Spotlight – April 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

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

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

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

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

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

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 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

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

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)

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.


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