Friday, April 20, 2007

Weekly readings - 20 April 2007

Digital Imaging - How Far Have We Come and What Still Needs to be Done? Steven Puglia, Erin Rhodes. RLG DigiNews. April 15, 2007.
This is an overview of digital imaging over the past 10 years. It has moved beyond the experimental stage, though in many institutions is still isn’t a mainstream program. There is a growing understanding of the significant investment required for digital initiatives, particularly in the infrastructure, standards, metadata, and managing them long term. The more we learn, the more there is to learn. Some feel we are carrying the flawed earlier ‘preservation reformatting’ such as microfilm into the digital areas. Technology is never “THE answer” to our problems. The goal is to use the tools wisely, not just to have the technology. Often digital preservation was an extension of microfilming brittle books. But users are asking more than what microfilm could provide. We are still asking many of the same questions we were asking 10 years ago. We have accepted digitization, but it is not “completely synonymous with preservation”, though we are moving forward. Every project may have different digitization and preservation needs.

There has been progress in digital preservation since the first recommendations were published in 1996. Some elements include: OAIS; Trusted Digital Repositories; a preservation metadata data dictionary; or the options of digital repositories. There is a conference devoted just for digital preservation (iPres) and more literature on the topic. There is an increase in the number of standards now. The three components of a digital preservation approach presented at the Cornell workshop are organizational, technological, and resources. The organizational is the “what”, the technological is the “how” and the resources is the “how much” is needed to produce the outcomes. A challenge is to balance time and resources of developing a repository internally against the external environment. ‘There is currently no “one stop shopping” for keeping up with digital preservation research and development. Keeping up takes effort, but it is worthwhile.’

Copyright Keeps Open Archives and Digital Preservation Separate. Peter B. Hirtle. RLG DigiNews. April 15, 2007.
Open access and self-archiving repositories enhance access to current research but do not necessarily provide long term preservation of the contents. Libraries cannot rely on those repositories for at least two reasons.
  • The repositories lack the technical, organization and financial support needed to preserve materials.
  • The deposit agreements do not necessarily convey the preservation rights needed. 
“Digital preservation, by its very nature, must impinge upon the rights of the copyright owner” since they need to be copied and recopied. Copyright law does not does not give a general exemption for preservation. Typical deposit agreements do not include the preservation rights. Deposits without the right to preserve may put the repository at risk, though it is difficult to say how much. Only the “journals that are part of formal third party journal archiving programs can be said to be effectively preserved. In sum, libraries cannot yet rely upon open archives for long-term access to the journal literature.”

Friday, April 13, 2007

Weekly readings - 13 April 2007

Road Report: Second Annual Open Repositories Conference (OR07) in San Antonio. Carol Minton Morris. D-Lib Magazine. March 2007.

The conference presented sessions on DSpace, Fedora, and Eprints, including user groups for each software. Open source software may be free, but does not mean “no cost”, it brings maintenance costs. Choose the right partners to create a competitive advantage instead of competing with your associates. Fedora allows for complex digital objects. The new Fedora Commons will provide a non-profit organization to support the growing community. The next conference will be held April 1-4, 2008.

Conference addresses archiving and preservation of e-journals. Phillip Pothen. JISC. 28 March 2007.

The uncertainty of long-term access to scholarly journals is a major issue for libraries and others. A recent conference discussed the topic and said that major concerns still remain even though progress has been made. A great deal of content is still at risk. Librarians should press the archiving programs to make sure they meet their archiving needs. Librarians are the custodians of the content. The group of libraries saving the data can do more than individuals alone. LOCKSS and Portico are some methods in use. The e-Depot in The Netherlands is also archiving journals from some publishers. “Old business models are breaking down while long-term archives require highly resilient architectures, long-term funding and a commitment to quality.” Blackwell suggests that 50% of all serials publications will be online by 2016, while 39% of science journals will be online by the end of this year. This means that there are considerable preservation challenges. Preservation, access, and open access are not the same thing. “Digital curation needs to be embedded in institutional strategies.” Responsibilities and requirements must be clear and agreed upon.

History 1980-2000 has disappeared into the ether. Sorry. Ben Macintyre. The Times. March 23, 2007.

This commentary warns of the short life of digital objects, which are “dangerously disposable.” Many do not bother to archive their digital data. Historians may look back at this period as a black hole. The most important real-time histories are written in online forums, which are fleeting. Many items have already been lost. The article ends with a plea for paper, which he feels is the best way to save things.

Tools and Methods for the Digital Historian. AHRC. March 23, 2007.

The Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC) has created an online forum, ‘Tools and Methods for the Digital Historian’ in order to encourage the exchange of ideas. The Methods Network is a UK initiative which provides a place for discussing digital history and research, but it open to all who want to register and discuss the issues. It also refers to a set of Working Papers.

FastStone Image Viewer 3.1. FastStone Website. April 16, 2007.

Update on the FastStone Image Viewer: This downloadable program is an image browser, converter and editor. The features include viewing, managing, comparing and other adjustments to images. It provides access to EXIF information, lossless JPEG transitions, embedded thumbnails, and image annotation. It supports all major graphic formats, BMP, JPEG, JPEG 2000, GIF, PNG, PCX, TIFF, WMF, ICO and TGA, as well as many RAW formats, such as CRW, CR2, NEF, PEF, RAF, MRW, ORF, SRF and DNG. It also supports saving files in pdf format.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Weekly readings - 06 April 2007

JPEG 2000 - Do you use it? John Nack. Adobe blog. April 02, 2007.

Photoshop has contained a plug-in for reading and writing jpeg2000 files. However, Adobe has not seen the widespread adoption of the format. With Photoshop CS2, they decided to stop installing the plug-in by default, though it is still currently available. If features no longer make sense, they will retire them in order to focus on what is most important. Adobe is trying to gauge the value of standalone jpeg2000 reading and writing. [Lots of comments on the blog.]

Questioning the Future of JPEG2000 Support in Photoshop. Peter Murray. TLDJ. April 5, 2007.

There is still some uncertainty about the format and whether it will be used much. The response to the Abode survey has been disappointing that not many use jpeg2000. It would be a shame if support were dropped since the format seems to be gaining ground. Google lists projects where some are working on wider adoption of the format.

Metadata mangling in Windows Vista. Stephen Shankland. CNet News. February 8, 2007.

Windows Vista and the Photo Info tool can cause problems with some images or the metadata. Some cameras use an EXIF Maker Note Tag in the image, and when updated, the digital camera software “may no longer recognize the metadata that is automatically added to the photo." There have also been reports of some compatibility issues and the files becoming “unreadable in other applications, such as Adobe Photoshop." Camera manufacturers may provide software for Vista users who want to open or print raw files.

Intel Gets More Time to Explain Lost E-Mails in Antitrust Case. Chris Preimesberger. eWeek. April 6, 2007

Intel has been granted more time by the court to explain how they will locate missing emails. Guidelines enacted in December require enterprises to be able to quickly find data files required by the court. Some of the items may have to be recovered from backup tapes or user backups, neither of these are indexed. The court said they had an “ill-conceived plan of document retention and lackluster oversight”. People at the highest level “failed to receive or to heed instructions essential for the preservation of their records”.