deborah: the Library of Congress cataloging numbers for children's literature, technology, and library science (Default)
YES YES YES. An excellent post by Dorothea at Book of Trogool, inspired by Dan Cohen, about sustainability and chasing the shiny.

As I've had occasion to mention, scholars generally and humanists in particular have a terrible habit of chasing the shiny. [...]

The answer to this conundrum is not, however, "avoid the shiny at all costs!" It can't be. That will only turn scholars away from archiving and archivists. To my mind, this means that our systems have to take in the data and make it as easy as possible for scholars to build shiny on top of it. When the shiny tarnishes, as it inevitably will, the data will still be there, for someone else to build something perhaps even shinier.

Mark me well, incidentally: it is unreasonable and unsustainable to expect data archivists to build a whole lot of project-specific shiny stuff. You don't want your data archivists spending their precious development cycles doing that! You want your archivists bothering about machine replacement cycles, geographically-dispersed backups, standards, metadata, access rights, file formats, auditing and repair, and all that good work.

YES. We need to be working well with the people responsible for interfaces -- but we need not to be building those interfaces ourselves. (Hopefully, I will soon have exciting news about a project that follows these guidelines. I'm not going to make an announcement until we have it right, though. *g*)
deborah: the Library of Congress cataloging numbers for children's literature, technology, and library science (Default)
I've mostly been blogging on children's literature issues lately, not archives and library issues. I think this is because in archives, I'm much more concerned with the pragmatic macro/micro day-to-day realities of the nigtmare that is digital preservation, rather than with any attempt to drive the field forward. It's one of the reasons I haven't said anything about the DuraSpace announcement, not wanting to harsh on anyone's squee, because while in the long-term I can see real benefits to having a joint foundation, not tied to a single software solution, in the short run I just wish the Fedora Commons team would think more about the daily pragmatic realities of running a production preservation and access tool using their software.

But I am going to break my library silence because I haven't seen the Elsevier scandal get much play outside of the science and library blogospheres, and it should. In a nutshell, one of the ongoing Vioxx lawsuits revealed that Elsevier produced a fake peer reviewed journal as a marketing tool for Merck. The Australasian Journal of Bone and Joint Medicine was apparently high enough quality to fool doctors who weren't looking for shenanigans. Jacqueline at Laika's MedLibLog points out that this practice seems either more or less outrageous when you realize it's hardly unique. Good thing Elsevier assures us that it was an isolated practice and those responsible for sacking those responsible have been sacked!

Keep in mind that Elsevier has spent a substantial amount of time and money lobbying at least the United States and United Kingdom governments explaining that open access research will be devastating because it will be impossible for anyone to tell what is high-quality research and what is solid, peer-reviewed, and published by a reputable gatekeeper.
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