Current Cites

May 2014

Edited by Roy Tennant

Contributors: Charles W. Bailey, Jr., Peter Hirtle, Nancy Nyland, Roy Tennant

Beagrie, Neil, Andrew  Charlesworth, and Paul  Miller. The National Archives Guidance on Cloud Storage and Digital Preservation: How Cloud Storage Can Address the Needs of Public Archives in the UK  Surrey, United Kingdom: The National Archives, 2014.( - To cloud or not to cloud, that is the question on many research library technology leaders' minds. Some answers can be found in this useful report. Although intended for a UK audience, readers of other nationalities will find plenty to chew on in this report from well-regarded consultants Charles Beagrie Ltd., including an overview, a step-by-step guide, a look at short-term future developments, a good practice guide, an annotated bibliography, and a summary of legal issues. Related case studies of UK archives are also available. - CB

Cassidy, Erin D., et. al."Higher Education and Emerging Technologies: Shifting Trends in Student UsageThe Journal of Academic Librarianship  40(2)(March 2014): 124-133. ( - What do we really know about our library patrons' use of technology, and what technologies our users want us to offer in conjunction with library services? The librarians at Sam Houston State University attempted to answer these questions by surveying students about their use of more than a dozen types of hardware and online services, as well as what technology students would like to use. The answers revealed that some library users were unaware of services the library was already providing. Marketing and communication may be as important as the state of a library's technology. Even more than that, clear communication is critical, as students sometimes did not recognize an existing service by the name which library staff used to promote it. The survey answers also revealed one or two areas where students did not turn out to be as interested in a technology as library staff thought they were. The article shows that libraries need to be investing in technology that is located where their users are, and to do that, they have to know their users. Although this survey covered college students, surveys covering other groups and technologies are available from the Pew Research Center at - NN

Fleischhauer, Carl. "Comparing Formats for Still Image Digitizing: Part OneThe Signal: Digital Preservation  (14 May 2014)( - One would think that after over twenty years of extensive research in and use of digital image file formats, there would be little new to say about them. Fleischhauer's two-part discussion of the topic (the second part of which is found here) suggests otherwise. He introduces us to the valuable new reports by the Still Image Working Group of the Federal Agencies Digitization Guidelines Initiative on "Still Image File Format Comparison." There is, Fleischhauer suggests, no definitive reason to favor one of the two most common master file formats (TIFF and JPEG 2000). Both involve trade-offs. And in a bit of surprise, he hints that maybe PNG should be added into the race for a master file format. The reports and the discussion about it mentioned in Fleischhauer's postings are essential reading for anyone involved in digital curation - PH

Goodman, Alyssa , Alberto  Pepe, and Alexander W  Blocker, et. al."Ten Simple Rules for the Care and Feeding of Scientific DataPLOS Computational Biology  (24 April 2014)( - Trying to convince researchers to undertake the data curation tasks that would allow others to repeat or build upon the data behind most scientific articles is no easy task. The costs associated with providing reusable data to others are real, and the professional benefits are uncertain. In this very simple and straightforward piece, the authors argue that by following some simple rules, the difficulties in sharing data can be greatly reduced. Along the way, they provide links to resources that can help. The "Ten Simple Rules" are likely to be a great starting point for any researcher who feels as the authors do that "bad data management is bad for science." I just wish they had included an 11th rule: "Turn to your local data curator for professional assistance in the care and feeding of data." - PH

Zastrow, Jan. "Taking the Long View: Surveying Collections for Preservation and Digitization Priorities"  Computers in Libraries  34(4)(May 2014): 22-24. - "In a 2010 report," this piece states, "two of the top three most challenging issues in special collections and archives were cited as managing born-digital materials and the implicit mandate to 'digitize everything'". In this article, the author advocates that the first set toward digital archiving nirvana is to survey what you already have. Drawing heavily on work coming out of OCLC Research, she describes how you can begin gaining control over your digital assets. (Full disclosure: This piece cites work performed by my colleagues) - RT