Session 12: Paving the way: Digital Access & Preservation
Friday 8 July – 9:00 – 10:30
Chair: Martin Moyle, UCL Library Services, United Kingdom
12.1 The nestor Digital Preservation Community Survey: What does the landscape for digital preservation communities looks like? Monika Zarnitz, ZBW – Leibniz Information Center for Economics, Germany
Due to the complexity of the task, networks and projects have been playing a central role in preservation ever since it began in the 1990s. Only by bringing together the expertise and experience of various institutions and players is it possible to cover all facets of the complex issues surrounding the long-term preservation of digital resources.
The landscape of digital preservation communities can be described based on the networks’ location – regional, national or international – as well as based on the digital preservation topics a network covers. While some networks, such as nestor, the German Competence Network for Digital Preservation or the Digital Preservation Coalition (dpc) cover a wide range of subjects, others, like the Open Preservation Foundation (OPF) target a specific challenge within digital preservation. A third network category is that of distinct service-providing networks, such as the former Digital Preservation Network (DPN), which functioned as a broker between members’ storage nodes.
While there have been many surveys looking at different digital preservation processes, there had not yet been an exhaustive survey which specifically addressed networks in digital preservation. In 2019, an ad hoc working group was formed within nestor to address the topic and close this gap.
After the questionnaire had been developed, the survey ran from September 2019 until May 2020. The results were analysed between May 2020 and July 2021. The analytical work also included the generation of so-called “community profiles”, which were sent to all the participating institutions for their approval. The community profiles provide an unprecedented global overview of networks in the field of long-term archiving – irrespective of their size and area of focus. These profiles, which can be viewed on the nestor website, make up a registry which will serve the purpose of transparency and facilitate the exploitation of synergies worldwide.
In this presentation we will present first results of the analysis of the data we collected and we will showcase the publication of the edited data and the community profiles.
We plan to repeat the survey systematically and will assimilate the lessons learned in order to improve the process iterative. The extensive participation in and the response to the first nestor community survey has shown us how important this topic is.
12.2 Long-term digital preservation of research data as a community-specific project, Katharina Markus, ZB MED – Information Centre for Life Sciences, Germany
The increasing amount of published research data, may it be in community-specific repositories or in general repositories, highlights challenges of data preservation. Since research data in particular is not limited to one or two popular publishing formats, format diversity and subsequently obsolescence is a significant risk to the reusability of research data over the long-term. A second challenge is intellectual reusability of data for future generations, which depends on preservation of sufficient metadata and context information.
A pilot project of ZB MED – Information Centre for Life Sciences and Leibniz Centre for Agricultural Landscape Research (ZALF) investigates digital preservation of research data which is published in the BonaRes data repository. In this project, a workflow spanning the two institutions ZALF and ZB MED is tested for preserving data from the repository in the archive. BonaRes is a repository for data of soil measurement, which is maintained by ZALF and uses established data handling guidelines. It follows open science best practices, like data curation and providing DOIs to make published data citable.
ZB MED runs a digital archive with the aim of not only preserving objects at the technical bitstream level, but also beyond. Further preservation measures aim at preserving access to file content (content level) by migrating files to current formats as needed, as well as intellectual reusability of content (semantic level) by preserving meta data. The archival system itself is part of a cooperation with two other national subject libraries, ZBW – Leibniz Information Centre for Economics and TIB Leibniz Information Centre for Science and Technology, where TIB provides hosting and administration of the system.
In the pilot project, the transfer of data into the archive is the main focus. Additionally, a second part of the workflow contains data transport the reverse way, from the archive to the repository, in case content is no longer available the regular way. This presentation will introduce the project and concepts developed as part of the workflow. Among those is the definition of the designated community as well as evaluation and selection of data and metadata of the repository for digital preservation together with the project partners of ZALF. Preservation methods were determined and specifically the issue of format diversity is addressed in multiple ways. File formats and format types suitable for preservation were defined and contact with data submitting researchers has been established via a workshop conducted by ZALF and ZB MED. The aim of the workshop was enabling researchers to recognize formats suitable for preservation.
The close cooperation of the information centre ZB MED (infrastructure partner) with research centre ZALF (research partner), as well as contact with submitting researchers provides the basis of a user-oriented service.
12.3 Works unavailable on the market: Czech experience of the digital content availability via the internet in the “Covid times”, Tomas Foltyn, Vit Richter, National Library of the Czech Republic, Czech Republic
Czech libraries have been digitizing historical and modern library collections since the mid-1990s. Approximately 4 million pages are digitized every single year. In 2017 the amendment to the Copyright Act of Czech Republic was approved that allowed the National Library of the Czech Republic to conclude license agreements valid for all Czech libraries to publish so called works unavailable on the market on the internet. Subsequently in 2019, a five-year license agreement was concluded to guarantee free access to the books published in the Czech Republic by the end of 2007 and periodicals published by 2010. The payment of for this access licenses is paid from the state budget through the National Library of the Czech Republic, which allows to use these services to all libraries and their registered users to read the displayed documents. During the COVID pandemic situation, when libraries and bookstores were closed, even the full opening of the digital libraries was agreed including the latest publications. The service was freely available to the university students, teachers and researchers. Publishers received adequate financial compensation from the state budget to support such an important service. This paper is aimed to introduce the experience with all the process aspects, especially contractual security and the negotiations with collective copyright holders and publishers. The technical solutions is running on the basis of the Kramerius system, which is developed in the close cooperation of the Library of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, the National Library of the Czech Republic and the Moravian Regional Library.
Filter, Curate, Open! – Customising e-library services at a special library, Petri Kaihoja, Tytti Rajahonka, Finnish Literature Society, Finland
Commonly available e-library solutions are often designed with an eye to multidisciplinary libraries with a large institutional customer base. A more specialised library may find it difficult to adapt full-text packages, supplier services and library software to local needs. In this presentation, we describe our efforts of adapting industry products to a special library environment.
The Library of the Finnish Literature Society (SKS) is a special library in the fields of cultural studies and Finnish literature. Although primarily designed to meet cross-cultural researchers’ and literary scholars’ information needs, the SKS Library essentially offers services to anyone interested in the related subjects. After more than 190 years of consistent development, the collections now cover a great depth of scholarly material.
Instead of investing in wide-ranging full-text packages, the SKS Library, to a large extent, sticks to selecting e-materials on a title by title basis, relying on detailed criteria and regular discussions between selectors. In the special library profession, a subject librarian’s capability to track current research and discover valuable information resources is part of the core competencies.
Most of the SKS Library’s efforts to deliver information to researchers come down to selecting, filtering and curating. With our content expertise and the help of technology, we filter out vast amounts of information. At the same time, we curate content, increasing visibility and accessibility.
In this respect, the continued development of SKS Finna proved to be crucial. Within the technical frame of this organisation-specific interface, customised on a national open-source platform, the Library has an opportunity to filter and curate, whether it is about separating sets of holdings from a union catalogue or about building discipline-appropriate filters into a central index of harvested metadata, or about current-awareness services.
To a special library with a relatively small number of authorised users with off-site access to e-resources, removing barriers is of great importance. With a growing emphasis on open access, we strive to streamline the use of resources across and beyond institutional boundaries.
Within the SKS Library’s search entity in Finna, there is a centralised index of open-access directories and repositories. However, subject description within harvested metadata is often fragmented and uneven and is therefore insufficient for the needs of a special library. Due to this, we have preferred to process open-access publications like any items acquired and integrate them into the local catalogue.
A smooth search experience is achieved not only by pre-configured filtering but also by uniform subject cataloguing. Locally produced, unified metadata gives us opportunities for highlighting the growing body of open-access literature. This is particularly important for publications in Finnish because those tend to be ignored by global metadata suppliers, presumably due to a language barrier.
Our principal aim is, regardless of access rights and media, to ensure retrieval coverage and give users a range of browsing options. In a special library like ours, service customisation and content expertise are prerequisites for achieving this.