Difference between revisions of "INLS 740: Environmental Scanning"

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« [[INLS 740: Digital Libraries | Back to course main page]] »
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A digital library project is a large undertaking, into which figures a wide range of technologies and processes. These technologies and processes are constantly changing, as research and development progresses. It is a challenge to get up to speed on all of these technologies and processes in the first place: I could argue that that is the purpose of this course. It is equally a challenge to keep up to date with all of the changes to these technologies and processes. This assignment will distribute the task of keeping up to date.
  
A digital library project is a large undertaking, but each one has its own scope. Each component
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For this assignment, you will conduct continuous [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Environmental_scanning environmental scanning] in the broad arena of DLs, with the goal of informing your and your classmates' work on your DL projects. Throughout the semester, you should monitor a range of sources of information relevant to your project: check websites, blogs, and news announcements; monitor user and developer forums; subscribe to listservs, RSS feeds, and Twitter accounts; etc. I would also encourage you to actively participate in any venues to which users may contribute: pose questions on user forums, have conversations with organizations on Twitter, etc. Then digest this information and provide the class with brief posts about new developments.
  
Each working group has its own particular scope of work within that
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These posts must be written individually. Every student must make at least one post to the course site per 2 weeks, except the first and last weeks of the semester. More would be fine, of course, if there is especially interesting news to report. Since you presumably have no way to control what is in the news in the DL world, you may post at any time during the week. Give your post the category ''Environmental Scan''.
  
We will use several applications during the course of this semester; probably [http://greenstone.org/ Greenstone], [http://omeka.org/ Omeka], and [http://contentdm.org/ CONTENTdm]. There are several more applications that are popular for building digital libraries and other digital library-like things (e.g., institutional repositories, museum collections, etc.): [http://www.dspace.org/ DSpace], [http://www.fedora-commons.org/ Fedora], [http://www.eprints.org/ eprints], [http://www.collectiveaccess.org/ CollectiveAccess], [http://www.collectionspace.org/ CollectionSpace], to name only some of the most popular.
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Two good examples of environmental scans in a library context are the [http://www.oclc.org/reports/escan/introduction/default.htm Pattern Recognition report] by OCLC, and the [http://www.arl.org/bm~doc/transformational-times.pdf Transformational Times report] by ARL. Your environmental scans should not be this formalized, or this long. But these reports provide good examples of the methodology used in environmental scanning.
 
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Ideally, before selecting an application in which to build your digital library, you would thoroughly evaluate all candidates. But we all know that's not the way it usually happens. Given this need, it's a little surprising that there aren't more published evaluations of digital library applications: the two that I know about are [http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/14684520610686283 this] and [https://eduforge.org/docman/view.php/131/1062/Repository%20Evaluation%20Document.pdf this]. I suspect that many libraries have performed such evaluations for their own purposes, but have not made the reports publicly available.
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For this assignment, each working group will keep tabs on the latest developments in their particular area. Throughout the semester, each group should monitor a range of sources of information relevant to their scope of work: check websites, blogs, and news announcements; monitor user and developer forums; subscribe to listservs, RSS feeds, and Twitter accounts; etc. This information should, naturally, inform each working group's work. For this assignment, however, groups will digest this information and provide the class with news about their area at least three times during the semester. More would be fine, of course, if there is especially interesting news to report. These reports should be made as brief posts to the Discussion fora in Sakai.
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« [[INLS 740: Digital Libraries | Back to course main page]] »
 
« [[INLS 740: Digital Libraries | Back to course main page]] »

Latest revision as of 13:26, 3 January 2013

A digital library project is a large undertaking, into which figures a wide range of technologies and processes. These technologies and processes are constantly changing, as research and development progresses. It is a challenge to get up to speed on all of these technologies and processes in the first place: I could argue that that is the purpose of this course. It is equally a challenge to keep up to date with all of the changes to these technologies and processes. This assignment will distribute the task of keeping up to date.

For this assignment, you will conduct continuous environmental scanning in the broad arena of DLs, with the goal of informing your and your classmates' work on your DL projects. Throughout the semester, you should monitor a range of sources of information relevant to your project: check websites, blogs, and news announcements; monitor user and developer forums; subscribe to listservs, RSS feeds, and Twitter accounts; etc. I would also encourage you to actively participate in any venues to which users may contribute: pose questions on user forums, have conversations with organizations on Twitter, etc. Then digest this information and provide the class with brief posts about new developments.

These posts must be written individually. Every student must make at least one post to the course site per 2 weeks, except the first and last weeks of the semester. More would be fine, of course, if there is especially interesting news to report. Since you presumably have no way to control what is in the news in the DL world, you may post at any time during the week. Give your post the category Environmental Scan.

Two good examples of environmental scans in a library context are the Pattern Recognition report by OCLC, and the Transformational Times report by ARL. Your environmental scans should not be this formalized, or this long. But these reports provide good examples of the methodology used in environmental scanning.

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