On 24 June, DRI held a Members' and Community Forum, in which current and potential members of DRI gathered to get updates on what we're doing and tell us about their work with the repository. Ellen Murphy, archivist with Dublin City Library and Archive presented to the group on the work DCLA is doing with its digital collections, and the collections that are being prepared for ingest into DRI, including the Jacobs Biscuit Factory Archive and the Failte Ireland archive collections.
Below are summaries of the presentations by DRI staff given to the group that day, and slides.
FAIR data and EOSC
DRI’s Director Natalie Harrower welcomed everyone to the forum, and spent a few minutes introducing the FAIR data principles, as something that should be on the radar of all institutions working with digital data. FAIR data is part of the larger European Open Science Agenda. For a number of years, the EC was focused Open Access - the importance of making research results (publications) that are funded by public research openly available to the public. The FAIR data movement grows out of this general landscape, arguing that the data produced by research — all of that work gathered in the course of research - should also be made available. FAIR data is data that is Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable. While the FAIR principles are mostly being discussed in research and higher education circles (partly because the European Commission will expecting FAIR data outputs as a condition of awarding research funding) the principles themselves should also be of interest to cultural heritage institutions, because making digital collections FAIR opens the potential for researchers to engage with GLAM collections. At a recent DARIAH event in Warsaw focuses on how cultural heritage institutions and digital humanities researchers could better collaborate, Dr. Harrower noted, the discussion turned quickly to FAIR data sharing. For more information see: http://dri.ie/fair-data-report-open-consultation
DRI Software Engineer, Kathryn Cassidy talked about how the Repository is helping to disseminate our members' digital materials, with hundreds of views per day across a range of collections. The majority of visitors to the Repository are from Ireland, but there is also strong interest coming from the UK and US. New reports in the Repository give collection owners some visibility of these statistics for their own collections, showing how many users are viewing and downloading their digital assets.
She went on to showcase some of the other new features recently added to the repository system. These include necessary changes to gain the CoreTrustSeal Trusted Digital Repository certification and to ensure that the repository is GDPR complaint, as well as new functionality such as support for repository interoperability via OAI-PHM and IIIF and easier ingest of large volumes of materials via the new Batch Ingest workflow. She highlighted the API that allows tools and services to be built on top of the Repository, making it possible for collection owners to provide new ways to access their collections while benefiting from the storage and preservation of DRI, and introduced the new user guides which we hope will help users make the most of the Repository.
Preserving Research Data
Research Data Specialist Garret McMahon gave an overview on long-term preservation of research data. Effective planning for the long-term preservation of research data begins before data is either generated or processed. The research data management lifecycle commences at the research proposal and design stage of a project and continues through to the supporting processes of data archiving and reuse when the data are no longer active. This requires documented decisions to underpin the discoverability, accessibility and reusability of the data and to help demonstrate transparency and openness and return on public investment. A data management plan or DMP is a detailed record of all aspects of research data management over the entire research lifecycle. As well as being good research practice this can also be a research funder requirement.
Decisions made during the course of a research project will have an impact on the long-term preservation of research data where the characteristics of authenticity, reliability, integrity, and usability of the dataset must be guaranteed. These include but are not limited to decisions regarding file formats, metadata, persistent identification, citation, and the intellectual property rights of datasets in the place of preservation. Data generated by social science and humanities research may also have particular requirements regarding the use of personal and secondary data.
Having a DMP that is comprehensive and flexible enough to accommodate change during a research project will be critical to successful long-term preservation. As such it can be considered a research output in its own right and should be preserved along with the data.
Atlantic Philanthropies Archive Project
Project Lead for DRI’s Atlantic Philanthropies Archive, historian and curator Caroline McGee, talked about this exciting new digital archiving collaboration. She described how she is working with digital archivist Anja Mahler to create a series of digital collections that will showcase the work of Atlantic's Irish grantees in the fields of human rights, education, and community social change projects across the island of Ireland since 1982. DRI's Atlantic digital archive will build upon The Atlantic Philanthropies’ archive housed at Cornell University Library’s Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections in Ithaca, New York.
The Atlantic Philanthropies are dedicated to advancing opportunity, equity and human dignity. Established in 1982, when Chuck Feeney quietly committed virtually all of his assets to the foundation, Atlantic has since made grants totaling $8 billion. In keeping with Mr. Feeney’s “Giving While Living,” big-bet philosophy, Atlantic invests in systemic change to accelerate improvements in the lives of disadvantaged and vulnerable people. The foundation, which has operated in Australia, Bermuda, Cuba, Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland, South Africa, the United States and Viet Nam, completed all grant making in 2016 and will conclude operations shortly afterward. To learn more, please visit: www.atlanticphilanthropies.org.