Media Vault Program Update

October 22, 2010

Media Vault Program Update
October 2010

Greetings MVP Stakeholders,

This month brings the completion of the Media Vault Program, as well as the beginning of new initiatives. It also brings a brief extension, through winter break, for the Extensis Portfolio/NetPublish service.

MEDIA VAULT PROGRAM ENDING
The three-year, grant-funded Media Vault Program comes to a close this fall.  Supported by UC Berkeley’s IT Bank, the MVP has been instrumental in raising issues related to digital asset management and preservation.  Its efforts have addressed fundamental scholarly needs on campus.

The Media Vault Program brought several new services to campus.  Working closely with research and teaching collections, the MVP put in place an innovative digital asset management and archive solution, coupling the notion of long-term preservation with commercially available cataloging and publishing software.  This exploratory offering helped campus collections such as the Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology and the History of Art Visual Resources Collection manage their images, recordings and other electronic holdings, and make these objects available on the Web.  Over the last year, the MVP team took the lessons learned from this work and applied them to the creation of a sustainable content management and collaboration service appropriate for use by the entire campus.  (See ‘Media Hub becoming ‘Research Hub’’, below.)

Equally as important, the MVP created a unique partnership among campus and UC system-wide programs, bringing together the UC Berkeley Library, the campus’s Educational Technology Services and Information Services & Technology organizations, the California Digital Library and others in discussions and workshops about this vital area of academic technology.  Program partners have spawned new initiatives such as the forth-coming Research Hub service, the California Digital Library’s UC Curation Center (see ‘New Services for the UC Community from the CDL/UC3’, below) and significant updates by the campus Library to its GenDB service.  Through these and other initiatives, MVP partners continue to provide help to scholars, even as funding for the Media Vault Program comes to an end.

Increasingly, digital materials form the heart of scholarship.  For the past three years, the Media Vault Program has focused its attention – and the University’s – on the proper management of these resources.  It is a complex and expensive endeavor; developing the means to support scholars will take the concerted efforts of many parties.  The vision of the MVP, and the spirit of collaboration that guided it, must live on!

MEDIA HUB BECOMING ‘RESEARCH HUB’
The Media Hub, the content management and collaboration service piloted this spring by the Media Vault team, has gained a new name on its way to launch.  Rechristened Research Hub, this new service from Information Services & Technology’s Data Services Department is designed to support the needs of campus researchers.  Its URL will be easy to remember: hub.berkeley.edu

The Research Hub team is developing terms of service and pricing models in preparation for a limited release this fall.  Look for an announcement soon.

While the final decisions are being made, the underlying hardware and software have been installed, localized, tested and prepared for campus use.  Authentication has been tied to the campus’s CalNet identity management service, so users won’t need a separate password.  Research Hub is in the queue of services awaiting integration with the CalNet Guest Access program; by the end of the semester, partners and colleagues from outside the campus community should be able to work collaboratively with campus scholars, students and staff.

Meanwhile, the Research Hub has been selected as one of the workspace engines behind the Project Bamboo technology proposal.  Over the next 18 months, the Research Hub will be used to prototype workspace features and to test the online workspace requirements of scholars in the Humanities, Arts and interpretive Social Sciences.

MVP EXTENSIS-BASED SERVICE EXTENDED FOUR MONTHS
The Media Vault Program’s Extensis Portfolio/NetPublish-based service, originally slated to close in October of 2010, has been extended through the end of January 2011, giving MVP pilot participants time to move their collections and catalogs to other platforms.  Thanks to closeout funding from the campus’s IT Bank and the continued generosity of the Library, collection owners will now have until the beginning of spring semester to retrieve their materials.

The Media Vault team will contact participants in the upcoming weeks to help define migration plans.  If you have questions in the meantime, please contact the Media Vault team by email at mvpochelp@lists.berkeley.edu.

NEW SERVICES FOR THE UC COMMUNITY FROM THE CDL/UC3
The California Digital Library (CDL) has announced two new services for the UC community.  Merritt, the next generation repository service from CDL’s UC Curation Center (UC3) will allow UC3 to extend the reach of its services to new constituencies such as museums, archives, research groups, academic departments and data centers.

Significant features include:
• permanent storage
• access via persistent URLs
• tools for long-term management
• an easy-to-use interface for deposit and updates

EZID (ee-zee-eye-dee) enables persistent identification of and access to a scholar’s research, which is critical to the long-term distribution and availability of the work.  Currently, EZID allows users to acquire DataCite Digital Object Identifiers (DOIs) or Archival Resource Keys (ARKs).  CDL plans to add other identifier schemes going forward.  EZID is available via a machine-to-machine programming interface (an API) and as a web user interface.

The Research Hub team is already working with the UC3 team to automate the transfer of content from UC Berkeley to the UC3 Merritt platform.  For more information about Merritt or EZID, please contact UC3 (see contact link, below).

So, the program ends, but the effort continues. It has been a pleasure working with each of you – and will continue to be, in new and different forms of endeavor.
Best,
The Media Vault team

Useful Links:
Research Hub (UC Berkeley): https://hub.berkeley.edu (coming)
About: https://hub.berkeley.edu/about (coming)
Contact: hub@berkeley.edu (coming)
Project Bamboo: http://projectbamboo.org/

Media Vault Team email address: mvpoc-help@lists.berkeley.edu

California Digital Library / University of California Curation Center (UC3): http://www.cdlib.org/services/uc3/
DataCite: http://www.datacite.org
UC3 contact page: http://www.cdlib.org/services/uc3/contact.html
Merritt webinar: http://www.cdlib.org/cdlinfo/2010/05/21/webinar-of-merritt-repository-development/


Spotlight – May 2010

May 28, 2010

News relating to digital scholarship, access and preservation at Berkeley and around the world. To contribute, email Rick Jaffe

On Campus

Raymond Yee, Eric Kansa present on opening federal budget data
iSchool News, posted Tuesday, May 18, 2010
http://www.ischool.berkeley.edu/newsandevents/news/20100518transparencyconference

On May 20, iSchool faculty members Eric Kansa and Raymond Yee presented recommendations for making federal budget data “intelligible and available for public review and debate” to the Federal Spending Transparency Conference in Washington, DC. Drawing upon lessons from the Recovery.gov web site, the authors called for budget information to be made available via web services, and archived and curated in a manner that maintains the public’s access to the data and trust in its validity. The text of their presentation can be found here (pdf).

The Conservator’s Art: Preserving Egypt’s Past
Exhibit, May 12, 2010 – May 11, 2011
http://events.berkeley.edu/?event_ID=31257&date=2010-05-22&tab=exhibits

From the event listing: “Explore techniques and see results of extensive conservation carried out on pieces including crocodile mummies, statuary, mummy portraits, amulets, and stela collected through the patronage of Phoebe A. Hearst ca. 1900. We hope you will celebrate with us as we work to preserve cultural information for the benefit of future generations. Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology.

It’s Not Just Black and White: Photographing the Built Environment
Exhibit, May 4 – August 16, 2010
http://events.berkeley.edu/index.php/calendar/sn/library.html?event_ID=30804&date=2010-05-28&filter=Secondary%20Event%20Type&filtersel=

From the event listing: “Drawing on the collections of the Environmental Design Archives, the Environmental Design Library, the CED Visual Resources Center, and private collections, the exhibit stimulates thinking about photographic representation of the built environment and how this representation influences our design, writing, and research activity.” Curated by Jason Miller. 210 Wurster Hall.

Around the World

JISC releases “Keeping Research Data Safe 2″ report
http://www.jisc.ac.uk/publications/reports/2010/keepingresearchdatasafe2.aspx#downloads

The UK’s Joint Information Systems Committee, a body that provides leadership and funding for higher education and research, has just released the final report of a major study on the costs of preservation of research data. From the report: “One of the key findings on the long-term costs of digital preservation for research data was that the cost of archiving activities (archival storage and preservation planning and actions) is consistently a very small proportion of the overall costs and significantly lower than the costs of acquisition/ingest or access activities for all the case studies in KRDS2.”


Media Vault Program Update

May 21, 2010

May 21, 2010

Greetings MVP Stakeholders,

Much of our effort since the New Year has been put towards the development of the Media Hub, a content management service that we propose to offer to campus by the start of fall semester.  The Media Hub makes it easy to store, manage and share documents.  It provides a workspace for files and media related to research and other types of collaborative projects, one that is hosted on secure campus servers and available from anywhere with a network connection.

CTC PROPOSAL

Plans for the Media Hub service were outlined in a proposal submitted to the Campus Technology Council in March.  Under the proposal, the Media Vault Program — as a set of use cases centered around research content, keenly intent on support for museum and departmental collections — would be refocused on the broader collaboration and document management needs of the larger campus community.  We asked for funding to develop this effort in alignment with the campus’s Operational Excellence (OE) initiative.  Though it represents a change in emphasis, this focus is still, we believe, consistent with the original aims of the MVP.

From its inception, the Media Vault Program was developed with the core principles of organizational effectiveness in mind.  Starting from an understanding that individual researchers, research units and collections were underutilizing their digital scholarship — or even putting it at risk — because they couldn’t afford the cost of purchasing and maintaining technology systems, MVP’s vision was to align existing services, and, where appropriate, to provide new services centrally, to support the management and sharing of scholarly digital media.  Doing so would enhance “research excellence,” reduce the risk to valuable, often one-of-a-kind content and increase the potential of fundraising with newly exposed collections.

The broader focus on content management can help us reach these goals.  For one, it allows IST to address the most common campus needs — easy-to-use document management, web publication and web-based collaboration tools — TODAY, through a standard, financially-sustainable delivery model.  Two, it gives us license to bring together the many campus experts across the entire range of content-related areas.  By connecting the technical community with communities of practice for specific content technologies and providers, we can address the specialized concerns of sophisticated users.

Centrally, we will also make relevant policies accessible.  We will help qualify vendors and negotiate content-oriented services from external service providers.  We will smooth the path to adoption of popular new technologies, such as Drupal, that have already attracted campus- and system-wide investment.  We will provide architectural support so that content and platforms move towards the goal of efficiency and interoperability and reuse.

We hope to hear the outcomes of the budget process by the end of the fiscal year.  The proposal will become available for viewing in the next few weeks on the Campus Technology Council Campus IT Funding Request Process web site.

ENGAGEMENT AND BETA TESTING

The Media Hub team has spent March and April demonstrating the proposed service to campus units, labs and groups, showing off its strengths and gathering feedback on its features and its value.  We have reached out to people working in a range of areas: collections, print and web publications, research, instruction and engaged scholarship.  Several of these engagements have deepened into short-term “beta projects,” closer examinations of the fit between the service and the users’ needs.  Media Hub staff are learning from these interactions about feature, performance and support requirements of the service.  The beta program is scheduled to run through the end of May, after which the team will focus on “hardening” the platform, that is, getting it ready for prime time.

WORKING TOWARDS AUGUST LAUNCH

IST’s Data Services department has requested funding to launch Media Hub and to support the service for a year.  While we await approval, we’re nailing down the details of the service offering.  We’ll be sending around information on costs, terms of service, etc., in the upcoming months.  Meanwhile, we’re familiarizing ourselves with version 3.3 of the platform, which offers a number of improvements to the service and should be available to us later in May.  Then, while we configure, tweak and lock down the hardware and software during the summer, we will also be hard at work preparing support and training materials and procedures.

A GOOD-BYE

Finally, the Media Vault team bids farewell to Michael Ashley.  Michael’s vision and style have given shape to the MVP since the program’s inception.  As a fierce advocate for the needs of researchers, Michael has also reminded us – constantly – that we’re here to solve problems, but that we’re not alone in the effort: there’s an entire world of researchers, collection managers, cultural heritage institutions and vendors chipping away at solutions.  Michael, we miss you already.  Don’t go far!

Best,
MV Team

ps. Read the MVP Spotlight for recent news relating to digital scholarship, access and preservation at Berkeley and around the world.

Media Vault Program Links:

Web site:  http://mvp.berkeley.edu

Wiki: http://mvp.berkeley.edu/wiki

Media Hub links:

Service: http://mediahub.berkeley.edu (password required)

Info: http://mvp.berkeley.edu/mediahub

email: mediahub@berkeley.edu


Spotlight – April 2010

April 30, 2010

News relating to digital scholarship, access and preservation at Berkeley and around the world. To contribute, email Rick Jaffe

On Campus
The Digitization of Science and the Degradation of the Scientific Method
iSchool: Wednesday, May 5, 2010, 4:00 – 5:30pm
http://www.ischool.berkeley.edu/newsandevents/events/20100505deanslec

Upcoming lecture by Victoria Stodden, postdoctoral associate in law and Kauffman fellow in law and innovation at the Information Society Project at Yale Law School. Dr. Stodden writes: “In this talk I argue that the scientific method be restored to (1) a focus on error control as central to scientific communication and (2) complete communication of the underlying methodology producing the results, ie. reproducibility.” 202 South Hall.

ECAI project joins the iSchool
iSchool News, posted Tuesday, April 27, 2010
http://www.ischool.berkeley.edu/newsandevents/news/20100427ecai

The Electronic Cultural Atlas Initiative (ECAI), founded in 1997, will make its home at the School of Information beginning this month. Formerly part of International and Area Studies, ECAI is working toward the creation of “a distributed virtual library of cultural information with a time and place interface,” according to co-director Michael Buckland, professor emeritus in the School of Information.

Water Resources Center Archive looking for a new academic home
On Water (blog), posted Thursday, April 15, 2010
http://blogs.lib.berkeley.edu/wrca.php/2010/04/15/update-on-the-status-of-wrca-april-2010

Water Resources Center Archive Director Linda Vida has posted an update about the status of the WRCA to the On Water blog, in which she explains that, after 52 years, the Division of Agricultural and Natural Resources of the UC Office of the President has “determined that WRCA was no longer an appropriate fit for the Division, due to budget cuts and the adoption of a new strategic vision.” A Request For Application has been distributed to departments at four UC campuses: Berkeley, Davis, Riverside and Merced. ANR hopes to find a new home for the archive by June 30, 2010.

Campus AVC-CIO Shel Waggener on Cloud computing – The future and challenges of IT shared services
UC Berkeley iNews, article posted Friday, April 30, 2010
http://inews.berkeley.edu/articles/Apr-May2010/cloud-computing-EQ

In the first of four articles, the campus’s Chief Information Officer Shel Waggener discusses the changes that IT organizations must accomplish to take advantage of new forms of delivery that promise financial savings.

See also:
OCIO Presents: Brad Wheeler, VP & CIO of Indiana University, speaking to campus on “Thriving in the Era of Rabid Collaboration” (webcast)
Presentation given April 14, 2010
http://webcast.berkeley.edu/event_details.php?seriesid=108a0738-ce20-4610-9345-6121adc70fea&p=1&ipp=15&category=

Around the World

Two announcements from the Internet Archive: 2 millionth digitized text, millions of documents from the US Federal Courts now freely available
Internet Archive Forums, posted by Brewster Kahle, March 31, 2010 and April 6, 2010, respectively
http://www.archive.org/iathreads/post-view.php?id=300273
http://www.archive.org/iathreads/post-view.php?id=301068

The Internet Archive passed a milestone recently when it digitized the 1,000 year old Homiliary on Gospels from Easter to first Sunday of Advent: it was the 2,000,000th digitized text made available to “researchers, historians, scholars, people with disabilities, and the general public for free on archive.org since 2005.” Also, the archive announced
a partnership with Princeton University’s Center for Information Technology Policy and numerous volunteers that creates access, through technological and social means, to millions of US Federal Court documents that are currently available to the public – but difficult to obtain – through a program called PACER (Public Access to Court Electronic Records). At present, the archive says, it is adding a document each minute to its holdings of these records.

Wired Campus – Archive Watch: Civil Rights Over There
Chronicle of Higher Education, article by Jennifer Howard (UCB authentication or subscription required)
Posted March 2, 2010
http://chronicle.com/blogPost/Archive-Watch-Civil-Rights/22256/?sid=pm&utm_source=pm&utm_medium=en

From the article: “Two historians—Maria Höhn, an associate professor at Vassar College, and Martin Klimke, of Heidelberg University and the German Historical Institute in Washington— … have established The Civil Rights Struggle, African-American GI’s, and Germany, an online archive dedicated to gathering and digitizing primary-source material from the (post-war) period.”

News and reaction: US Federal Court denies FCC power to regulate cable internet providers
By Edward Wyatt, New York Times (April 6, 2010) and
Susan Crawford, New York Times (April 10, 2010), respectively
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/07/technology/07net.html
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/11/opinion/11crawford.html?scp=3&sq=FCC%20court%20ruling%20net&st=cse

In a decision handed down on April 6, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled that “regulators had limited power over Web traffic under current law.” The decision dealt a setback to the FCC’s efforts to impose “net neutrality,” and to its National Broadband Plan to provide internet access to rural areas. The news article continues, “more broadly, the ruling could raise obstacles to the Obama administration’s effort to increase Americans’ access to high-speed Internet networks.”

In response, Susan Crawford, a professor at the University of Michigan Law School and former special advisor to President Obama, argues that the FCC needn’t change its strategy; it only has to “relabel Internet access services as ‘telecommunications services,’ rather than as ‘information services’,” as they’d been considered until August 2005.

DrupalCon SF 2010 session: Enterprise Content Management with Drupal, Alfresco and CMIS
Presentation by Chris Fuller, Optaros, Wednesday, April 21, 2010 (web video)
http://sf2010.drupal.org/conference/sessions/enterprise-content-management-drupal-alfresco-and-cmis

One of the last sessions of the recent Drupal conference in San Francisco provided a look at the new CMIS standard (for interoperability among content management systems) in action. Using CMIS, Drupal developers might be able to extend the Alfresco-based Media Hub to fit the needs of their unit.


Spotlight – March 2010

March 31, 2010

News relating to digital scholarship, access and preservation at Berkeley and around the world. To contribute, email Rick Jaffe

On Campus
Portugese Republic Turns 100
Bancroft Library: March 5 – May 21 (library hours)
Townsend Humanities Lab: on-line, ongoing
http://townsendlab.berkeley.edu/thl-administration/lab-blog/portuguese-republic-turns-100-thl

Exhibit at the Bancroft Library (March 5-May 21), with a “digital mirror” online at the Townsend Humanities Lab. Bancroft Library Corridor.

Big Ideas at CITRIS Poster and Judging Session
Thursday, April 22, 2010: 3pm – 5pm
http://www.citris-uc.org/events/bigideasposter2010

The top 10 finalists in this year’s Big Ideas competition will present posters, and the winners will be announced. Kvamme Atrium, 3rd floor, Sutardja Dai Hall.

CalDay 2010
Saturday, April 17, 2010, 9am-4pm

Annual campus open house – take in all that Berkeley has to offer. See the Cal Day web page for activities and schedules. Many locations across the UC Berkeley campus.

Around the World

Draft specification for media annotation announced
Posted by Brian Sletten, InfoQ
http://www.infoq.com/news/2010/03/ontology-media-resource

The W3C Media Annotations Working Group has recently posted drafts of its Ontology for Media Resource 1.0 and API for Media Resource 1.0 efforts. They have also updated the Use Cases document to reflect some of the intentions of these projects.

The proposed standard aims to, among other goals:
• make it easier for people to access media resources across the collections of different cultural heritage institutions (libraries, museums, archives, etc.) on the Web.
• allow descriptors of media resources to apply to versions of the same media in various formats
• enable developers to handle user-created annotations – comments, tags, rankings, even viewing history – created in various applications, allowing applications to make recommendations to its users and viewers to add or link to the annotations of other users.

Effort to Widen U.S. Internet Access Sets Up Battle
By Brian Stelter and Jenna Wortham, New York Times (March 12, 2010)
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/13/business/media/13fcc.html

Lead: “The Federal Communications Commission is proposing an ambitious 10-year plan that will reimagine the nation’s media and technology priorities by establishing high-speed Internet as the country’s dominant communication network.”

DrupalCon SF
April 19-21, 2010
http://sf2010.drupal.org/

A gathering of Drupal-ers from around the world, right in our backyard. Keynote speakers include Dries Buytaert, Drupal Project Lead; Tim O’Reilly, O’Reilly Media; and David H. Cole, Executive Office of the President (The White House). Individual sessions are aimed at audiences ranging from developers, designers and system administrators to Drupal beginners and businesses using (or wishing to use) Drupal in their web effort. Events on the two days prior to the start of the conference include a core developer summit, Drupal trainings, an unconference and a pre-conference sprint.


Spotlight – February 2010

February 28, 2010

News relating to digital scholarship, access and preservation at Berkeley and around the world. To contribute, email Rick Jaffe

On Campus
Information Visualization for Knowledge Discovery
Wednesday, March 3, 2010 12-1 pm
http://www.citris-uc.org/events/RE-Mar03

Ben Shneiderman, Founding Director (1983-2000) of the Human-Computer Interaction Laboratory at the University of Maryland, speaks at CITRIS about successful new interactive information visualization tools and current research progress in the field. “By combining powerful data mining methods with user-controlled interfaces, users are beginning to benefit from these potent telescopes for high-dimensional data.” Banatao Auditorium, Sutardja Dai Hall.

One-day InfoCamp 2010 Berkeley
Saturday, March 6, 2010 9am-5pm
http://www.ischool.berkeley.edu/newsandevents/events/infocamp2010

An “uncamp” for people interested in “user experience, information architecture, interaction design, information management, information design, librarianship, online search, informatics, and related fields.” South Hall.

Emerging Law & Policy Issues In Cloud Computing
Friday, March 12, 2010 8:30am-5:30pm http://www.ischool.berkeley.edu/newsandevents/events/cloudcomputingconference

A one-day conference sponsored by the Berkeley Center for Law & Technology, the Berkeley School of Law, and the School of Information. Even as third-party services and storage offer new, affordable opportunities for scholars (and all of us!) to manage digital materials, many of the legal issues surrounding activity on the cloud remain unresolved. UC Berkeley International House.

Around the World
Avoiding a Digital Dark Age: Data longevity depends on both the storage medium and the ability to decipher the information
Kurt D. Bollacker
http://www.americanscientist.org/issues/pub/2010/3/avoiding-a-digital-dark-age
American Scientist (subscription required)

A nice introduction to the problems and techniques of archiving and data preservation

TechCrunch: Memeo Connect Launches, Brings Desktop Sync to Google Apps
Jason Kincaid
http://techcrunch.com/2010/01/19/memeo-google-docs-sync/

Tech blog discusses a new Google-based option for managing documents and syncing your desktop


Media Vault Program Update

December 22, 2009

December 22, 2009

Greetings MVP Stakeholders,

As we head into winter break, we leave you with several updates on work completed during the past few weeks.

1. Media Vault content running on the “Gen 1″ Extensis Portfolio platform has been moved to a server and storage provided by the Library. The transfer was done this past weekend and the material is once again available for use. This important and complicated behind-the-scenes change should be invisible to users. If you notice anything unusual, please let us know. Big thanks to Ian Crew for a ton of work and congratulations on a job well done.

We gratefully acknowledge the generosity and support of the Library in making this storage available. In particular, thanks to Bernie Hurley and Lynne Grigsby for agreeing to give us access to the storage, and to Eric Fernandez and Paul Payne for configuring it.

2. Reminder re: support for MVP’s Extensis Portfolio-based service during the winter furlough period this year. We will be on mandatory furlough closures and holidays, December 23, 2009 through January 6, 2010. Any server outages or requests received during those days will be handled on the next business day, January 7, 2010.

3. Alfresco 3.1 Enterprise Edition has been installed in the Data Center and is currently being configured. Alfresco was selected by the MVP team to be the basis of the next round of discussions on “Gen 2″ Media Vault services. We’re eager to engage with you, and with campus, about this enterprise content management platform. Look for more about that in the New Year.

4. The year ends with a farewell to Lizzy. We offer a heartfelt ‘thank you’ to Lizzy for her great work with the MVP and, before that, the Okapi Program and the Scholar’s Box project. Among her roles with MVP, Lizzy served as NetPublish guru, technical writer, webmaster and editor of the monthly Spotlight feature. With Okapi, she was Omeka master and video producer for many projects, including Ars Synthetica, Okapi Island in Second Life, Tracing Tambo Colorado, the Open Archaeology Collection, Remixing Catalhoyuk, and work with the students of the Blum Center for Developing Economies/Global Poverty and Practice minor. In all her contributions, she brought wit and flair to our work. Lizzy, we wish you the best!

Happy holidays to all,

MV Team


Media Vault Program Update

December 7, 2009

December 7, 2009

Greetings MVP Stakeholders,

The past eight weeks have been busy ones.  This update provides an overview of MVP partner accomplishments, next-steps taken in response to the September meetings and progress towards developing a “Gen 2” platform and service.

CONFERENCES AND CAMPUS EVENTS
Three October conferences and events featured Media Vault Program partners:

  • iPres2009  (hosted by the California Digital Library)
  • PASIG-SF
  • eScholarship presentation at  the UC Berkeley Archaeological Research Facility marking the launch of the enhanced eScholarship service

Congratulations to the University of California Curation Center (née CDL Digital Preservation Program) director Patricia Cruse, conference organizer Perry Willett and their colleagues for hosting a very successful conference, and to Stephen Abrams and John Kunze for their well-received presentations.  Kudos, too, to eScholarship program director Catherine Mitchell and her team.

LIBRARY PARTNERSHIP
Following up on September’s service partners workshop, IST staff have held a series of meetings with Bernie Hurley, Lynne Grigsby and staff of the Library Systems Office to explore requirements for a program that would expand access to the library’s archiving repository and associated services.  We will work with the library in the upcoming months to design our approach, one that can also serve as an example of how research content might be transferred to other partner services.  Meanwhile, the library’s gracious offer to provide short-term storage to existing customers helps us extend support for the current Media Vault service.

PLANNING FOR A CAMPUS EVENT
Building on the September community workshop, MVP staff began planning for a campus event designed to educate Berkeley scholars on the range of services available for “making research data safe and easy to share.”  We envision an opportunity for campus researchers to roll up their sleeves and get familiar with services they can use in their work.  At the same time, the event would promote individual services and foster a larger campus discussion.  After giving consideration to holding the event this fall, we’ve decided to delay it until next semester to allow ourselves more time to target participants and develop demonstrations of next-generation platform components and workflows.  Stay tuned for more news in the New Year.

SERVICE DESIGN AND PLATFORM ANALYSIS
A major goal of these past two months has been to further decision-making around the selection of a “Gen 2” Media Vault platform and service.  Our efforts since the last update have resulted in a recommendation that we feel provides a good frame for the next round of feedback and discussions with our sponsors, advisors and user community.   We’d like to take a few moments to detail that process.

Previous findings
Over the last year, the MVP team has analyzed a broad framework of needs that center on research collections, including upload of digital assets, metadata assignment, sharing and archiving/preservation.  This framework has allowed us to envision ways to leverage the strengths of existing service providers, such as bSpace, Library Systems and the CDL, who have a long history of focus and expertise in their respective domains.  It has also allowed us to identify functional gaps that prevent researchers from managing collections in ways that enable them to make use of those available services.

We started October armed with key findings from earlier phases of the program:

  • Connect to existing library collection services, University of California Curation Center (UC3) curation and preservation services, eScholarship publishing services and Web-based archive and access services (think ArtStor, Internet Archive, Flickr)
  • Concentrate our efforts on gaps not covered by these services, such as tools to organize materials collaboratively prior to submission and to share materials among trusted colleagues
  • Focus on research use cases and workflows
  • Build on a platform that can be scaled to support thousands of disparate uses and requires minimal technical support to provision accounts or submit items to the library and other services

Requirements
Evaluation of options for a second-generation service accelerated in the following month and a half.  To guide our platform analysis, we compiled a detailed list of functional, technical, and business requirements that build upon the digital lifecycle analysis, user scenarios and workflows developed to date.  Some examples:

Functional –

  • Provides easy to use tool(s) to upload assets
  • Supports bulk application of metadata to assets already in the repository
  • Accepts standard submission metadata fields that also get sent to archive

Technical –

  • Integrates with campus authentication and authorization services (CAS, LDAP, Active Directory)
  • System must run well (and equivalently) across a range of client platforms
  • System should run with a web-client and adhere to general web portability and accessibility standards

Business –

  • System has been in use in production environments, with a good track record
  • Supplier and community can respond satisfactorily to UC Berkeley needs
  • Project has multi-year funding model that is comprehensive and sustainable
  • Program can leverage existing specialized services delivered by key partners.  We don’t want to redevelop or compete with valuable campus offerings

Candidates
Media Vault Program partners offer a number of specialized tools to help campus researchers manage their materials.  These include:

  • WebGenDL (UCB Library Systems) – the library’s internal system for managing, creating, preserving and discovering digital library content.  These tools are aimed primarily at mature, publishable sets of materials, rather than the broader context of research data
  • UC3 Curation Micro-services – a set of low barrier tools for full lifecycle enrichment of objects (e.g., identity, fixity, replication, annotation).  The first few will be rolled out publicly in January 2010.   These are presented not as a user interface, but rather as behind-the-scenes services
  • Sakai 3 – the next-generation version of the platform that powers the Berkeley campus’s bSpace application.  Due in 2011, Sakai 3 will include a range of social tools to help users extend and disseminate their materials

To augment these services, and to handle use cases beyond their scope, the MVP team examined a number of potential platforms:

  • ePrints – a 10-year old, open-source digital repository platform, primarily used for print publications, from the University of Southampton
  • Islandora – an integration of Drupal, Fedora and additional services, developed by the University of Prince Edward Island Library.  Islandora lets researchers exhibit, access and archive their materials
  • Drupal – a popular open source content management system, primarily used for web content, with a growing base of users on the Berkeley campus
  • Open Source Enterprise Content Management (ECM) platforms –
    ECM platforms are used to manage collections of Web content, documents and records.  In our case, we have been interested in document-centered functionality and how workflow-enabled content management can enable collaboration between researchers and partnered services.  These capabilities may require only small levels of customization to be leveraged to a wide audience and can be offered as part of an interoperable solution stack

    • Alfresco –a Java-based platform that would immediately provide a web-accessible place for researchers to store their materials yet can be further built out over time to meet the needs of campus.  Alfresco offers versioning and transformation of documents; ability to add workflows, rules and aspects to objects; and customizable content models (to support, for example, multiple metadata schemas)
    • Nuxeo – Similar to Alfresco, Nuxeo is used as the repository layer of IST’s CollectionSpace development project.  Though a very powerful platform, Alfresco has a more functional, richer end-user experience and is a closer match to the program’s near term goals

(See the links below for more information about these platforms.)

Detailed analysis, prototyping and discussion of these platforms in terms of fit/gap continued over the six weeks.  Team members conducted informational interviews with developers and end-users of each of these platforms.

Recommendation
Of these candidates, Alfresco stands out as the most functional, out-of-the-box solution.  With a little customization, it can be readied for user testing.  Therefore, the MVP team has selected it as the basis of its next round of discussions with stakeholders, partners and prospective users.

At the time of this writing, the MVP team is configuring a prototype service that will provide a safe place to store, share, and prepare digital media files for archiving and publication.  Through a pilot implementation based on this platform, we can address the technical and policy issues involved in creating data connections with partner services; prepare deployment and adoption strategies (which use cases do we target first?  On what timeline do we introduce particular features, workflows, schemas and other localization?); and develop the financial projections and metrics necessary to make the business case for the service.

NEXT STEPS: DEMONSTRATOR PROJECT; CONSULTATIONS WITH SPONSORS, ADVISORS & PARTNERS
Our next step is to develop a demonstration of an ECM-based service that we can bring to our community of users and other campus scholars for review.

 

 

Useful Links:

Web site:  http://mvp.berkeley.edu
Wiki: http://mvp.berkeley.edu/wiki

Conferences and campus events:
• iPres2009,  the International Conference on Preservation of Digital Objects, organized and hosted by the California Digital Library
http://www.cdlib.org/iPres/http://www.cdlib.org/iPres/confsched.html

• PASIG-SF, the fall meeting of the Sun Microsystems-sponsored Preservation and Access Special Interest Group
Slide presentations: http://lib.stanford.edu/pasig

• eScholarship: http://escholarship.org/

Platforms:

UC3 Micro-services: http://www.cdlib.org/inside/diglib/
Sakai 3: http://sakaiproject.org/future-directions
ePrints: http://www.eprints.org/
   Demonstration site: http://demoprints3.eprints.org/
Islandora: http://islandora.org (or http://islandora.ca)
Drupal: http://drupal.org
Alfresco: http://www.alfresco.com/
Nuxeo: http://www.nuxeo.com/en


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