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Wednesday, October 16 • 2:00pm - 2:30pm
An institutional perspective to rescue scholarly orphans

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Increasingly, scholars across disciplines and throughout the research life cycle are using a wide variety of online portals such as GitHub (https://github.com/), FigShare (https://figshare.com/), Publons (https://publons.com) and SlideShare (https://www.slideshare.net/) to conduct aspects of their research and to communicate research outcomes. However, these portals, whether dedicated to scholarly use or general purpose, exist outside of the traditional scholarly publishing system, and no infrastructure exists to systematically and comprehensively archive the deposited artifacts. Without adequate infrastructure, scholarly artifacts will vanish from the web in much the same way and with similar frequency as regular web resources. In the “Scholarly Orphans” project, we work under the assumption that research institutions are interested in collecting scholarly artifacts created by their researchers. As such, we devised an institutional pipeline to track, capture and archive these artifacts. The tracking part is crucial, as institutions are usually not even aware of the existence of artifacts created by their researchers in online portals. Our newly developed Memento Tracer framework (http://tracer.mementoweb.org/) is responsible for capturing artifacts and creating high-fidelity archival copies. With Memento Tracer, a human curator interacts with a web-based artifact to establish its essential components and to record these interactions as "Traces". To operate at scale, a Trace can be used to guide the automatic capture of artifacts of the same class. In addition, Traces can be shared with a community of practice for collaboration, reuse, and versioning.

In this talk, I will demonstrate the pipeline (https://myresearch.institute/), and share insights gained by developing and operating the infrastructure. I will also share initial statistics regarding artifacts deposited in web portals by a group of volunteer researchers and captured by our pipeline. The goal is to spark a discussion with the audience about the desirability, feasibility and architecture of institutional processes aimed at capturing scholarly orphans.

avatar for Martin Klein

Martin Klein

Scientist, Los Alamos National Laboratory

Wednesday October 16, 2019 2:00pm - 2:30pm BST
Plenary Room