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Imagine this scenario:

You worked hard on your research project and are publishing your results in a well-respected journal. You even go so far as to carefully organize the supporting data so that you can share the details of your experiments with others by posting these data online on your web space at Stanford. And you publish that URL in your journal article so everyone will know where to go.

Time passes, and you move on to another institution and another research project. But your data no longer has a home. Once you leave Stanford your web space is no longer accessible. Other researchers find your paper and are interested in your data, but when they type in the URL, all they see is a big ugly notice that says, "Access Denied."

The Oversized Imaging Lab has recently imaged a 70 x 90 inch rolled Map of Santa Clara County from 1914.

It was shot in 108 tiles and stitched together to create a 600 ppi, 55554 x 42686 or 2.371 gigapixel, 7.11 GB digital surrogate. This is the largest object we have imaged in the Map Scanning Lab thus far - it is an exciting milestone!

There are approximately 40 more oversize rolled maps in the Branner Map Collections that are waiting to be digitized. These maps are challenging from an access standpoint due to their cumbersome size.  As the Assistant Map Librarian Jane Ingalls put it "these maps are so large that the patron can't see the center of the Map when it is laid out on a table for viewing and it is hard to get to the center with a magnifying glass." Digitization solves this problem!

The Stanford Digital Repository Self-Deposit service has only been in use for a handful of weeks, and we already see a number of deposits that underscore the needs of Stanford researchers for a central, longterm home where they can archive and share the results of their work. Take this dataset in the Folding@home collection, submitted last week by T.J. Lane.

Lane and his colleagues in the Pande Lab published a 2011 article in the Journal of the American Chemical Society about one of the exciting outcomes of the Folding@home project. While the article is accessible online via the journal web site, the same cannot be said for the data upon which the published findings are based. 

Many scholarly journals do not offer supplemental data hosting services for their authors. This gap creates an awkward situation for both researchers and the readers of their publications. How can other scientists investigate the reproducibility of the research without access to the underlying data? How can others explore the data to build on it, to uncover new discoveries? How can research groups effectively manage their collective work over time as team members, and their desktop computers, come and go?

Enter the SDR. As Lane explained in an unsolicited promotion to his peers, "The primary benefit of [depositing in the SDR] is to ensure that your data live on forever (even after graduation!) and are easily available to whomever. For anyone who's had to go digging for data when someone asks for it, or had to ask another group for their data …, the benefits should be clear. Hope you'll join me as an adopter of SDR!"

The SDR team is particularly pleased to be involved in sustaining the Folding@home research, which has pioneered methods for studying protein structural dynamics in disease research. "Since its launch on October 1, 2000, the Pande lab has produced [over] 109 scientific research papers as a direct result of Folding@home", according to Wikipedia. We expect the Folding@home collection in the SDR will grow as this vital research continues. We also are confident that it will lead to deposits by other research projects: word-of-mouth is clearly a primary way of spreading news about the SDR self-deposit service to researchers around campus.

The Lane data deposit is one of several that came to the SDR as a result of a data archiving pilot now underway in an important collaboration between the SDR team, Data Management Services and the Social Science Data Service.  We have three other research data deposits like this one already completed or nearly so.  

This post is the first in a series featuring notable SDR deposits as the data pilot continues and as the Self-Deposit service rolls out. 

 

We are excited to announce that 187 posters from the STOP AIDS Project records have been digitized, accessioned into the Stanford Digital Repository and are now available online via the collection's finding aid.

 

In an important collaboration this month, Stanford Media Preservation Lab and the Department of Special Collections & University Archives are participating in the California Audiovisual Preservation Project, a pioneering statewide initiative, for a third round in a row. The CAVPP is providing funds to reformat film and video selections from SULAIR’s collections, including newly resurrected video from the Stanford Prison Experiment and the Stanford University Film Collection. These items will be sent to an outside vendor with the equipment necessary to capture preservation-quality digital files from these unique materials in obsolete formats. The digitized content will be preserved in the Stanford Digital Repository and made broadly available to the public through the California Light and Sound collection at the Internet Archive.

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