Monday, August 29, 2011

DuraSpace is bringing (King) Cloud to researchers!
I can't believe that it has been nearly a month since DuraSpace announced its new Direct-to-Researchers (DTR) platform. 

What does this mean to the research community?

It's still very early after the announcement, but this new service could give researchers a platform on which to curate, preserve, and deliver their research results.  DuraCloud makes it very easy to replicate content across more than one storage provider, and so making additional archival copies becomes much easier.  A key question is how the researcher will experience the storage space.  If they need to use special tools to move content into and out of DuraCloud, that could be a big barrier to use.  But if they can "map a drive" or treat it as a virtual location available from the desktop and the web (like DropBox), that would make it very attractive.

What does this mean to a data archive like ICPSR?

I think this has an opportunity to head in many different possible direction for an "old school" data archive like ICPSR.

One world:  If researchers can share and preserve their research output using a public cloud, why would anyone need a conventional data archive?  In this world the key organizations are the content holders (the researchers and their cloud platforms) and the organization that can index the content across providers so that people can find what they need.  Maybe in this world a place like ICPSR becomes an aggregator of metadata rather than content.

Another world:  Researchers and curators collaborate in cloudspace to preserve content, and to publish appropriate elements when desired.  In this world curators at a data archive might work with content which lives in the cloud rather than locally, and the preservation and delivery platform is distributed widely rather than at a central organization. 

And another world:  Researchers use services like DuraSpace DTR during the active life of their research project and through the early phases of its related publication lifecycle, but once the pendulum swings from "exclusive use" to "shared use," the researchers engage a place like ICPSR.  They deposit their entire workspace, and the archive organizes and indexes the material to make it more easy to preserve and to share.  In this world life might look the same as it does today.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.