Digital Information Management symposium – opening keynote by David Ferriero

I’m in Washington, D.C. for the Coalition for Networked Information meeting, but today is being spent at a pre-meeting symposium on Digital Information Management in The Research University: Strategic Directions and Tactical Approaches

This is a Duke-Dartmouth Symposium
David Ferriero – Archivist of the United States

Permanence, Perseverance, and Persistence: Managing Digital Information

Citizen Archivist Dashboard:

Nov 2011 President Obama launched executive effort for raising the profiles of records management and records managers, focusing on electronic records. Mandated that OMB and Archives create government wide records management framework. One goal is to encourage open government and access to records. Current standard for federal agencies is print and save electronic records. Aiming to manage all federal records electronically by end of 2019. Revising transfer guidelines for federal records, including metadata by end of next year. When he arrived three years ago he discovered that CIOs in agencies didn’t have existing relationships with Records Managers in the agencies. By end of next year will determine feasibility for secure cloud-based archival data at rest protocol for non-classified data. 250 agencies, all creating records with policies. 2% of what’s created gets transferred to Archives. There’s not a federal job description for a professional records manager – often ends up with junior staff.

In December 2010 PCAST presented Designing an Information Future – recommended reinvestment in information technology research to accelerate pace of discovery in all fields. Will allow better access to government records and services. 2.7 zetabytes of digital data are now being stored. 4.7 zb by 2012, 32 zb by 2014. Storage is a small part of the issue. Require long-term stewardship based on sustainable economic models. Fluency has little to do directly with use of computer, but with computational thinking.

Big data research and development – In March 2012, OSTT announced investment in big data research. A couple of examples: NSF encouraging universities to develop graduate programs for data scientists – is there room for data curators? What skills? Make discoveries while swimming in data, bring structure to formless data, identify rich data sources, clean and combine them. Shift from ad-hoc analysis to an ongoing conversation about data. DARPA x-data program – developing computational techniques and tools for analyzing semi-structured and unstructured data.

Thomas Carlyle quote: “Permanence, perseverance and persistence in spite of all obstacles, discouragement, and impossibilities: It is this, that in all things distinguishes the strong soul from the weak”



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