they’re not taking advantage…

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…

“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”…

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…

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…

Another case of things connecting up oddly in my head? “How do we know whether a dataset is any good?” is a vexed question in this space. Because the academy is accustomed to answering quality questions with peer review, peer review is sometimes adduced as part of the solution for data as well. As Gideon…

Some interesting ferment happening in repository-land, notably this discussion of various types and scales of repositories and how successful they can expect to be given the structural conditions in which they are embedded. I don’t blog repositories per se any more, so I’m not going to address the paper in detail (though I do think…

Stepping away from the shiny

There is a certain kind of digital project that strikes terror and dismay into the hearts of digital preservationists everywhere. Not a one of us hasn’t seen many exemplars. They make me myself feel sad and tired. They’re projects that, no matter their scholarly or design merit, are completely unpreservable because they were built from…

Making standards that work

One phenomenon that will be?indeed, already is?utterly unavoidable in the data-curation space is the creation of standards. I once heard Andrew Pace say that standards are like toothbrushes: everybody thinks they’re great, but nobody wants to use anybody else’s. Be that as it may, standards development and compliance is one way to make everybody’s data…

L’esprit d’escalier

If you’re not reading comments here, you’re missing out. For reasons I don’t entirely understand, some of the best in the business are seeing fit to comment here. They have more to teach than I do! Chris Rusbridge (of, among other things, this thought-provoking meditation on digital preservation) has been spotted here, and whenever he…