Uncertainty about the Long-Term: Digital Libraries, Astronomy Data, and Open Source Software

Peter T. Darch, Ashley E. Sands

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

Digital library developers make critical design and implementation decisions in the face of uncertainties about the future. We present a qualitative case study of the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST), a major astronomy project that will collect and make available large-scale datasets. LSST developers make decisions now, while facing uncertainties about its period of operations (2022-2032). Uncertainties we identify include topics researchers will seek to address, tools and expertise, and availability of other infrastructures to exploit LSST observations. LSST is using an open source approach to developing and releasing its data management software. We evaluate benefits and burdens of this approach as a strategy for addressing uncertainty. Benefits include: enabling software to adapt to researchers' changing needs; embedding LSST standards and tools in community practices; and promoting interoperability with other infrastructures. Burdens include: open source community management; documentation requirements; and trade-offs between software speed and accessibility.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication2017 ACM/IEEE Joint Conference on Digital Libraries, JCDL 2017
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
ISBN (Electronic)9781538638613
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 25 2017
Event17th ACM/IEEE Joint Conference on Digital Libraries, JCDL 2017 - Toronto, Canada
Duration: Jun 19 2017Jun 23 2017

Publication series

NameProceedings of the ACM/IEEE Joint Conference on Digital Libraries
ISSN (Print)1552-5996

Other

Other17th ACM/IEEE Joint Conference on Digital Libraries, JCDL 2017
CountryCanada
CityToronto
Period6/19/176/23/17

Keywords

  • Astronomy
  • Big data
  • Big science
  • Data curation
  • Data management
  • Knowledge infrastructures
  • Long term
  • Open source
  • Scientific data

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)

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  • Cite this

    Darch, P. T., & Sands, A. E. (2017). Uncertainty about the Long-Term: Digital Libraries, Astronomy Data, and Open Source Software. In 2017 ACM/IEEE Joint Conference on Digital Libraries, JCDL 2017 [7991584] (Proceedings of the ACM/IEEE Joint Conference on Digital Libraries). Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.. https://doi.org/10.1109/JCDL.2017.7991584