Report: Integrating Institutional Archives with Disciplinary Web Repositories Workshop

Mon, 2020-02-24 12:21 -- jvgoodwin

Integrating Institutional Archives with Disciplinary Web Repositories Workshop was held January 23-24, 2020 at Duke University in Durham, NC. The workshop brought representatives from both natural history collections and digital repositories, many with deep experience in the library sciences. Day 1 focused on addressing successful architecture models for data storage and usage. Domain-specialized repositories such as CalPhotos and the Macaulay Library as well as institutional repositories were highlighted. Indiana University discussed the benefits of long-term intra-institutional synergy with regard to cyberinfrastructure, storage, metadata, etc. The University of Wyoming offered a different view highlighting the challenges that can occur when institutions are disjointed in their efforts to store data in the face of limited funding.

Kyle Courtney the Copyright Advisor for the Harvard University Library provided an engaging and informative talk highlighting copyright and licensing issues. Many attendees were surprised at how complex this issue is, especially with respect to data. All institutions should take steps to protect their rights through licensing or terms-of-use agreements.

The Florida Museum of Natural History and Yale Peabody museum addressed integrating third party resources into data storage solutions and MorphoSource offered perspectives on solutions for 3D data storage, reflecting the challenges of representational data repositories, to include:

  • Supporting challenging data types (e.g., 3D data),
  • Providing a platform for individuals and groups,
  • Archiving and providing access to data, and
  • Demnstrating the value of data represented in the archive.

Afternoon breakout groups generated lively discussions focused on storage structures, copyright, and individual institutional challenges.

Day 2 focused on the larger picture of broad integration of natural history data and the organizations working to connect, share, and understand how integration can be achieved. Representatives from the Natural Science Collections Alliance, iDigBio, Smithsonian and others discussed their goals for future data integration. Examples of collateral resources were presented by Texas Advanced Computing Center and Specify with representatives from Dryad, Sakai and Morphosource addressing potential sustainability solutions for data storage. Group breakout discussions continued the afternoon of Day 2 followed by a closing session delineating next steps and future workshops.

The workshop concluded with a trip to the Duke Lemur Center. For more information about the Center, read iDigBio’s February 2020 Biodiversity Spotlight.

For more detail about the workshop, visit the workshop wiki at