Thursday, June 08, 2006

Technology in Geologic Time...

I have a copy of my Geology MS thesis on a 5" floppy disk, which I carefully copied and coddled while I wrote (and rewrote and wrote and rewrote) my masterpiece. Now I might as well use it as a coaster for my double half-caf skinny latte. The era of the 31/2 disk is also well and truly over, I'm told. Are CDs and flash drives far behind? So if every new technology is doomed from its inception, how do we preserve our data for future scholars, or even for our own future projects? This concern is raised in stlq, one of my favorite blogs. Fortunately, UMass is working on a solution-- a digital repository, tentatively named UMass Scholarly Commons. For examples of other universities' digital repositories, look here. Aside from the important issue of preservation, there are other opportunities associated with this project--open access journals, for example. If you have questions, or want to become an early adopter of this technology at UMass, contact Marilyn Billings in the Library.

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