Issue 43, 2019-02-14

Editorial: Just Enough of a Shared Vision

Peter Murray

What makes a vibrant community? A shared vision! When we live into a shared vision, we can accomplish big goals even when our motivations are not completely aligned.

Developing Weeding Protocols for Born Digital Collections

Athina Livanos-Propst

As collections continue to be digitized and even be born digital, the way we handle collection development needs to also shift towards a digital mindset. Digital collections development are not so much concerned about shelf or storage space, as expansion can be as simple as procuring a new hard drive. Digital collections, when not archival, need to focus on issues of access and accessibility. For a born digital library, quality and usefulness must be the primary factors in the collection development policy.

This article will walk through the steps taken by one digital library ( to assess their collections with an eye to quality and user experience as well as a multi-phase deaccessioning project that occurred and is ongoing.

The process, including the multi-iteration drafting of subject specific rubrics, targeted to the needs of the site’s core audience. It also included the quantitative assessment of thousands of items in the collection and the distribution of qualitative and quantitative data to stakeholders across the country. Special attention to the setting of minimal required standards and the communication of those standards was paid.

Finally, as this process is now an ongoing review schema for LearningMedia, the article will discuss the issues faced in this project, recommendations for other organizations attempting their own digital weeding/deaccessioning projects, and the plans for the future of the project.

Content Dissemination from Small-scale Museum and Archival Collections: Community Reusable Semantic Metadata Content Models for Digital Humanities

Avgoustinos Avgousti, Georgios Papaioannou, Feliz Ribeiro Gouveia

This paper highlights the challenges in content dissemination in Cultural Heritage (CH) institutions by digital humanities scholars and small Museums and Archival Collections. It showcases a solution based on Community Reusable Semantic Metadata Content Models (RM’s) available for download from our community website. Installing the RM’s will extend the functionality of the state of the art Content Management Framework (CMF) towards numismatic collections. Furthermore, it encapsulates metadata using the Resource Description Framework in Attributes (RDFa), and the vocabulary. Establishing a community around RM’s will help the development, upgrading and sharing of RM’s models and packages for the benefit of the Cultural Heritage community. A distributed model for Community Reusable Semantic Metadata Content Models will allow the community to grow and improve, serving the needs and enabling the infrastructure to scale for the next generation of humanities scholars.

Never Best Practices: Born-Digital Audiovisual Preservation

Julia Kim, Rebecca Fraimow and Erica Titkemeyer

Archivists specializing in time-based born-digital workflows walk through the technical realities of developing workflows for born-digital video. Through a series of use cases, they will highlight situations wherein video quality, subject matter, file size and stakeholder expectations decisively impact preservation decisions and considerations of “best practice” often need to be reframed as “good enough.”

SCOPE: A digital archives access interface

Kelly Stewart & Stefana Breitwieser

The Canadian Centre for Architecture (CCA) identified certain technological issues, namely extensive reference workflows and under-utilizing existing metadata, as significant barriers to access for its born-digital archives. In collaboration with Artefactual Systems, the CCA built SCOPE, a digital archives access interface. SCOPE allows for granular file- and item-level searching within and across digital archives, and lets users download access copies of the collection material directly to a local machine. SCOPE is a free, open-source tool. The beta version is available to the public, and a second phase is under-development as of Spring 2019.

Making the Move to Open Journal Systems 3: Recommendations for a (mostly) painless upgrade

Mariya Maistrovskaya & Kaitlin Newson

From June 2017 to August 2018, Scholars Portal, a consortial service of the Ontario Council of University Libraries, upgraded 10 different multi-journal instances of the Open Journal Systems (OJS) 3 software, building expertise on the upgrade process along the way. The final and the largest instance to be upgraded was the University of Toronto Libraries, which hosts over 50 journals. In this article, we will discuss the upgrade planning and process, problems encountered along the way, and some best practices in supporting journal teams through the upgrade on a multi-journal instance. We will also include checklists and technical troubleshooting tips to help institutions make their upgrade as smooth and worry-free as possible. Finally, we will go over post-upgrade support strategies and next steps in making the most out of your transition to OJS 3.

This article will primarily be useful for institutions hosting instances of OJS 2, but those that have already upgraded, or are considering hosting the software, may find the outlined approach to support and testing helpful.

Improving the discoverability and web impact of open repositories: techniques and evaluation

George Macgregor

In this contribution we experiment with a suite of repository adjustments and improvements performed on Strathprints, the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, institutional repository powered by EPrints 3.3.13. These adjustments were designed to support improved repository web visibility and user engagement, thereby improving usage. Although the experiments were performed on EPrints it is thought that most of the adopted improvements are equally applicable to any other repository platform. Following preliminary results reported elsewhere, and using Strathprints as a case study, this paper outlines the approaches implemented, reports on comparative search traffic data and usage metrics, and delivers conclusions on the efficacy of the techniques implemented. The evaluation provides persuasive evidence that specific enhancements to technical aspects of a repository can result in significant improvements to repository visibility, resulting in a greater web impact and consequent increases in content usage. COUNTER usage grew by 33% and traffic to Strathprints from Google and Google Scholar was found to increase by 63% and 99% respectively. Other insights from the evaluation are also explored. The results are likely to positively inform the work of repository practitioners and open scientists.

A Systematic Approach to Collecting Student Work

Janina Mueller

Digital technology has profoundly changed design education over the past couple of decades. The digital design process generates design solutions from many different angles and points of views, captured and expressed in many file formats and file types. In this environment of ubiquitous digital files, what are effective ways for a design school to capture a snapshot of the work created within their school, and to create a long-term collection of student files for purposes of research and promotion, and for preserving the history of the school?

This paper describes the recent efforts of the Harvard Graduate School of Design in creating a scalable and long-term data management solution for digital student work files. The first part describes the context and history of student work at the Harvard Graduate School of Design. The second section of the paper focuses on the functionality of the tool we created, and lastly, the paper looks at the library’s current efforts for the long-term archiving of the collected student files in Harvard’s digital repository.

ISSN 1940-5758