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 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.
In an unassuming low-rise building on a side street in Naples, Florida sits the Revs Institute. The Institute, which is open to invited scholars and guests, houses a collection of fully restored historically significant automobiles, as well as a library containing images, books and ephemera. Since the images are carefully stored, many as negatives, a large number of them may not have been seen since they were taken. Up until now, this entire collection was housed under one roof, one large hurricane away from being damaged or lost.
We haven't yet figured out how to digitally preserve automobiles, but digitization of the large and unique image collection of the Revs Institute is underway. Working with Pixel Acuity and the Revs Institute, over 100,000 images representing over 1 terabyte of data have been digitized and preserved in the Stanford Digital Repository (SDR) in just over a year since the project began. The Revs Digital Library website, built on top of SDR by engineers in the Stanford University Libraries, allows users to search and view all the images. The website is currently available only to members of the Stanford University community.
Each image can be viewed at full resolution using the zoom and pan controls familiar to users of Google Maps. Collections can also be browsed or viewed in a slideshow format. Next we plan to engage the automotive community by adding tools to help improve the metadata, thus adding additional value to the collection.
The initial internal launch of the Revs Digital Library is an important milestone - not only does it ensure these images will be preserved for the future, it also makes them readily available to scholars in the Revs Program at Stanford for research purposes.
But the work is only beginning. Over the next three years, along with additional tools and features, another 300,000 images are expected to become available in the digital library. And the history of the automobile will continue to be preserved for future generations.
The University Archives and Digital Library Systems and Services are pleased to announce that photograph albums from the Hanna House Collection are now available online via the Stanford Digital Repository. Featuring more than 300 photographs, the images document the construction and renovation of this Frank Lloyd Wright masterpiece.
In 1935, Paul and Jean Hanna commissioned Wright to design their home to be built on the Stanford University campus. Construction, begun in 1937, continued in four stages over 25 years. The house was the first structure in the world to use Frank Lloyd Wright's hexagonal grid system, which has subsequently been used widely in American architecture.
During the last two months of 2012, approximately 120,000 images and objects representing nearly 74,000 items were accessioned into the Stanford Digital Repository (SDR). These materials include automobile-related images from the Revs collection, audio recordings from San Francisco's Film Arts Foundation, posters from the STOP AIDS Project collection, additional books from the Stephen J Gould collection and a variety of Stanford-related historical images, including photos from the Stanford Prison Experiment.
In October, approximately 22,000, images representing nearly 20,000 items were accessioned into the Stanford Digital Repository (SDR). These materials include ~ 17,000 automobile-related images from the Revs collection, 130 additional books from the Stephen J Gould collection, Beethoven scores from the Memorial Library of Music and early twentieth century photographs of YWCA in China from the East Asia Library.
The Revs Digital Library is a project within the Digital Library Systems and Services group whose goal is to ensure access and preservation of materials from the Revs Institute and the Revs Program at Stanford.
The Revs Institute in Naples, Florida is an independent educational organization that advances the scholarly study of automotive history. The Institute houses a library with over a million items, including a large and varied collection of automotive materials such as images, research books, ephemera, and specialized documents.
The Revs Program at Stanford was established to promote a new trans-disciplinary field connecting the past, present and future of the automobile. The program aims to put the automobile at the center of the university and raise the quality of academic discourse at Stanford and beyond. The program is now producing research data and generating course materials.
Working with Pixel Acuity, the Revs Institute is currently digitizing their collection of images using specialized digital cameras. Each slide, negative or print is cleaned and imaged at a high resolution. The images and associated metadata are collected and transferred to Stanford, where they are being accessioned into the Stanford Digital Repository (SDR) using an automated pipeline.
The automated pipeline is built using the Ruby programming language and relies on a "robot" framework, also developed at Stanford, for queing up and executing specific jobs in various workflows. For example, in order to be accessioned, each image must be analyzed to ensure its integrity has not been compromised in transit (by computing MD5 checksums), web friendly derivative images need to be created (JP2), images need to be moved to the digital "stacks" and preservation core, and so on. A "robot" is designed for each specific task, and tasks are organized into ordered workflows, with appropriate dependencies. Queues are established to automatically move objects through the pipeline, wtih additional servers running copies of the robots added as needed to maintain throughput.
The Revs Digital Library, currently under development, will ensure that all of the accessioned materials from the Revs Institute, as well as the original research from the Revs Program, are indexed, preserved and made available to library patrons, researchers and the general public. By digitizing materials and making them discoverable, content that was once available to a select few becomes useful and discoverable for a wide range of researchers. The Revs Digital Library is being built on top of the Stanford Digital Repository to provide a web based platform for discovery of automotive research and images. The Digital Library is developed in Ruby on Rails using open source technologies, including Blacklight, Hydra, and Fedora Commons and will allow for metadata editing, provide community features, and tools for researchers to further utilize the data.
As of October 4, nearly 68,000 images from the Revs Institute's collections have been digitized and staged on Stanford Library servers, with 1000 images accessionined into SDR. By the end of 2012, we expect to have all 68,000 images accessioned, with a digital library website for browsing and viewing the materials.