Research data curation initiatives must support heterogeneous kinds of projects, data, and metadata. This article examines variability in data and metadata practices using “institutions” as the key theoretical concept.
As part of a wider emphasis on digital publishing and the relevance of humanities scholarship, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts (NEH) are giving new life to out-of-print humanities books.
Multilingual does not always mean multiple accounts or websites. Increasingly, multilingual content is delivered in an integrated way, with two (or more!) languages delivered on the same website, app, or social media platform.
The World Digital Library (WDL) is one example of how multiple languages can be incorporated on single platforms. The WDL is a hub for cultural artifacts that includes books, manuscripts, maps, newspapers, journals, photographs, sound recordings, and films. The WDL website is available in seven languages: Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish. The WDL Twitter account, @WDLorg, posts tweets in those seven languages, as well.
WDL is a project of the Library of Congress and is supported by the United Nations Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organization (UNESCO) and by libraries, archives, museums, educational institutions, and international organizations from around the world.
The WDL Website
Jason Yasner, Operations Manager for WDL, said the project has been very well-received around the world. In 2014, the site had 3.3 million unique visitors, 3.9 million visits, and 25.1 million pageviews. The top 10 countries for unique visitors in 2014 were the United States, Brazil, Spain, Mexico, United Kingdom, Germany, France, China, Argentina, and the Russian Federation. Usage has since expanded significantly following the introduction of a revamped user interface (UI) in November 2014 that offers new features and that is optimized for mobile and tablet access.
Yasner noted that there are several Spanish-speaking countries on the list, and in past years, Spain was the number one country with Brazil and United States vying for number two. The WDL actively reviews their content to better serve their audiences.
“We’d like to have more users from Arabic-speaking countries and are implementing strategies to attain this.” Yasner said. “One is working on better ways to display the content and make it more engaging, e.g., timelines, interactive maps, and themes.”
All navigation tools, metadata, and content descriptions are provided in the seven interface languages. Metadata and descriptions can be listened to with a text-to-voice conversion option that is available for every item in all seven languages, as well.
Making Content Multilingual
johavel/iStock/Thinkstock WDL’s partner organizations play a critical role in delivering WDL’s multilingual content. Currently, WDL has 185 partners from 81 countries.
“We receive metadata and descriptions in many different languages, but we use English as our working language.” said Yasner. “Therefore, we have what we call a ‘pre-translation’ phase in the production process where we translate all non-English metadata into English. Depending on the language, some of this ‘pre-translation’ is done in-house at the Library of Congress. After the metadata and descriptions are completed in English, we send them to a partner for review. Once finalized, we send the files to professional translation vendors to be translated into our additional six languages. We then perform multiple quality reviews before the content is published to the production website.”
The same content is available in all seven languages on WDL’s website. Yasner said there are very few exceptions to this rule, and WDL is currently investigating alternate translation methods to fill in the missing pieces.
Content is selected for the website by partner institutions, in accordance with guidelines set by WDL’s Content Selection Committee. Content is chosen for its cultural and historical importance. Books, manuscripts, maps, and other primary materials on the site are not translated but are presented in their original languages. More than 100 languages are represented on WDL, including many lesser known and endangered languages.
WDL’s Social Media Strategy
With limited resources, the WDL team decided that they could effectively manage only one Twitter account. After a brief pilot, they went live with English-only tweets and began to translate those tweets into one or more of the other six WDL languages. They then started tweeting in all seven languages as appropriate, always trying to choose specific content linked to a particular event in a specific language or country.
As they do with the website, WDL reviews and adapts their content strategy based on analytics.
“We have recently scaled back [on Twitter] due to low user interaction,” Yasner said. “We noticed that Russian and Chinese were the least ‘engaged’ languages. Management of the tweets themselves (making the links, character-count checks, making sure two languages weren’t overlapping in content, scheduling, etc.) had an influence as well. We are investigating strategies that we can use to get people more engaged with these tweets. One is going back to tweeting in every language (non-English) once a week, on a designated day, at a designated time. We also ask that the tweet writer suggest at least a time of day when it might be best to tweet (perhaps to coincide with particular time zone, for example). Also, adding a picture to a tweet works wonders, and people are much more likely to retweet.”
The Dataverse is an open source web application to share, preserve, cite, explore and analyze research data. It facilitates making data available to others, and allows you to replicate others work. Researchers, data authors, publishers, data distributors, and affiliated institutions all receive appropriate credit.
A Dataverse repository hosts multiple dataverses. Each dataverse contains datatset or other dataverses, and each dataset contains descriptive metadata and data files (including documentation and code that accompany the data).
History of the Project
The Dataverse software is being developed by the Data Science team at Harvard's Institute for Quantitative Social Science (IQSS). Coding of the Dataverse Network software began in 2006 under the leadership of Mercè Crosas and Gary King. We benefited considerably from our experience with our earlier Virtual Data Center (VDC) project, which spanned 1999-2006 and was organized by Micah Altman, Gary King, and Sidney Verba as a collaboration between the Harvard-MIT Data Center (now part of IQSS) and the Harvard University Library. Precursors to the VDC date to 1987, comprising such entities as a stand-alone software guide to local data, preweb software, and tools to transfer cataloging information by FTP to other sites across campus automatically at designated times.
University Libraries Offer an Alternative to Traditional Publishing InfoToday.com The Library Publishing Coalition (LPC) defines library publishing as “the set of activities led by college and university libraries to support the creation,...
Sharing your scoops to your social media accounts is a must to distribute your curated content. Not only will it drive traffic and leads through your content, but it will help show your expertise with your followers.
How to integrate my topics' content to my website?
Integrating your curated content to your website or blog will allow you to increase your website visitors’ engagement, boost SEO and acquire new visitors. By redirecting your social media traffic to your website, Scoop.it will also help you generate more qualified traffic and leads from your curation work.
Distributing your curated content through a newsletter is a great way to nurture and engage your email subscribers will developing your traffic and visibility.
Creating engaging newsletters with your curated content is really easy.