Here’s my round up of news from the world of Discovery and beyond over the past couple of weeks. As with my previous posts, many of the items were gleaned from the #ukdiscovery twitter hashtag which you can dip into whenever you like by opening up this FiveFilters ‘newspaper’ pdf.
First of all, some news from the Discovery initiative – There is an opportunity to attend the free Licensing Clinic that the Discovery project is running on Wednesday 9th May in Birmingham. This practical roundtable event is aimed at managers and decision makers in libraries, archives and museums and there will be the following experts on hand to help guide you through your institution’s particular open metadata licensing challenges: Francis Davey (Barrister), Naomi Korn (Copyright Consultant), Paul Miller (Cloud of Data). Please note that places at this event are strictly limited to 15 delegates so you’re advised to book sooner rather than later and you can do that by signing up via the Eventbrite registration page.
In recent weeks I’ve seen a few articles relating to the need for skills development in the area of ‘data wrangling’/’data management’:
- The Open Knowledge Foundation and Peer 2 Peer University (P2PU) announced their plans for a School of Data to address the growing demand for data skills (and they are looking for organisations to collaborate with them).
- Liz Lyon’s article in The International Journal of Data Curation (‘The Informatics Transform: Re-Engineering Libraries for the Data Decade’) discusses the data informatics skills gap in research libraries but many of the points she raises and the recommendations she makes are equally relevant for the information professionals who make up the wider metadata ecology within UK institutions.
Those articles left me wondering whether there are specific skills needed for dealing with and managing open metadata which we should be identifying and highlighting? On a related note, I saw a short conversation regarding Linked Data on Twitter that I think a lot of people will relate to and which could be equally applied to any of the areas touched on by the Discovery initiative – To summarise, the main point of the conversation was that [people] have no trouble understanding what terms such as Linked Data mean while they are being explained to them but that knowledge is hard to retain and quickly loses definition when you walk away and/or try to explain it to anyone else.
Resources such as the Open Metadata Handbook are undoubtedly a useful touchstone people can keep returning to when they need a refresher but what else needs to be in place to ensure that knowledge about open metadata is discovered, shared and becomes embedded within staff skillsets?
One of the aims of the Discovery initiative is to raise awareness of open metadata and if you’d like to help us do that then you can either:
- Show your support by adding a Discovery banner to your website.
- Endorse the Open Metadata Principles on behalf of your institution by becoming a signatory.
Some other links of interest from the wider world of data:
- Roy Tennant’s article on data curation and Hadoop for Large Digital Libraries
- NISO’s programme of webinars are worth taking a look at if you have access to a healthy training budget
- Max Kaiser’s Liber Quarterly article (‘Putting 600,000 Books Online: the Large-Scale Digitisation Partnership between the Austrian National Library and Google’) discusses the importance of full-text searching for enabling users to “discover works which they possibly would not have found otherwise.”
Lastly, I’ve started exploring how I can use Delicious to share other items of interest that I pick up during my travels across the webosphere – To that end I’ve started using Packrati.us to auto-bookmark my Twitter favourites and shared hyperlinks in Delicious and have also created a #UKDiscovery ‘stack’ where I’ve started sharing any of my bookmarks that seem particularly pertinent to the Discovery initiative.