Blog topic: Digital preservation

Corn, by Flickr user spakattacks CC BY-2.0

SDR Deposit of the Week: Corn and Climate Change

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!

Research data lost to the sands of time

April 9, 2014
by Mr. James R. (Librarian) Jacobs

[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

SDR Deposit of the Week: Micrographs that touch a nerve

You might not think of worms when someone mentions neuroscience, but it turns out the tiny, transparent worm C. elegans is a great organism for studying the senses. That's in part because researchers have previously mapped the locations and synaptic connections of each of the 302 neurons of these 1mm long creatures. 

More recently, researchers Juan Cueva and Miriam Goodman have performed studies using C. elegans to examine how certain touch receptor neurons are activated. They generated nearly 3300 electron micrographs of worm cross sections that have been preserved in the Stanford Digital Repository (SDR) and are now available for download and reuse by other researchers around the world (see below for links to the images).

PowerPoint slide from SDR online deposit on Anthopleura Sea Anemone Distribution in the Rocky Intertidal at Hopkins Marine Station

New digital collections available in SearchWorks

Four new digital collections were added to SearchWorks via Stanford Digital Repository (SDR) online deposit during the month of March. These collections take advantage of recently released functionality that provides researchers with new rich discovery and access capabilities for finding and working with digital collection content.

Art by Kimi Tanabe

SDR Deposit of the Week: New collection of theses in Feminist, Gender and Sexuality Studies

March 27, 2014
by Regina Lee Roberts

The Program in Feminist Studies at Stanford has been around since 1981, but in 2013 the program officially changed its name to the Program in Feminist, Gender and Sexuality Studies in order to be more inclusive of the broader range of scholarship related to gender and sexuality research. For the history of this name change, please see the story in "Gender News". Apropos of the name change, 2013 also marks the first year that the program's undergraduate honors theses have been archived as digital files in the Stanford Digital Repository (SDR).

Open tape reel from Gerhard Samuel Collection, ARS.0049

How accessible are our media collections?

During the fall of 2013, Stanford University Libraries (SUL) convened a working group to investigate the current state of access to audio and moving image materials held within its various collections, notably rare materials within its different special collections departments, along with those held at the Hoover Institution Library and Archives. 

Following many weeks of investigation, the Media Access Working Group (MAWG) produced a report in December 2013 outlining its findings, along with various recommendations to help tackle the issues discovered. The group considered issues relating to use cases, copyright status, available technologies - including media streaming, and content usage. 

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