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What can libraries do for researchers?

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Slides from a short presentation given at the EThOS Multimedia and non-text PhD workshop held at the British Library on 29 September 2016

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What can libraries do for researchers?

  1. 1. What can libraries do for researchers? Michael Day Digital Preservation Manager The British Library EThOS Multimedia and non-text PhD workshop, The British Library, London, 29 September 2016
  2. 2. www.bl.uk 2 What can libraries do for researchers? • Outline – Digital preservation challenges – Digital preservation at the British Library – Web archives – Thesis workflows – Roles for libraries • HEIs • Others
  3. 3. www.bl.uk 3 Digital preservation challenges • A many layered challenge: – Obsolescence • Hardware, peripherals, storage devices, software, etc. – Human factors • Lack of documentation / metadata, dead links, complex objects, software interdependencies, semantic drift – Sustainability • Solutions – Active management of content (e.g., standardisation, secure bit-level storage, monitoring of technologies, preservation planning)
  4. 4. www.bl.uk 4 Digital preservation challenges [Example courtesy of Paul Wheatley, Digital Preservation Coalition]
  5. 5. www.bl.uk 5 Digital preservation at the British Library
  6. 6. www.bl.uk 6 Digital preservation at the British Library
  7. 7. www.bl.uk 7 Digital preservation at the British Library Flashback Project (2015-16)
  8. 8. www.bl.uk 8 Web archives • Websites continuously get restructured and/or disappear – Studies of links from the research literature, monitoring “link rot” and website changes • Web archives – Actively collecting Websites since the mid-1990s – Internet Archive, content available via Wayback Machine – UK Web Archive • Open UK Web Archive – selective • Legal Deposit UK Web Archive - domain harvesting, since 2013, >60 Tb each), limited access) – Technological limitations to capture tools
  9. 9. www.bl.uk 9 Thesis workflows (past) Source: Victoria Catterson / Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/cowlet/354911838 License: CC Attribution 2.0: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/legalcode
  10. 10. www.bl.uk 10 Thesis workflows (current and future) • A much more diverse set of outputs – Data, Software, Games, Audio, Multimedia, Websites, etc. – Random file formats • Some securely “linked to” the thesis, some not: – Third-party services – Standalone websites • Current situation – Essentially replicates the traditional workflow, substituting or adding the deposit of PDF (and metadata) – Growing provision for other file types, but generally treated as exceptions (files are retained as submitted)
  11. 11. www.bl.uk 11 Thesis workflows (current and future) • Roles for libraries: – Need for libraries to be more pro-active in supporting PhD students, through whole process (not just involved in final submission) – Wider support for the research role of university (including PhDs), part of emerging Research Data Management activities
  12. 12. www.bl.uk 12 Roles for libraries • HEIs – Advocacy and policy change • Changing guidance for the “deposit” of eTheses • Better understanding of institutional responsibilities for etheses and supplementary content • More direct engagement with the research process itself
  13. 13. www.bl.uk 13 Roles for libraries • HEIs – Infrastructures • Sharing • Storage – Supporting the management of content during the research phase » Backup procedures, shared storage, etc. – Supporting the longevity of content now and into the future » Requirements here are less well understood – Do institutional repositories have a role?
  14. 14. www.bl.uk 14 Roles for libraries • HEIs – Training and skills development • Needs to be focused at PhD level • Data management plans • Working with Doctoral Training Centres? – Guidance • Examples from ETDPlus project, e.g. on storage (backup, etc.) metadata, file formats: https://educopia.org/research/grants/etdplus – But … what skills will libraries need to do this effectively?
  15. 15. www.bl.uk 15 Roles for libraries • National level – Managing identifier infrastructures (e.g. DOIs, ORCID) – Management of supplementary content • Subject-based services, e.g. UK Data Archive, NERC data centres • National data services, e.g. DANS (Netherlands), ANDS (Australia) • Others, e.g. Figshare, Dryad, GitHub, etc.
  16. 16. www.bl.uk 16 Roles for libraries • National level – Web archives • UK Web Archive • ArchiveIt (Internet Archive) – The British Library • Support for research embedded in current strategy, “Living Knowledge” • Sharing professional expertise, e.g. involvement in Digital Preservation Coalition, International Internet Preservation Consortium, Open Preservation Foundation • Other services? – EThOS
  17. 17. www.bl.uk 17 Thank you Source Alastair Dunning / Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/alastair-dunning/8042902341 License: Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/legalcode

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