Friday, September 11, 2009

Digital Curation 2.0

Dorothea Salo, over at “The Book of Trogool,” draws attention to and comments on the special issue of Nature on data sharing.

A couple of interesting points from the Nature editorial:

  • “Agencies and the research community together need to create the digital equivalent of libraries: institutions that can take responsibility for preserving digital data and making them accessible over the long term. The university research libraries themselves are obvious candidates to assume this role.” Let libraries be libraries!
  • Students should be taught “information management—a discipline that encompasses the entire life cycle of data … data management should be woven into every course in science, as one of the foundations of knowledge.”

Related to the second point, see Gardner Campbell, “A Personal Cyberinfrastructure,” in the latest issue of EDUCAUSE Review:

At the turn of the century, higher education looked in the mirror and, seeing its portals, its easy-to-use LMSs, and its "digital campuses," admired itself as sleek, youthful, attractive. But the mirror lied.

Then the web changed again: Google, Blogger, Wikipedia, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter. The medium is the message. Higher education almost completely ignored Marshall McLuhan's central insight: new modes of communication change what can be imagined and expressed. "Any technology gradually creates a totally new human environment. Environments are not passive wrappings but active processes. . . . The 'message' of any medium or technology is the change of scale or pace or pattern that it introduces into human affairs."

Campbell argues that institutions of higher education can inspire and empower students to become creative web users by providing them with tools and training to build personal cyberinfrastructures—to become “effective architects, narrators, curators, and inhabitants of their own digital lives.”

And far away Trogool upon the utter Rim turned a page that was numbered six in a cipher that none might read.