SPARC Innovation Fair

At the podium

From a brief talk given 8 November at the SPARC 2010 Digital Repositories Forum:
Hello, I’m Jay Datema, associate director at the Bern Dibner Library, Polytechnic Institute of NYU. I’m honored to be included in this year’s Innovation Fair at the SPARC conference. I have two minutes, so I’ll keep it short.

My poster is entitled “Full Circle Research: Occam’s Razor for Collection.” As many of you know, Occam’s Razor is a principle taken from the philosopher William of Ockam, who posited that “when several theories model the available facts adequately, the simplest theory is to be preferred.”  This principle dates back to the 1300s, so it’s had some time to prove itself. Institutional repositories, on the other hand, are just a decade old.

Simply stated, my poster shows that research is a process that starts with an analysis of publications, which of course will then produce more publications. As Samuel Johnson said, “The greatest part of a writer’s time is spent in reading, in order to write; a man will turn over half a library to make one book.” What is the online equivalent? I suppose it would have to be endless surfing of bibliographies, databases, and PDFs. Research only ends when your attention span falters or a deadline awaits.
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