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What Does Innovation Look Like? The NDSA Innovation Working Group Wants to Know

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The following is a guest post from Micah Beck, Associate Professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the University of Tennessee, and Jane Mandelbaum, Trevor Owens and Jefferson Bailey in the Library of Congress’s Office of Strategic Initiatives.

What important big ideas are just around the corner in digital stewardship? What breakthroughs in technology are going to have a major impact on our work in digital preservation? The National Digital Stewardship Alliance Innovation working group is on the lookout for information that helps us respond to these two questions. Broadly speaking, our group is working to engage partners inside and outside the Alliance to help share and spur novel ideas in digital preservation.

This post is a quick update for anyone interested in the four different projects the Innovation group is currently engaged in. We are always looking for input on our current activities, so consider taking a moment to share some thoughts on our projects in the comments.

Insights Interview Series

So far, as part of our series of Insights posts, we have conducted four interviews with innovators in the field of digital stewardship. You can expect to see more from this series over the course of the year. Here is a re-cap of the four interviews we have conducted thus far:

1. Crowdsourcing the Civil War: Insights Interview with Nicole Saylor

This interview explores the development of a crowdsourcing transcription project at the University of Iowa.

2. Brett Bobley of the Office for Digital Humanities at the NEH

This interview explores relationships between the “Digging into Data” grants and digital stewardship.

3. Toward a Library of Virtual Machines: Insights interview with Vasanth Bala and Mahadev Satyanarayanan

This interview focuses on a project to create a virtual library of software for emulation.

4. Interview with David Rosenthal

This interview explores perspectives on software development and problems in digital preservation.

Recognizing Innovation in Digital Stewardship

Trophies, by terren in Virginia, on Flickr
Trophies, by terren in Virginia, on Flickr

The innovation awards action team is making progress toward launching a series of awards to recognize and celebrate innovative work in digital stewardship. We previously blogged about this project in Digital Preservation’s Got Talent.  The group is on track to give out the first in an annual series of awards at the next joint NDIIPP/NDSA meeting this summer. Expect to hear announcements for award nominations in the near future.

“Neighborhood Watch” for Repository Quality Assurance

The depot walk just got 100% better, by tom.arthur, on Flickr
The depot walk just got 100% better, by tom.arthur, on Flickr

The Neighborhood Watch action team has developed and shared a set of ideas for how we might put together a collaborative system for checking the bit level integrity of content in digital repositories. Read the guest post from Stephen Abrams of the UC Curation Center/California Digital Library outlining the ideas behind this project. Alongside workshopping this idea and drafting the documents linked to from that post, the members of the group have presented on and shared this work at the Designing Storage Architectures for Preservation Collections meeting and as part of an NDSA panel at the Coalition for Networked Information’s recent meeting.

Open Source Tools, Digital Stewardship, and Google’s Summer of Code

088, by AsGood, on Flickr
088, by AsGood, on Flickr

The working group is currently exploring how we can better showcase the work members are engaging in through Google’s Summer of Code initiative. NDSA members, like DuraSpace, have already made great use of the program to expand involvement in the development of their open source software projects.We are excited to see how we might better connect work on NDSA member’s open source software development projects with discussion of member’s participation in initiatives like Google’s Summer of Code.

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