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Volvo CE 310X

For the second year in a row, students from ME310 Project Based Engineering Design submitted their final projects to the SDR for preservation. With the submission of these 19 projects, we also preserved the Winter quarter reports for the students’ design projects.   This year’s projects covered a variety of products from construction equipment to designing a better way to chill a drink to creating a better flying experience for passengers with limited mobility.  These projects help inform future classes about design process as well as create a network of contacts for future work. 

Image from Brady, et al, DOI: 10.1016/j.neuron.2014.06.024

"We would like to provide high resolution images of brain slices for the research community to view. Would the [Stanford] Digital Repository be able to host our image data for this purpose?"

Have you ever had a similar question about how to make your research data available for other people to access? The Stanford Digital Repository is a great place to share research data of all kinds, including imagery.

Student reception

2014 Honors theses written by undergraduates in Engineering were self-deposited by the authors for the first time this year. Stanford Electrical Engineering and BioEngineering students were quick off the mark to get their draft deposits ready for final check and inclusion in the SDR archive.  2014 research topics range from Deer Antler Genetics to Thermionic Emitters.

The benefits of having a PURL (permanent URL) for their digital honors thesis which they can include in resumes, CVs, and grad school applications is something students really appreciate.  It preserves their research for the future and makes it easy to share with others, if they choose.

The five theses submitted this year are now available in SearchWorks alongside 30 digital honors theses from prior years collected and deposited in the SDR by Terman Library staff.

Black Flag poster

Our blog series highlighting new materials deposited to the Stanford Digital Repository has been on a quasi-hiatus for the last few months. But don't let the quiet fool you: deposit activity in the SDR has been stronger than ever!  In this catch-up post, we draw attention to some of the most exciting items and collections added to the SDR recently. Also keep your eyes open for more Deposit of the Week posts throughout the summer! A number of SUL staffers have been working hard to build digital collections of current work by Stanford students and faculty through the use of the SDR Online Deposit application, and they are going to tell you all about it.

Game design document - Steven Meretzky Papers (M1730)

Steven Meretzky is a pioneer in the computer games industry. His decades-long career includes experience working as a quality assurance analyst, game designer, product designer, and writer. Most of his signature contributions to the industry occurred while he was employed at Infocom, Inc., which was a prolific and highly-acclaimed publisher of text adventure games back in the 1980s. His most famous collaboration was with Douglas Adams on the computer game version of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – a text adventure game that is notorious for its arcane and difficult puzzles. 

Text adventures are also known as interactive fiction and are played completely through simple instructions that the player types into a computer program. The computer translates these instructions (ex. “go north,” “get lamp,” etc.) and responds with prepared text, unfolding a story on screen for the player. Meretzky’s skills for creating these type of narrative games led to his inclusion as one of only two game writers in the Science Fiction Writers of America (the other being Dave Lebling, one of his colleagues at Infocom.)

Image of Allen Ginsberg Papers Cassette

One of the remarkable things about large digitization projects is that not just formal events are preserved but also informal events are preserved for future access. As a matter of process the Stanford Media Preservation Lab takes part in the preservation of media that captures these special informal events.  Recently while working on a portion of the Allen Ginsberg papers many recordings were digitized but (at least) two recordings were re-formatted that informally capture his friendships with other important 20th century figures.

Corn, by Flickr user spakattacks CC BY-2.0

Climate change is all over the news these days, and when a report in the journal Science indicates potential impacts on the future of food production in the US, people sit up and take notice.

David Lobell, associate professor of environmental Earth system science and associate director of the Center on Food Security and the Environment, led a team that analyzed data on corn and soybean production along with daily weather data in actual fields in the Midwestern United States.

The large dataset of crop and weather information compiled for these studies is now available for download from the Stanford Digital Repository. It's great that the accumulated effort this data set represents is now preserved and available for other scientists to use!

[Originally posted on Free Government Information blog] Here's an interesting article, not on link rot (a topic FGI has been tracking for some time), but on *data rot*. In a recent article in Current Biology, researchers examined the availability of data from 516 studies between 2 and 22 years old. They found the following:

  • that the odds of a data set being reported as extant fell by 17% per year;
  • Broken e-mails and obsolete storage devices were the main obstacles to data sharing
  • Policies mandating data archiving at publication are clearly needed

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