MetaArchive has been hard at work for the first half of 2014! The Members just recently convened for their semi-annual Steering Committee meeting to review progress and look ahead to the December annual meeting.
New MetaArchive FAQ
In addition to launching our new blog, the MetaArchive Outreach Committee also unveiled the new online MetaArchive FAQ. This is to help both prospective and newly joined Members to understand what sets MetaArchive apart from many of the other preservation systems, solutions, or initiatives they may be thinking about using or joining. Some of the questions we tackle head-on are:
- Why should I select MetaArchive?
- How much does it cost?
- How do I get content ingested?
- How do I recover my content?
If you have never heard of MetaArchive, or feel like you don’t have the whole picture yet, please check it out by visiting our website and clicking on Learn More under the How it Works menu. Or just go straight there by visiting http://metaarchive.org/FAQ.
File Format & Fixity Management Recommendations
In our previous blog post we spotlighted the work that Boston College has undertaken in conjunction with our Preservation Committee to develop a born-digital preservation workflow. As part of reviewing Boston College’s experiments, the Committee was able to do an up-to-date environmental scan of the prevailing approaches for managing file formats and file fixity information. For the Members we documented some best practices and reliable open source resources for addressing these areas of curation. Members can login to our MetaWiki and learn about how to get started, as well as get some tips on combining technologies with sound practices. In both of these areas we also document how the MetaArchive network itself manages file formats and fixity information.
Survey on Research Data Management
The MetaArchive Content Committee has also been hard at work in recent months putting together a brief survey to query our members on their research data management policies and practices. That survey launched just last Monday (August 4th) and will be available to the Members through August 31st. Our hope is to gain a good sense of the current status of their research data management programs and what resources have proven useful in their development. Our Members represent a diverse set of starting points, be it just getting started with planning initiatives to hosting fully functional data repositories. The MetaArchive is excited about working with our Members more closely in their local efforts, and bridging long-term preservation with the complex objects and collections that are represented by research data sets.
MetaArchive Metadata Working Group
Finally, this year saw the launch of our first MetaArchive Working Group on metadata. A small subset of our Members are looking back at the MetaArchive’s previous support for collection-level metadata and considering how best to continue to gather and manage metadata on behalf of the collections that get preserved in the network. Our metadata is managed in the Conspectus, which recently just underwent a dramatic architecture overhaul from Ruby/Rails to Python Django. Now that we have a new and improved collection management database, the MetaArchive Metadata Working Group will make recommendations for making enhancements, where needed, to the application to meet any new use cases that the Members may put forward for metadata.
As always, what sets MetaArchive apart from most systems and solutions is the community it fosters around making practical advances in digital preservation. The Cooperative has gotten a lot done in early 2014. In future posts, we’ll dish on what’s ahead for the rest of the year. All of the Committees and Working Groups will be continuing to further the accomplishments mentioned above and diving into new sets of work. Stay tuned!