Category Archives: Texas Digital Library

Building the Data Environment

Data Management Coordinator Jessica Trelogan.
Data Management Coordinator Jessica Trelogan.

Jessica Trelogan was brought in last year to fill the new position of Data Management Coordinator in order to build, maintain and enhance the data services deployed by the Libraries. 

This February will be the one-year mark for me here at UTL. I can’t believe how quickly the time has flown! Looking back, though, I can see why: our Research Data Services unit has been busy. We’ve accomplished a lot in a year, including a website overhaul, a GIS pilot, a move to a new department, and a bunch of workshops and consultations.

Perhaps most exciting of all is the launch of the Texas Data Repository (TDR), which we are shouting loudly about this month. This long-anticipated new service has been the result of a huge amount of effort by our friends at Texas Digital Libraries (TDL), who have been working toward it since Fall of 2013. After initially identifying a need for a repository service to handle small to medium-sized research data, they settled on the open-source Dataverse platform, developed and used by Harvard’s Institute for Quantitative Social Science, and they decided to roll it out as a consortial service for TDL members. The Dataverse Implementation Working Group (DIWG) were hard at it for over a year, piloting, testing, assessing, and, at last, launching the service this month.

I am especially excited to be managing our local instance of it here at the Libraries. Thanks to the highly flexible Dataverse platform, each local institution that takes advantage of the service gets to decide how much control to give users. We’ve decided to give our users full control, meaning anyone from the UT-Austin community can log in with an EID, deposit data, and decide how much, with whom, and when to share it. I have high hopes that this new service, which complements our publication repository, Texas ScholarWorks, will help our research community comply with funder mandates for data sharing and archiving, get credit by facilitating reliable data citation, and promote open and reproducible research.  

I look forward to getting the word out this spring about the Texas Data Repository, along with all our other research data-related services. One way we plan to do so is through a workshop series we’re launching called Data and Donuts. You’ll find us talking about research data every Friday this semester at 3pm at the Libraries (mostly at PCL). Oh yeah, plus there will be donuts!

LIFT Announces Call for Proposals


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The Longhorn Innovation Fund for Technology (LIFT) is a fund of approximately $500,000 that is awarded by the Research & Educational Technology Committee (R&E) to innovative academic technology projects that leverage technology to improve quality of instruction, create a differentiator for attracting higher caliber students to the University, or to create a competitive advantage to the University in attracting sponsored research.

The R&E Committee recently announced the call for proposals for funding in fiscal year 2012-2013.  LIFT funding is intended to provide one-time seed money for innovative academic technology projects that leverage information technology in order to improve quality of instruction, create a differentiator for attracting higher caliber students to the University, or result in a competitive advantage to the University in attracting sponsored research.  Awards are generally in the range of $75,000 – $125,000.

Libraries, University Benefit from Dell Agreement

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The University’s latest agreement with Dell provides the highest level of discounts via the Texas Department of Information Resources (DIR) contract for any UT Austin Dell purchase regardless of quantity.

Discounts are now based on the total annual volume of UT Austin purchases rather than the number of units being purchased on an individual order, making prices lower regardless of the number of units ordered or the time of year of the purchase.

Given the large installed base of Dell computers at the Libraries, this agreement will be very helpful as we manage the life cycle of our technology resources.

Enterprise Data Storage Project Complete

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On April 2, Information Technology Services (ITS) launched their new “bulk storage” offering to our campus.  This service is significant because it represents the first occurrence of a service that has been designed for campus departments and specifically architected for “high availability” and recoverability within a UT Austin data center.

ITS purchased a little over 1 pedabyte (PB) of storage – that’s 1,000 terabytes (TB) for use by departments and it is sure to become an essential resource for the library.

The Libraries is already one of the largest customers in the ITS data center and this service will be one that we evaluate carefully before making substantial storage purchases in the future.

Texas water researchers working with the Texas Digital Library

TDL.org stacked logoThis past month, the Texas Digital Library (TDL) and several prominent water researchers began the process of developing a new collaborative resource for sharing water data across the state of Texas. The Texas Water Digital Library (TWDL) will federate water research currently stored in dispersed databases and websites at various Texas universities. A model for the cooperative efforts of the Texas Digital Library, the TWDL will electronically harvest these resources from cooperating institutions (using a technology called OAI-ORE) and deposit them in a TDL-hosted DSpace repository. This federated repository will create a single place for researchers to search for water data from every part of the state: the Texas Water Digital Library. Continue reading

Conference at UT Austin to feature experts on digital libraries

tcdl-new-logo-mdThis spring, on May 17-18, the Texas Digital Library (TDL) will be hosting the 2010 Texas Conference on Digital Libraries (TCDL) at The University of Texas at Austin. In its fourth year, TCDL provides a forum for TDL members and others to explore issues related to digital libraries and digital scholarship.

The TCDL 2010 conference theme is Collaboration, and the conference program will be packed with experts speaking on issues of partnership and cooperation in the service of advancing scholarly communication.

The TDL is especially excited to announce its two keynote speakers for the event: Dr. Leslie Carr, of the School of Electronics and Computer Science at the University of Southampton, and Dr. Reagan Moore, from the School of Information and Library Science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Continue reading

February issue of TDL Update newsletter now available

TDL-Update-Newsletter-February-2010-1Check out the latest issue of TDL Update (PDF), the newsletter of the Texas Digital Library, to discover the latest news and learn how TDL is working with its members to advance scholarly communications.

The February 2010 issue features the Royce-Darden Gospel Music Collection at the Baylor Electronic Library.

In addition, you’ll find:

  • A story on the development of a shared statewide resource for water data and research: The Texas Water Digital Library
  • Exciting news about the latest version of Vireo ETD Management software, which is now in the testing phase
  • Information about the 2010 Texas Conference on Digital Libraries
  • A reminder about Vireo user resources, including video tutorials, a wiki, and a new Listserv
  • News about Texas Tech University Libraries’ use of digital scanners
  • Information about spring training classes from the TDL

For suggestions about content for the TDL Update, please contact Kristi Park at kristi.park@austin.utexas.edu.

(Cross-posted at TDL.)

Illinois takes cue from Texas on electronic theses

texlibris_illini_vireoThey say good news travels, and the news about the Texas Digital Library’s Vireo application has made it all the way to Illinois, where the Fighting Illini are finding out what UT Austin already knows – that Vireo can make life easier for graduate colleges and libraries handling electronic theses and dissertations (ETDs).

The Texas Digital Library (TDL), headquartered at UT Libraries, is a multi-university consortium that provides shared digital services to institutions of higher learning in the state. UT Austin is a founding member of the organization.

The TDL developed the Vireo application to help graduate schools manage electronic theses and dissertations (ETDs), the digital versions of the documents that master’s and doctoral students must submit to obtain their degrees. In recent years, increasing numbers of universities have required students to submit ETDs in addition to (or in place of) paper copies. However, the tools for managing the unique workflow associated with ETDs – the approval process, for example, and the publication of ETDs in a digital repository – haven’t kept up with these changes in policy. Vireo was created to fill this need and is currently in use at UT Austin, as well as several other universities in the state. Continue reading

UT Digital Repository ranked among the world’s top institutional repositories

TDL.org stacked logoThe UT Digital Repository received some welcome recognition recently when it was ranked #50 in the Ranking Web of World Repositories’ list of the top 400 institutional repositories worldwide. We are excited to see that the repository, which is less than two years old, is already among the best.

The Ranking Web of World Repositories is an initiative of the Cybermetrics Lab, a research group that is part of the Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC), the largest public research body in Spain. The group creates the rankings, Continue reading