This is a story about the power of word of mouth.
Undergraduates are a hard-working group, and nowhere is this truer than here at Stanford. Our undergraduates make frequent contributions to scientific research all over campus, and important contributions are important to preserve. Which is why today's Deposit of the Week comes to us from student Tessaly Jen.
Making historical data sets available to the world is one of the many ways the Stanford Digital Repository is promoting data preservation and sharing. This Deposit of the Week from Hopkins Marine Station is a perfect example of that.
Pisaster ochraceus--the ochre sea star--lives along the rocky coast of Central California and the Hopkins Marine Life Refuge. Studies of the ochre sea star population over time help scientists better understand what is happening to the population and how outside forces like the reintroduction of a possible predator or local environmental changes can affect it.
Some of the latest work underway in Digital Library Systems and Services involves adding digital collections to SearchWorks. Last week saw the addition of five new collections to SearchWorks, all created and deposited to the Stanford Digital Repository using the Self-Deposit web application.
Of the five, we’re highlighting Preserving Virtual Worlds, a collection produced by curator Henry Lowood and a team of collaborators in a multi-institution project funded by the Library of Congress. Original software, gameplay samples, technical documentation, web sites, and other contextual information for games like SimCity, DOOM, and Star Raiders are archived for the ages. Henry’s blog announcement sums up the project and collection nicely.
With the University Archives making more and more collections available online, I'd like to take the opportunity to highlight some of the novel ways in which these materials are being used by researchers. What follows is a recent report from Ed Feigenbaum, Kumagai Professor of Computer Science Emeritus, about how his papers in particular are yielding interesting connections:
The Undergraduate Theses collections for Physics and Engineering Physics are now open for deposit. This year’s crop of top undergraduates in the Department of Physics and in the Engineering Physics program have the distinction of being the first undergrads to deposit their theses in the SDR. These two are the first of several honors theses collections opening this quarter. (The School of Education is assembling their collection together now, and two other departments may follow suit.)
Librarian Stella Ota manages the collections, working with faculty, staff, and the selected students to use the Self Deposit application. She has been collecting digital honors theses offline since 2010. When the ETD system launched in fall 2009, Stella had a vision for using a similar process to collect the Physics undergraduate theses for access and preservation in the SDR. Yet without a deposit interface, it proved to be challenging to track down each student, to have them sign a hard-copy deposit agreement, to collect the PDF files by thumbdrive or email, and to create the metadata. The Self Deposit workflow promises to make the whole process of collecting and archiving these works more systematic, more secure, and more efficient.
On April 17th the Stanford University Libraries held a special talk by architect, designer, and sustainable growth pioneer, William McDonough, co-author, with Michael Braungart, of the exciting new book: The Upcycle: Beyond Sustainability—Designing for Abundance. We are pleased to be able to share the video of the event.
Since the Electronic Thesis and Dissertation system launched in November 2009, Stanford's PhD and Engineering graduate students have had the option to submit their culminating works either online or on paper. For many students, the choice is easy to make: electronic submission is convenient, quick, and costs nothing whereas the traditional option requires producing multiple printed copies of the thesis and paying an accompanying fee (starting at $126).