Both NSF and ACLS have issued reports calling for the development of a cyberinfrastructure to support research in their various disciplines. The CLIR (Council on Library and Information Resources) and Tufts University are engaging scholars and academic librarians in examining the services and digital objects classicists have developed, the future needs of the discipline, and the roles of libraries and other curatorial institutions in fostering the infrastructure on which the core intellectual activities of classics and many other disciplines depend.
We envision a set of shared services layered over a distributed storage architecture that is seamless to end users, allows multiple contributors, and leverages institutional resources and facilities. Much of this architecture exists at individual projects and institutions; the challenge is to identify the suite of shared services to be developed.
Prior research supported by public and private agencies has created digital resources in classics, which are arguably the most developed and interconnected set of collections and associated services in any discipline outside of the sciences. Questions now posed test the limits of project-based services. The findings of the Blue Ribbon Task Force on Sustainable Digital Preservation and Access, the Library of Congress National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program (NDIIPP), and two symposia hosted by CLIR (the second with co-sponsorship by NEH) demonstrate that managing digital information requires libraries to play an active role in the research process to ensure appropriate curation and preservation of digital resources. This project will help library professionals understand the challenges of supporting new kinds of publications (e.g., treebanks, or syntactic databases for texts) and services (e.g., named entity identification services optimized for domains such as classical studies) and engage them in designing solutions. The project will also be relevant to areas such as medieval studies, archaeology, and ancient and near eastern languages.
CLIR is seeking public comment on a literature review that identifies existing services, resources, and needs in the field of classics. The report, Rome Wasn’t Digitized in a Day: Building a Cyberinfrastructure for Digital Classicists, was produced by Alison Babeu of the Perseus Project at Tufts University. It is intended to inform planning for the next phase of work: description of an infrastructure to support digital classics and related fields of research. (The report is a 1.8 MB .pdf file, please allow time for it to download).
Comments on the draft report should be submitted to Kathlin Smith (ksmithatclirdotorg) by December 1, 2010. We especially encourage the identification of topics or projects that are missing in the report, or that might be represented more fully.
On May 10, 2010, the National Science Foundation issued a press release indicating that scientists seeking NSF funding will soon be required to submit with their funding proposals a data management plans in the form of a two-page supplementary document. Clifford Lynch, Executive Director of the Coalition for Networked Information, discusses the NSF data management requirements, as well as the National Academy’s updated report on the future of higher education, Rising Above the Gathering Storm, Revisited: Rapidly Approaching Category 5, and ARL’s 2030 Scenario User’s Guide. Cliff also talks about other NSF activities (such as the Campus Bridging Task Force of the Office of Cyberinfrastructure), and archiving of social media.
Audio Recording [mp3 58:02 min.] October 22, 2010