1st African Digital Management and Curation Conference and Workshop
Date: 12-13 February 2008
What is digital management and curation?
The advent of affordable global digital connectivity of
unprecedented scale and scope has created opportunities not only for more
effective and efficient research, but also for new, better, faster and
previously impossible research. Management and curation, of research
results, are seen as the active management and appraisal of digital content
during the life-cycle of scholarly and scientific interest; and are
paramount to reproducibility and re-use for periods longer than 20 years.
of the conference and workshop
Internationally the pressure, to insist that publicly funded research results should be made available in public access repositories, is mounting. South Africa, for example, is a signatory to the OECD Declaration on Access to Research Data From Public Funding and yet the infrastructure to provide such access is currently under developed. As a start we need to consider the following:
Departments and the Science Councils that provide them with R&D continually
produce, at great expense, datasets and reports that are intended for a
specific purpose, but could, if properly managed, be repeatedly re-used, in
their original or aggregated format.
This cannot happen if they
are dispersed among a range of project and institutional repositories, many
of which have no long-term preservation plan, and with no mechanism to make
their existence known.
Modern ICT provides us with
the infrastructural means to capture, secure and share such valuable items
of Intellectual Capital, but this will not happen unless we add consistent
processes and behavioural disciplines.
This has led to the creation
of Digital Management and Curation systems in all the leading research
countries, at least in the Anglophone ones.
Africa and South Africa are lagging behind, but can profit by the willingness of the
leaders to share their expertise and systems.
This is a potentially
beneficial effort but will require resources and will to make it happen.
purpose of this event is to surface the needs and requirements to ensure
accessibility to African content.