Project – NAMES

Project Name: Names: Pilot national name and factual authority service

Programme Name: Repositories and Preservation Programme

Strand: Information Environment

JISC Project URI: http://www.jisc.ac.uk/whatwedo/programmes/reppres/sharedservices/names.aspx

Project URI: http://names.mimas.ac.uk/

Start Date: 1st May 2007

End Date:30th September 2008

Governance: RPAG

Contact Name and Role: Amanda Hill, Project Manager

Brief project description:

The project is scoping the requirements of UK institutional and subject repositories for a service that will reliably and uniquely identify individuals and institutions.

A prototype service is under development to test the various processes involved. This includes determining the most appropriate data format, setting up a test database, mapping data from different sources, populating the database with records and testing the use of the data.

This will provide important information about the future usefulness of a name authority service for institutional and subject-based repositories, and other applications beyond the repository sector.”

Outputs:

Comments:

The prototype service is now available as at 13th Jan 2009, but some development work is still to be done (acc to Names blog last paragraph).

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Output – VIF: Embedding Versioning

Title: VIF: Embedding Versioning Information in an Object

Pages: webpage
Date Released: Jan2008

URI for Output: http://www.lse.ac.uk/library/vif/Framework/Object/index.html

Summary of contents:
Because it is entirely possible for users to access objects within a repository without ever seeing any metadata, VIF recommends that some versioning information is embedded into the object and suggests the following:

“It is strongly recommended that at least one of the following solutions to embed versioning information into object is advocated and used systematically within a repository:

1. ID Tags and Properties Fields
2. Cover Sheet
3. Filename
4. Watermark”

The framework provides some further details about each of these. In essence – use something and use it consistently

Comments:
Supporting interoperabilty, especially interoperability over time is reliant on being able to distinguish between versions. It maybe simple to regard ‘use something consistently’ as a standard but if a repository at least follows it’s own standard. this provides a starting point for interoperability.

Project – IESR

Project Name: Information Environment Service Registry (IESR)

Programme Name: Information Environment

Strand: Shared Infrastructure Services programme

JISC Project URI: http://www.jisc.ac.uk/whatwedo/services/mimas/iesr.aspx

Project URI: http://www.iesr.ac.uk/

Start Date: 1st Jan 2003

End Date: 31st Match 2009

Governance: JISC Integrated Information Environment committee?

Contact Name and Role: Vic Lyte, Project Manager

Brief project description:

“The IESR has been developed to provide a registry of information about electronic resources that are of value to teachers, researchers and learners. The IESR project is part of JISC‘s Shared Services Programme.

The aim is to create a reliable source of information that other applications, such as portals, can freely access through machine-to-machine protocols, in order to help their end users discover resources of assistance to them.

The IESR contains information about the resources themselves, technical details about how to access the resources, and contact details for the resource providers. For resource providers the IESR will hold a master description of their electronic resources, to which other potential users of the resources may be directed.

The registry is held in an XML repository using Cheshire information retrieval software.”

Outputs:

Output – VIF: Version labels or taxonomies

Title: VIF: Version labels or taxonomies

Pages: webpage
Date Released: May 2008

URI for Output: http://www.lse.ac.uk/library/vif/Framework/Essential/taxonomies.html

Summary of contents:
“Clarity of versions is important; but the terminology, even for just articles, is not static or decided. Consistent usage within one repository, possibly for particular items may be achievable, such as at LSE, but care should be taken in their use and their implementation should be supported by clear policy and definition.

Explicit definition of vocabulary used is a minimum requirement if taxonomies are used.”

Suggested taxonomies are the those produced by the following projects:

Comments:
In light of their survey results (noted here: https://rrtsynthesis.wordpress.com/2009/02/03/output-vifthe-results-of-the-vif-user-requirements-study-taxonomy/ ) VIF had already noted that widespread consistency in the use of any taxonomy is unlikely. Here they have recommended some appropriate standard taxonomies and noted that within a single repository consistent use may be possible.

Outputs – VIF: Dates

Title: VIF:Dates

Pages: webpage
Date Released: May 2008

URI for Output: http://www.lse.ac.uk/library/vif/Framework/Essential/dates.html

Summary of contents:

“# If there is ever only one option for a date, then it is critical that you find a way to make it clear which date you are referring to. You should agree on what the most relevant to your repository is, apply it consistently and provide information to users about it.
# VIF recommends is that if you only use one date, it should be Date Modified (by the author, not the repository) and wherever possible, this should be accompanied by a description of who made the changes and why.
# A key thing to remember when considering which date to use to enhance version identification, is that it should relate to the object at hand, not to the repository or to an understanding of the workflow.”

Comments:
The VIF project provides guidance about the, often ambiguous, use of dates in repositories.

Output – VIF: Versioning Information – identification

Title: VIF: Essential Versioning Information

Pages: webpage
Date Released: May 2008

URI for Output: http://www.lse.ac.uk/library/vif/Framework/Essential/index.html

Summary of contents:
As well as author and title information VIF reccomends that the clear identification of an item should be supported by as much of the following information as possible. The pieces of information should be exposed by “embedding them into an object or storing them in metadata”

” 1. Defined dates
2. Identifiers
3. Version numbering
4. Version labels or Taxonomies
5. Text description”

Comments:
The VIF provides further details about each of these types of information. Where there are key recomendations they are listed in this blog as seperate entries.

The consistent provsion of this set of information would better enable repository services to locate appropriate copies from aggregated copies of the same item.

Output – VIF:The results of the VIF user requirements study – datasets

Title: VIF:The results of the VIF user requirements study

Pages: webpage (summary of http://www.lse.ac.uk/library/vif/Versioning_Issues_-_Discussion_Paper.doc)
Date Released:

URI for Output: http://www.lse.ac.uk/library/vif/Problem/research.html

Summary of contents:
“VIF carried out further research into repositories that already contain some datasets, and investigated how these datasets are managed. Because this is a currently limited field, and because repository systems are not primarily configured to deal with such objects, we found that repository staff:

* Avoid versioning issues wherever possible by only keeping the most recent version. Older versions are deleted. This contrasts with how older version of other types of object are usually treated.
* By doing this, potential issues about which version people are citing becomes a problem.
* Have not found satisfactory ways to describe or indicate the relationship that a particular set of data holds to other related research outputs that are held in the repository.”

Comments:

This practice, if widespread beyond the survey group, represents a significant challenge that needs to be addressed (possibly by tool/repository plugin development). Succesfully citing and sharing datasets requires a stable and identifiable versioning system.