Raising Awareness

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IJDC 8(1)

International Journal of Digital Curation, Volume 8, Issue 1

The International Journal of Digital Curation, Volume 8, Issue 1 was recently published by UKOLN on behalf of the Digital Curation Centre. It contains the usual mix of peer-reviewed papers and general articles; seventeen derive from papers presented at the 2013 International Digital Curation Conference, while four were new contributions received by the Journal through general submission.

Within the academic community there is a move to make data more visible as part of the research literature. If anyone needs convincing that this is a good thing, they need look no further than the paper from Doorn, Dillo and van Horik, who discuss the role data sharing has in deterring fraudulent research. Callaghan et al. and Hoogerwerf et al. both provide pertinent discussions of the practicalities of sharing data: the former about the data publication process, the latter about links between data and traditional publications. Some research relies on confidential data and metadata, though, in which case the system described by Lagoze et al. might prove useful.

As reported by Lecarpentier et al., the visibility of data is one of the issues being addressed by EUDAT, a common European data infrastructure. Their vision for a joint catalogue will rely on the provision of metadata, which for maximum utility ought to conform to a standard. Yarmey and Baker argue that the best way to develop such metadata standards is in the context of an open, inclusive and collaborative framework. A somewhat different idea is pursued by Austin et al., who describe how standards for material testing were used to generate a standard for encoding the results of conformant tests.

When judging compliance with standards, it is important to test the right things. Spencer describes how minimal files conforming to encoding standards and other file formats can be generated semi-automatically, for the purpose of testing format identification tools. Of course, it is also important that standards require the right things in the first place. Yakel et al., for example, ask whether standards for trustworthy repositories test characteristics that really inspire the confidence of a designated community.

Standards such as the Open Archival Information System Reference Model provide a lot of latitude over implementation, so Bicarregui et al. describe a toolkit for applying best practice in 'big science' data management. On a more institutional level, de Smaele et al. describe an influential programme that is re-training university library staff to deal with research data issues. Meanwhile, Kelly et al. report on placing LIS students in data centres to learn good practice first hand. What sorts of skills will they need? Kim, Warga and Moen attempt to answer this by examining job advertisements for digital curation roles.

Carlson et al. attempt to answer the parallel question of the digital curation training needs of graduate students. Discipline-specific guidance that attempts to satisfy some of those needs is described by Scott et al.

Training is one way of changing behaviour: others include mandates and the provision of compelling services. Neugebauer and Murray discuss the relative merits of the latter in the context of open access publishing.

The best way of doing something is not always clear. Rosenthal and Vargas test how cost-effective cloud storage is for preservation systems, compared to local systems. The possibilities of the cloud are further explored by von Suchodoletz, Rechert and Valizada, who propose emulation as a cloud service. Bazzanella, Bortoli and Bouquet try to reconcile persistent IDs and Cool URIs as competing linking techniques, while Yoon uncovers bloggers' priorities for the preservation of their output. Finally, Boutard, Guastavino and Turner discuss how to alleviate the difficulties in preserving artistic works with technological components.

To read Volume 8, Issue 1 of the IJDC, please visit the Journal Web site.

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