VALA 2008 Conference – Day 1 – Andy Powell Plenary

I was planning to live blog the sessions at VALA 2008.  Unfortunately, the wireless at the Melbourne Convention Centre is patchy at best and non-existent in the auditoriums. So it was note taking on the computer and now cut and paste into my blog at 11pm at night.

Still, its been a great first day – so here goes with the delayed live blogging!

Andy Powell – Eduserv Foundation – UK
“Repositories through the looking glass”

Repositories are very firmly on the agenda of libraries in the 21st century.  Repositories are a microcosm of the library space.

Repositories need to be considered in terms of Web 2.0 and open access, both which will and are happening.

Issue 1: Have we go our terminology right?
Need to be surfacing the content on the web.  What is the difference between a content management system and a repository – its a fine line.

Focus on content management would change the emphasis – talking about tagging, information architecture, search engine optimization etc.

Issue 2: Service oriented vs resource oriented
Web is resource oriented – digital libraries are service oriented.

Issue 3: National vs global
Focus has been on institutional repositories.  Web 2.0 is global – impact? prosumer, remote apps, social, API, diffusion and concentration (Lorcan Dempsey) the first repository – started before the Web but has a lot of Web 2.0 features, is global in scale. Depositories have moved away from this.

Thinking about the future:
1. What would a Web 2.0 repository look like
Look a bit like slideshare – deposit powerpoint/pdf presentations – embed, tag etc.
– high quality web based document viewer
– tagging
– persistent URLs
– form social groups
– embed in other web sites
– high visibility to Goolge
– offer RSS as a primary API
– Amazon S3 for accessibility

Would be a global resource.

But they don’t do preservation, handle complex workflows, expose rich metadata.  How do we meet the requirements of the web to make these repositories more accessible.

What do we do?
Use the Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Resources (FRBR)
Simple Dublin Core doesn’t give enough information.

Repositories can learn a lot from Web 2.0.  Simple Dublin Core(DC) is too simple and too complex. Richer DC application profiles such as SWAP may be the way forward. But need to ensure that their use does not over complicate user interfaces and workflows.

Open Access should be focussed on making content available on the web, rather than putting stuff into a repository.  Should be resource oriented, learning about and using REST, semantic web, web architecture.