Ecological modelling for repositories: an overview

[copy of my post from the RRT Team blog]

Introductory Report released

We’re pleased to announce the release of the final version of RRT’s introductory report:

An ecological approach to repository and service interactions .

In the report we examine the idea that ecology can usefully serve as a metaphor (or source of metaphors) to help articulate the complex contexts which digital libraries, repositories, and related services operate in.

Many problem-solving tools focus on one dimension of a context such as system architecture or business process. In the report we suggest that prior to using such problem-solving tools it is essential to have a wider view of the local context and to understand and be able to communicate how human interactions, system interactions, and human/machine interactions relate. Ecology offers one metaphor to view such a discussion, and shape how these interactions are analysed and considered.

The report is available from http://purl.oclc.org/NET/RepositoryEcology/IntroductoryReport .

With this milestone it seems appropriate to also mention other work related to this report.

Ariadne article:

A Bug’s Life?: How Metaphors from Ecology Can Articulate the Messy Details of Repository Interactions
R. John Robertson, Mahendra Mahey, Phil Barker.
http://www.ariadne.ac.uk/issue57/robertson-et-al/

Case Studies

Metadata in an Ecosystem of Presentation Dissemination
R. John Robertson, Phil Barker, Mahendra Mahey, Poster at DC2008
Poster http://dc2008.de/wp-content/uploads/2008/10/05_robertson__poster.pdf
Abstract http://dcpapers.dublincore.org/index.php/pubs/article/view/938/934

3 more case studies are underway.

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