Category: news

Data Curation Profiles Workshop

January 18th, 2012 in Data Management, news 0 comments

Registration is closed. Thanks for your interest.


Boston University, Monday March 19, 2012, 8:30-5:00


Workshop Instructor: Jake Carlson, Purdue University Libraries

Hosted by Boston University
Funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services
Co-sponsored by Purdue University and the Digital Library Foundation

DLF colorHiRes PurdueLib_BrandCenterSmall IMLS_Logo_2c

A Data Curation Profiles (DCP) Workshop on Monday, March 19, 2012 will be hosted by Boston University. The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) is funding a limited number of workshops to train librarians in the application and use of the Data Curation Profiles Toolkit.

There is no registration fee and there are 30 seats available for this event. More than one participant may register from any one institution; however we ask that no more than four register from any one institution. Otherwise, registration will be first come, first served.

Workshop Background

Librarians have an opportunity to play a vital role in the development and stewardship of publicly accessible collections of research data sets—i.e., data curation. However, working with data is a new, unfamiliar area for many. The Data Curation Profiles (DCP) Toolkit is a set of inter-related resources for librarians who need to gather information about data that may be published, shared, and archived for re-use and dissemination. The DCP Toolkit can be used as a means for launching discussions among librarians and faculty, for exploring research data needs, and helping to plan for the development of data services.

More information about the DCP Toolkit can be found at:


Through learning about the application and use of the Data Curation Profiles, this workshop will provide participants with a broad understanding of data curation issues confronting libraries.

[Note: The Data Curation Profiles is not a direct solution to a data management plan, nor a guide to curating data for ingest and archiving. However, it is a tool which may help facilitate these activities.]


The workshop’s intended audience is practicing librarians who work with data as a valuable research output intended for dissemination or repository collection. The sponsoring organizations would like to encourage those who intend to use the Toolkit to register.


Workshop participants who complete a Data Curation Profile for their institution and submit it for publication on the Data Curation Profile website will be eligible for an expenses paid trip to present their work and experiences in developing and using Profiles at a symposium and wrap-up session in the summer of 2012 at Purdue University.


Room 426, 4th floor, School of Management, 595 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston University, Boston, MA 02215

Tentative Schedule

8:30 – Welcome and Introductions; Reasons for the Workshop and Background
9:00 – Data Curation Overview
9:30 – The Data Curation Profiles Research
10:00 – Uses of the Data Curation Profiles
10:30 – Break
10:45 – Components of the Data Curation Profiles Toolkit
11:15 – Constructing a Profile: Preparation & Interviewing
12:00 – Lunch (provided)
1:15 – Primary Module: The Data Lifecycle
2:15 – Primary Module: Data Sharing
3:00 – Secondary Module: Organization & Description;
3:30 – Secondary Module: Intellectual Property
4:00 – Constructing a Profile: Tips and Techniques
4:30 – Wrap Up

Questions? Contact us!

Jack Ammerman (
Linda Plunket (
Jake Carlson (

Registration is closed. Thanks for your interest.

Gail A. Carpenter and Sai Chaitanya Gaddam report–November’s most viewed on Digital Common

December 5th, 2011 in news, Open Access 0 comments

Biased ART: A Neural Architecture that Shifts Attention Toward Previously Disregarded Features Following an Incorrect Prediction,” by Gail A. Carpenter and Sai Chaitanya Gaddam was the most viewed article on BU Digital Common last month. The technical report was added to DIgital Common on November 11 and was viewed 42 times during the rest of the month.

Abstract: Memories in Adaptive Resonance Theory (ART) networks are based on matched patterns that focus attention on those portions of bottom-up inputs that match active top-down expectations. While this learning strategy has proved successful for both brain models and applications, computational examples show that attention to early critical features may later distort memory representations during online fast learning. For supervised learning, biased ARTMAP (bARTMAP) solves the problem of over-emphasis on early critical features by directing attention away from previously attended features after the system makes a predictive error. Small-scale, hand-computed analog and binary examples illustrate key model dynamics. Twodimensional simulation examples demonstrate the evolution of bARTMAP memories as they are learned online. Benchmark simulations show that featural biasing also improves performance on large-scale examples. One example, which predicts movie genres and is based, in part, on the Netflix Prize database, was developed for this project. Both first principles and consistent performance improvements on all simulation studies suggest that featural biasing should be incorporated by default in all ARTMAP systems. Benchmark datasets and bARTMAP code are available from the CNS Technology Lab Website:

Digital Common, the University’s open access repository hosts a wide range of materials including published articles from faculty, technical reports, theses and dissertations, learning objects, and items digitized by the Libraries. For additional information about the repository, contact Vika Zafrin (, the Institutional Repository Librarian for the BU Libraries.

Evolutionary Subject Tagging in the Humanities project publishes report

December 1st, 2011 in ESTH, news 0 comments

The project team for the Evolutionary Subject Tagging in the Humanities project published the culminating white paper for the project: Evolutionary Subject Tagging in the Humanities; Supporting Discovery and Examination in Digital Cultural Landscapes.

The research interest in “evolutionary subject tagging in humanities research” grew out of both an appreciation for the value of subject classification in organizing and discovering information, and frustration with the limitations we encounter in currently available systems. Even as subject terms highlight and focus attention on relationships between information objects, particularly within academic disciplines, they can hide and blur relationships when trying to bridge multiple disciplines in one’s research.

Driven by desire to help humanities scholars more easily discover and examine information, the team’s early articulations of the problem led them to explore how we might fix it. Would additional subject tags improve discoverability? Would layering subject terms from multiple disciplines help? Is there a way to merge them? Is translation between disciplinary thesauri required? If more
subject terms are required, could we develop a scalable (sustainable) model for providing them? Would any of the efforts to improve the discoverability of humanities texts actually facilitate enhanced examination of the texts?

Repeatedly throughout the project, team members found themselves challenging each other about very basic assumptions that underlie subject classification and the use of subject terms for discovery and examination of information objects. Those conflicting opinions form a creative tension out of which the project and this paper have emerged. They continue to engage the team and to shape the Libraries’ exploration of how to improve discovery and examination of texts for humanities research.

BU Students’ OA Week 2010 Video Recognized by the Sparky Awards

August 17th, 2011 in news 0 comments

The video made by the BU Libraries’ Anita Greene Student Working Group for last year’s Open Access Week has been recognized with a special merit award at the 2011 Sparky Awards held by SPARC (The Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition). Congratulations to all involved!

BU Libraries Join HathiTrust

June 2nd, 2011 in news 0 comments

Office of Digital Initiatives & Open Access

771 Commonwealth Avenue
Boston, MA 02215
T 617-353-3710   F 617-353-2084

Boston, Massachusetts, June 1, 2011 – Boston University Libraries has become the newest member of HathiTrust (, a partnership of major academic and research libraries collaborating in an extraordinary digital library initiative to preserve and provide access to the published record in digital form. The Libraries plan to contribute public domain volumes digitized through in-house projects and partnerships with the Internet Archive through the Boston Library Consortium.

“Joining Hathi Trust furthers a key strategic goal of the library by making wider access to research material available to the University community.   This collaboration with other research universities will build a comprehensive digital library of our shared collections.  With more than 2.2 million public domain volumes already online, it nearly doubles the volumes available to the campus.  This membership also adds full text searching to a repository of more than 8 million “in copyright” items.  In addition, Hathi Trust will also act as our primary agency for researching and licensing copyrighted materials that are contributed by our research library partners,” said University Librarian Bob Hudson.

HathiTrust Logo

HathiTrust serves a dual role. First, as a trusted repository it guarantees the long-term preservation of the materials it holds, providing the expert curation and consistent access long associated with research libraries. Second, as a service for partners and a public good, HathiTrust offers persistent access to the digital collections. This includes viewing, downloading, and searching access to public domain volumes, and searching access to in copyright volumes. Specialized features are also available which facilitate access by persons with print disabilities, and allow users to gather subsets of the digital library into “collections” that can be searched and browsed.

Launched in 2008, HathiTrust has a growing membership currently comprising more than fifty partners. In addition to providing access and preservation to a rapidly growing digital corpus, member libraries are engaged in projects to enhance access and usability. The University of Michigan has launched a project to identify “orphan works” among the millions of volumes in the HathiTrust Digital Library. This is a step toward developing broader access to these copyrighted volumes whose copyright owners can’t be identified or found. Other projects include text-mining and enhanced metadata management.

“Boston University Libraries will rely on HathiTrust as a key component of the Libraries’ digital preservation efforts. This collaboration enables the Libraries to both expand its digital collections and to assure durable access to its own digital assets,” said Jack Ammerman, Associate University Librarian for Digital Initiatives and Open Access. “Unlike commercial initiatives, this is an increasingly comprehensive digital archive of library materials converted from print that is co-owned and managed by academic institutions.

John Wilkin, Executive Director of HathiTrust said, “HathiTrust is pleased to have Boston University Libraries join us in this important enterprise.”

HathiTrust was named for the Hindi word for elephant, hathi, symbolic of the qualities of memory, wisdom, and strength evoked by elephants, as well as the huge undertaking of congregating the digital collections of libraries in the United States and beyond. HathiTrust is funded by the partner libraries and governed by members of the libraries through an Executive Committee and a Strategic Advisory Board. More information on HathiTrust is available at:

The Boston University Libraries provide service and resources to support the research, teaching and learning needs of the BU community. The Libraries participate in consortia and partnerships that enhance their ability to extend the Libraries’ resources and services to the BU community.