DPHE-IG Summary from RDA Plenary 4

29 Sep 2014

Hello everyone -- a reminder that we will host a GoToMeeting tomorrow (Tuesday, 30 September) at 1 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time (12 Central, 10 Pacific, 7 p.m. CEST); Mike Fortun and Brandon Costelloe-Kuehn will report back on RDA Plenary 4 last week, and the DPHE-IG breakout sessions in particular.  Hope to see you then!


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  • Kendall Roark's picture

    Author: Kendall Roark

    Date: 30 Sep, 2014

    Hi all,
    Just wanted to follow-up on the discussion today around metadata schema for
    ethnography and history and Dan Price's suggestion that we take a more
    critical approach to focus on controlled vocabularies. After a little bit
    of thought, I realized that this discussion reminded me of Anne
    Gilliland-Swetland's 2000 report for CLIR, where she describes the
    different histories and trajectories for archival and library traditions in
    North America. I believe as someone trained in an American four-field
    anthropology tradition I am much more comfortable with the archival
    approach with it's emphasis on context or the more problematic idea of the
    "organic nature of records". Seems like this group especially can offer
    (and draw upon critical traditions in history, anthropology and achives) to
    talk about what metadata is needed to place a digital object in context
    alongside what might make it discoverable and available for access / re-use
    by a secondary researcher. I am starting to see this come up as well in
    other scientific disciplines that are re-examining annotation practices and
    metadata for preserving context. A recent example of this is the LCPD2014
    conference presentation by Laura Slaughter, et. al. on "living systematic
    reviews" for clinical trials.
    1. pub89. *Enduring Paradigm, New Opportunities: The Value of the Archival
    Perspective in the Digital Environment*
    Anne J. Gilliland-Swetland (2000, 43pp), Washington, D.C., Council on
    Library and Information Resources, ISBN 1-887334-74-2, Available at:
    2. Enabling Living Systematic Reviews and Clinical Guidelines Through
    Semantic Technologies, LCPD2014 presentation,
    Laura Slaughter, Christopher Friis Berntsen, Linn Brandt and Chris
    Mavergames (2014), Available at:
    http://prezi.com/2stwnxh-qxl9/living-systematic-reviews/ (see also
    transcription of presentation tab)
    Introduction, http://www.clir.org/pubs/reports/pub89/
    Kendall Roark
    CLIR/DLF Postdoctoral Fellow in Data Curation
    2-10U Cameron Library | University of Alberta
    Edmonton, AB T6G 2J8, Canada
    Tel: 780-492-6745 | Fax: 780-492-9243
    On Mon, Sep 29, 2014 at 2:31 PM, mikefortun

  • Dan Price's picture

    Author: Dan Price

    Date: 30 Sep, 2014

    Thanks so much for this and for the links. I feel like I'm new to the
    group, so am just feeling my way in terms of your existing priorities. I
    like the questions outlined in the prezi - and have spent some time trying
    to think through ways of making more flexible ontologies, so that you're
    not bound to the initial ontology choices as you build your data archives -
    but I guess I wanted to think about something even more specific. It seems
    to me that there's a practical side of the argument (which is how I would
    try to pitch the idea of flexible metadata) and then there's a critical
    side (which is, in our age, something like reflexive practice as opposed to
    simply not doing anything). Under the rubric of reflexive practice, I think
    you need metadata categories that say something like - "used as contesting
    existing categories"; or "placeholder for something not yet sayable"; or
    "kinda in between these two known things". I know some folks have talked
    about that, but most of the OWL semantics still seem to me to be attempts
    to systematize what has already been said, as opposed to reflect on what
    can emerge from trying to speak more attentively to the future
    Let me know, by the way, if this is not the right place to reply at length.

  • Mike Fortun's picture

    Author: Mike Fortun

    Date: 01 Oct, 2014

    Hi Kendall -- thanks so much for these! I just looked quickly at them but
    they seem very interesting and pertinent to what we're trying to do, so
    I'll spend some more time going through them more carefully.
    Dan, I think this is a fine place to reply at length like that, since all
    the responses get archived in our IG's page at the RDA. Re your comments
    about future context: it made me think of all the visualizations of the
    "data life cycle" I've seen recently, where even when there is clearly an
    iterative dimension given to it and a future is somehow present, it still
    tends to look like a loop closing back on itself. Which in some sense it
    has to, since the metadata needs to be written in the present -- so I'm not
    sure what I'm suggesting...

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