ARK de Triumph: Linking Finding Aids and Digital Libraries with Low-Tech Processes

Presentation given to the American Folklore Society: Archives and Library Section ConferenceAdvInArchiving2017_ArcDTriumph-DigitalLinking (1), Minneapolis, Minnesota, October 16, 2017

Presented by:

  • Andrea Payant, Metadata Librarian
  • Sara Skindelien, EAD and Metadata Specialist
  • Liz Woolcott, Head of Cataloging and Metadata Services

Abstract: 

As archives work to make their folklore and other special collections material available online, the segregation of finding aids and digital collections in silos presents a discovery and usability problem for patrons. Researchers discovering a finding aid for an oral history collection may not know that the recordings are digitized and available online in a separate database or vice versa. How can the workflows that feed these two different discovery points be combined to improve access to these valuable collections?

Utah State University (USU) Libraries realized that a cross-departmental workflow was necessary to connect both new and legacy finding aids with their digitized content to improve use and access. For legacy collections, the library created a low-tech process for semi-automating the batch linking of item and box level entries in EAD finding aids to the corresponding digitized material in CONTENTdm. For new collections, particularly born digital collections, the process enabled USU Libraries to simultaneously create a digital collection and a digitally linked finding aid all in one process.

In addition to the obvious benefit of linking finding aid inventories to their digital counterparts, this process implemented persistent identifiers that ensured the links would be consistent over time, even if databases were changed. The metadata staff minted ARKs identifiers for each object and crafted links between the finding aid and the digital library using those static ARKs instead of the system supplied URLs. This small, but important extra step will provide the flexibility to accommodate database migration in the future.

These processes used low-tech, familiar tools to lower the barrier for engaging more staff and student help in the work. This presentation will provide session participants with a discussion of the process, access to detailed step-by-step instructions, and will address future developments.

 

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Serials MARC Cataloging Decision Making Workflow

The Cataloging and Metadata Services Unit at Utah State University ‘s Merrill-Cazier Library recently set out to map the workflows of the unit, including where material comes in, how it is handled, and where it goes after it leaves the unit.

Here is the workflow specific to the library’s serials work, created by our Special Collections and Serials cataloger Melanie Shaw.  These workflows  outline the procedures for serials that are cataloged in MARC for the integrated library system (ILS).

Previous workflow diagrams posted to this blog represented a high level overview of the work process for collections and materials, intended for non-catalogers.  This is the first in a series of workflows that will “zoom in” to show the step by step process of serials MARC cataloging.  Although it is more detailed, it is not meant to be exhaustive, but rather a visualization of the decision making process.

serials_cataloging_workflow_finalThis workflow diagram was made using LucidChart.

Electronic / Digital Resources MARC Cataloging Workflows

The Cataloging and Metadata Services Unit at Utah State University ‘s Merrill-Cazier Library recently set out to map the workflows of the unit, including where material comes in, how it is handled, and where it goes after it leaves the unit.

Here is the workflow specific to our electronic research collections.  These workflows  outline the basic procedures for electronic collections that are being cataloged in MARC for the integrated library system (ILS).

These workflows only look at the work done by the cataloging unit, but larger Technical Services division mapping is currently underway.  We anticipate that these workflows will look quite different when put in the context of the division as a whole.

This workflow diagram was made using LucidChart.

electroniccollections_cataloging_workflows-page-1

Physical Collections MARC Cataloging Workflows

The Cataloging and Metadata Services Unit at Utah State University ‘s Merrill-Cazier Library recently set out to map out the general workflows of the unit, including where material comes in, how it is handled, and where it goes after it leaves the unit.

Here is the workflow specific to our general research collections.  These workflows are specific to physical collections that are being cataloged in MARC for the integrated library system (ILS).

This workflow diagram was made using LucidChart.

physicalcollections_cataloging_workflows-page-1-1

 

Special Collections and Art Book Room MARC Cataloging Workflows

The Cataloging and Metadata Services Unit at Utah State University ‘s Merrill-Cazier Library recently set out to map out the general workflows of the unit, including where material comes in, how it is handled, and where it goes after it leaves the unit.

Here is the workflow specific to our unique material in the Special Collections and Archives division as well as our Art Book Room material.  These workflows are specific to physical collections that are being cataloged in MARC for the integrated library system (ILS).

This workflow diagram was made using LucidChart.

sca-workflows-page-1-1

Mitigating the Risk: Identifying Strategic University Partnerships for Compliance Tracking of Research Data and Publications

In early August, Betty Rozum (USU’s Data Management and Undergraduate Research Librarian) along with our departments’ metadata coordinator Andrea Payant and department head Liz Woolcott delivered a paper at the International Federation of Library Associations (IFLA) satellite conference entitled Data in Libraries: The Big Picture.

The presentation/paper highlighted the library’s unique partnership with USU’s Office of Research to help track research data deposit compliance.

Presentation: http://digitalcommons.usu.edu/lib_present/90/ 

Conference Paper: http://digitalcommons.usu.edu/lib_pubs/268/

Mitigating the Risk: Identifying Strategic University Partnerships for Compliance Tracking of Research Data and Publications

Abstract:

Requirements to share research data have been increasing in recent years. Agencies and funders in several countries, notably the UK, Australia, and the US, have implemented policies to require data and/or publications resulting from research they fund to be made publicly accessible.

In the US, the Office of Science and Technology Policy’s 2013 memorandum requires federally funded agencies with over $100M in research and development to ensure that “digitally formatted scientific data resulting from unclassified research supported wholly or in part by Federal funding should be stored and publicly accessible to search, retrieve, and analyze.

Tracking compliance with these federal mandates is a challenge. For US Universities, the responsibility for ensuring that the requirements of the grant are ultimately met rests with the University, not the researcher. The Research Offices of Universities, where grants are typically administered, face issues of determining if researchers have met the terms of their grant by depositing data and publications per their data management plan. Tracking this information can prove to be difficult, should a compliance question arise in the future.

This need opens a door for libraries to provide a visible and timely service to University administration.

At Utah State University, in a collaborative effort to mitigate risks and demonstrate amenability to federal mandates, a pilot project is under way to evaluate workflows for capturing the location of faculty data sets and publications and then creating records for these in the Library’s online catalog and institutional repository. Working with the University’s Research Office, the Library has conducted an initial assessment of the long-term research data compliance tracking needs of the University. The goal is to create a process that verifies, before grants are completely closed out, that the researcher has deposited data and publications, or has clearly identified a repository for data. This ensures that grants completed at USU will meet the requirements of the funding agencies.

The pilot project workflow gathers descriptive metadata at the time of proposal award to facilitate the tracking of datasets. Deposit of data and/or publications is verified by the Library at award closeout. Once confirmed, metadata for the grant award, data set and/or publication is mapped into linked data-compliant records in multiple principal metadata formats and published in collaborative databases as a culmination of the workflow process.

Improving compliance is one benefit. This project provides increased public access to data sets through multiple venues by creating publicly accessible records for data deposited by University researchers, regardless of the final repository in which it is deposited. Enhancing discoverability increases visibility, and hopefully leads to additional use and re-use of the data. The various sources in which the data and publications will have metadata records are effectively crawled by internet search engines.

Built into this workflow are opportunities to help consult with researchers during the early stages of the grant application process. The library will offer guidance creating Data Management Plans, using metadata standards, and also provide recommendations as to where researchers can deposit their data when their research is completed. Library staff will also be able to advise on long term data storage options and requirements at key stages in the grant lifecycle.

This paper will describe the pilot projects’ inception and growth, outline the development of the workflows, and define the roles of the library and other key stakeholders at the University. It will include an analysis of the anticipated outcomes, the costs and benefits of the proposed workflows, and targeted recommendations for replicating the project at other universities.