Digital projects best practices [xxxiii reunión nacional de archivos 201111]


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  • digital libraries are (relatively) new. best practices are still (rapidly) evolving. computing technologies, storage media, communication protocols, and standards are changing.iArchives story.
  • this talk will probably not give you answers but rather a bunch of questions that you should ask as you undertake a digitization project. it will also give you a list of things to do before, during, after a digitization project, but not tell you how to do them.mention communications, requirements, acceptance criteria
  • primarily to enhance access. access to a digital collection is not restricted to 1 user in 1 place. now it is possible for many users in many places to concurrently access the collection.may also be to preserve a deteriorating collection
  • digital collections are similar to analog collections – books, newspapers, magazines, photographs, records – only in digital form. digital collections differ from analog collections in that they are more flexible.A digital collection consists of digital objects that are selected and organized to facilitate their discovery, access, and use.Digital objects, metadata, and the user interface together create the user experience of a collection.
  • A digital object represents a discrete unit and is comprised of a digital file or files as well as descriptive metadata. Digital objects begin life in one of two ways: As a digitized file produced as a surrogate for materials that exist in analog format.As a "born digital" entity, with no analog objects are either digital surrogates for analog objects or born digital objects scanned text, scanned photos born digital text, digital photos archived websites census records, land records
  • metadata is similar to a card catalog but more flexible. richer descriptive and administrative metadata. may contain data about the digital objects themselves.metadata is structured information associated with an object for purposes of discovery, description, use, management, and preservation.
  • phases implies separation / sequential. not necessarily sequential! more about this later…
  • digital collection users may be different from analog collection users (genealogists)digital collection users may be different from analog collection users (genealogists)copyright holders are generally not happy about digital surrogates! know Turkish / EU copyright law! collaborate with copyright holder if possible.examples: Singapore, Australia, USA
  • METS XML since version 1.1 ~2001. administered by LOC but developed by libraries around the world. METS editorial board. METS now at version 1.9METSsections:header, descriptive, administrative, files, structural map (heart of METSstructural links (between elements of structural map), behaviorMARC not often used with digital collections. replaced by MODS (administered by LOC) and / or Dublin Core (administered by OCLC)
  • TIFF since 1986. last update (version 6.0) 1992. now under control of AdobeJPEG2000 since 2000. intended to supersede JPEG.PDF, PDF/A under control of Adobe. PDF/A subset of PDF version 1.4 and an ISO standard. latest PDF version is 1.7. In 2008 Adobe granted a royalty-free rights for all patents owned by Adobe that are necessary to make, use, sell and distribute PDF compliant implementationslook for open, community developed, tried and tested standard formats
  • Crowdsourcing is a distributed problem-solving and production model. Problems are broadcast to an unknown group of solvers in the form of an open call for solutions. Users—also known as the crowd—typically form into online communities, and the crowd submits solutions. The crowd also sorts through the solutions, finding the best ones.FamilySearch documents are drawn primarily from a collection of 2.4 million microfilms made of historical documents from 110 countries.130,000+ volunteers from around the world. Records based data.Australia NDP 5,800,000 newspaper pages online. 50,000,000+ lines of newspaper text corrected, 2,000,000+ per month in 2011.Wikipedia founded 2001. 90,000 active contributors. Website ranks 6th in the world usage according to Alexa. Editions in 282 languages.
  • Recognizing that MARC is no longer fit for the purpose, work with the library and other interested communities to specify and implement a carrier for bibliographic information that is capable of representing the full range of data of interest to libraries, and of facilitating the exchange of such data both within the library community and with related communities.
  • NB: pilot batches are VERY VERY important!!
  • Digital projects best practices [xxxiii reunión nacional de archivos 201111]

    1. 1. digital projects best practices Frederick Zarndt 1
    2. 2. how’s and what’s of a digital archive / library•  what is a (good) digital library ?•  how should a digital library be designed ?•  how should a digital library be created ?•  how is a digital library measured ?•  how should a digital project be executed ?•  how should a digital library or a digital project be managed ? 2
    3. 3. why a digital project?•  to enhance accessibility of the content in libraries and archives•  to increase collaboration and cooperation between libraries and archives around the world•  to promote research•  to provide opportunities for entrepreneurs 3
    4. 4. digital projects overview•  collections: organized groups of digital objects 4
    5. 5. digital collectionsLibrary and Archives Canada 5
    6. 6. digital projects overview•  collections: organized groups of digital objects•  objects: digital materials 6
    7. 7. digital objectissue from the California Digital Newspaper Collection 7
    8. 8. digital projects overview•  collections: organized groups of digital objects•  objects: digital materials•  metadata: information about objects and collections 8
    9. 9. digital object metadatametadata from the Singapore National Library 9
    10. 10. project phases•  assess•  design•  implement•  measure•  preserve•  manage 10
    11. 11. assess•  select the collection or content•  define the goals•  identify the users•  identify ownership and legal risks•  identify applicable standards•  evaluate capabilities 11
    12. 12. design: standards•  METS XML for descriptive, structural, technical, and administrative metadata•  descriptive metadata •  Metadata Object Description Standard (MODS) selected metadata from MARC •  Dublin Core fundamental group of text elements for describing and cataloging•  technical metadata •  ALTO for OCR text •  PREMIS for digital preservation •  MIX for images 12
    13. 13. design: standards•  image standards •  TIFF •  JPEG2000 •  JPEG •  ANSI/NISO Z39.87•  file standards •  PDF, PDF/A, PDF/A-1b, PDF/A-1a •  TEI•  record standards •  ISAD(G) •  ERA 13
    14. 14. design: access•  user community•  user interface (UI)•  search•  authentication and user management•  digital object presentation•  portability•  administration 14
    15. 15. implement: pilot create requirements and acceptance criteria repeat { digitize (small) pilot batch test data against acceptance criteria adjust requirements and acceptance criteria } until (no more adjustments are necessary) digitize more dataNB: pilot batches are VERY VERY important!! 15
    16. 16. implement: in-housereasons for in-house production •  collection cannot be moved •  collection is badly organized •  digitization must be done slowly over a long period •  digitization is very simple 16
    17. 17. implement: outsourcereasons for outsourced production •  originals can’t be scanned in-house because… •  equipment is too expensive •  output data is beyond staff experience •  labor is too expensive •  large volume of work in a short time •  insufficient space, infrastructure, or staff 17
    18. 18. implement: software•  commercial off-the-shelf (COTS)•  open source•  customized COTS•  customized open source•  custom in-house 18
    19. 19. implement: crowd sourcing • •  National Library of Australia Newspapers Digitisation Program •  Library and Archives Canada •  Wikipedia 19
    20. 20. measure: acceptance criteria•  automatic quality checks •  is the digital object complete? •  is the digital object verifiable? •  is the digital object uncorrupted?•  manual quality checks •  does the metadata meet accuracy specifications? •  does the text meet accuracy specifications? •  is the image quality satisfactory? 20
    21. 21. measure: image quality “…images which are ultimately to be viewed by human beings, the only “correct” method of quantifying visual image quality is through subjective evaluation. in practice, however, subjective evaluation is usually too inconvenient, time-consuming and expensive…” “…best way to assess the quality of an image is to look at it because human eyes are the ultimate viewers of most images…”Zhou Wang and Hamid R. Sheikh. Image Quality Assessment: From Error Visibility to Structural Similarity.IEEE Transactions on Image Processing. April 2004Zhou Wang, Alan Bovick, and Ligang Lu. Why is image quality assessment so difficult? IEEE Transactionson Image Processing. April 2004 21
    22. 22. measure: use•  who is using the collection?•  what is the collection being used for?•  how many page views per day / week / month?•  how long do visitors to the collection stay?•  how many repeat visitors to the collection? 22
    23. 23. preserve•  bit rot•  format obsolescence•  media obsolescence / decay•  migration to new media or hardware•  standards obsolescence 23
    24. 24. preserve: bit rotgradual decay of … •  storage media because of media quality •  storage media because of improper storage •  data due to random events (bit-flip, •  software due to interface changes •  software due to non-obvious or inadvertent configuration changes 24
    25. 25. preserve: media decaya report by NIST and the Library of Congress says that •  virtually all CD-Rs tested indicated an estimated life expectancy beyond 15 years •  only 47 percent of recordable DVDs indicated an estimated life expectancy beyond 15 years, some had a life expectancy as short as 1.9 years •  in practice actual lifetimes may be considerably shorter 25
    26. 26. preserve: media obsolescence •  5 ¼” floppy disks •  8 track tapes •  3 ½” floppy disks •  ZIP drives •  CD-R, CD-RW, Blu-Ray •  microfilm 26
    27. 27. preserve: migration•  file format changes•  file name differences: case sensitive / insensitive•  extended file attributes•  file permissions•  soft links / hard links 27
    28. 28. preserve: standards obsolescence remember … •  WordPerfect ? •  MARC records ? •  Adobe Flash ? 28
    29. 29. preservationOpen Archival Information System (OAIS) reference model 29
    30. 30. the problem 30
    31. 31. the problem the 2009 CHAOS Report (The Standish Group)reports that of all software projects surveyed, 44% are “challenged”, 24% failed, and only 32% succeeded 31
    32. 32. the problem Roger Sessions estimates that the worldwide cost of IT failure is USD $500 billion per monthRoger Sessions: CTO of ObjectWatch. He has written seven books includingSimple Architectures for Complex Enterprises and many articles. He is afounding member of the Board of Directors of the International Association ofSoftware Architects. 32
    33. 33. the problem in a recent survey of 1230 IT professionalsconducted by Embarcadero Technologies, 2 of the 3 biggest project challenges cited by the IT prosare “poor planning” and “poor or no requirements” 33
    34. 34. the problem in a March 2007 web poll conducted by theComputing Technology Industry Association "nearly 28 percent of the more than 1,000 respondentssingled out poor communications as the number one cause of project failure" 34
    35. 35. the problemin a white paper written for Project Perfect by Taimour alNeimat, he lists • poor planning • unclear goals and objectives • objectives changing during the project • unrealistic time or resource estimates • lack of executive support and user involvement • failure to communicate and act as a team • inappropriate skillsas primary causes for the failure of complex IT projects 35
    36. 36. the problema recent tender from an (anonymous) government agency •  project to convert ~ 170,000 text images to xml •  value of project ~ USD $180,000 •  19 pages of definitions, governing law, proposal evaluation criteria, contractual conditions, instructions about tender response format, etc •  technical requirements description? < 1 page •  data acceptance criteria? “a high level of accuracy” 36
    37. 37. the problema recent program established by a prominent nationallibrary •  digitize more than 20 million text pages •  high level image and xml requirements •  value of work awarded? > USD $5,000,000 •  after award of work, technical requirements expand to 43+ pages from ~3 pages •  acceptance criteria? added as an afterthought and not well defined 37
    38. 38. the problemtypical tender evaluation criteria in priority order 1. understanding of requirements 2. reputation of service bureau 3. price 38
    39. 39. 39
    40. 40. the problemrequirements 40
    41. 41. requirementsLibrary of Congress JPEG2000 profile 41
    42. 42. the problemrequirements acceptance 42
    43. 43. acceptanceNational Library of Australia NDP 43
    44. 44. the problem requirements acceptancecommunication 44
    45. 45. communication “projects are about communication, communication, and communication”Elenbass,  B.  (2000).  “Staging  a  Project:  Are  You  Se>ng  Your  Project  Up  for  Success?”.    Proceedings  of  the  Project  Management  InsItute  Annual  Seminars  &  Symposiums.   45
    46. 46. references•  METS, MODS, ALTO, PRISM, etc :•  OAIS :•  NISO standards and guidelines :•  good practice guides :•  And many, many more 46
    47. 47. preguntas? Frederick Zarndt frederick@frederickzarndt.comThis work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike (CC by SA) License. To view a copy of this license visit 47