An “Ideas Dialogue” has been development as part of the Government of Canada’s Action Plan on Open Government 2.0 Consultation:
What is the Idea Dialogue? It is a way to take the next step in building Canada’s Action Plan on Open Government 2.0. We’d like you to share your ideas on ways the Government of Canada could focus its efforts toward increased openness and transparency. You could also help build on someone else’s idea by adding your comments on the idea details discussion pages.
Canada’s first Action Plan on Open Government helped us make significant strides in providing easier access to the data and information Canadians want.
This could be a great opportunity for the government information community to make concrete suggestions for improving access to government information and data in Canada. Please, contribute your recommendations to this consultation, spread the word, and upvote the ideas you support!
Un dialogue en matière d’idées relatives à l’élaboration du Plan d’action du Canada pour un gouvernement ouvert 2.0 a été développé:
En quoi consiste le dialogue en matière d’idées? Il s’agit d’un moyen de passer à l’étape suivante dans l’élaboration du Plan d’action du Canada pour un gouvernement ouvert 2.0. Nous aimerions connaître vos idées sur la façon dont le gouvernement du Canada pourrait orienter ses efforts en vue d’accroître son ouverture et sa transparence. Vous pourriez également enrichir l’idée d’une autre personne en ajoutant vos commentaires aux pages de discussion relatives aux détails de l’idée en question.
This workshop will be taking place at the CLA Conference in Victoria on Thursday, May 29th, 2014 at 2:30pm. Mark your calendars!
Cet atelier se déroulera le jeudi 29 mai 2014 à 14 h 30 à la conférence de l’ACB à Victoria. Marquez vos calendriers!
Open Government Action Plan 2.0
As part of developing Canada’s second Open Government Action Plan, the Open Government Secretariat is facilitating conversations with public interest groups across the country. The purpose of this session is to provide a brief overview of Federal Open Government in Canada and solicit your ideas on what activities the government of Canada should include in the Action Plan.
Presentation and discussion on why open government is important
Interactive workshop where participants work together on ideas for the Open Government Action Plan
Group reports and plenary discussion
Wrap up and next steps
By attending this session you will learn about Open Government initiatives and have the opportunity to share your thoughts and ideas on the direction this global movement should take in Canada.
Plan d’action du Canada pour un gouvernement ouvert 2.0
Dans le contexte de l’élaboration d’un deuxième Plan d’action du Canada pour un gouvernement ouvert, le Secrétariat du gouvernement ouvert dirige des discussions avec des groupes de défense de l’intérêt public de partout au pays. La présente séance a pour but de donner un bref aperçu du gouvernement ouvert fédéral au Canada et d’obtenir vos idées quant aux activités que le gouvernement du Canada devrait inclure dans le Plan d’action.
Principaux points de la séance :
Exposé et discussion au sujet de l’importance que revêt le gouvernement ouvert.
Atelier interactif au cours duquel les participants travaillent ensemble pour dégager des idées au regard du Plan d’action du Canada pour un gouvernement ouvert.
Rapports de groupe et discussion plénière.
Récapitulation et prochaines étapes.
Cette séance est l’occasion de vous renseigner au sujet des initiatives connexes au gouvernement ouvert et de présenter vos réflexions et idées à propos de l’orientation que ce mouvement mondial devrait prendre au Canada.
Government Records and Information: An Inventory of the Major Threats and Challenges Bernard Reilly, President, CRL
Major threats and challenges:
Scale of the challenge > the enormous and constantly growing volume of information and government records being produced, as well as data being collected and disseminated > now must use computer-assisted research and applications to analyze this content for decision-making, preservation, context-generation, etc.
The unknown unknowns > we don’t know what we’re missing and we don’t know the size of what we’re dealing with > this makes prioritization, decision-making, and the framing of a preservation strategy very difficult
There is no longer a distinction between what’s a government record and what’s a government document > in the digital realm these terms are almost interchangeable > a lot of material falls in a grey area (is an agency website a government record or document?)
We’re facing reductions in capacity and funding in the big organizations that have traditionally been trusted with the long-term preservation of government information > at the same time, these organizations are being asked to do much more and the reality is that they will only be able to do less
These institutions will play different roles in the future > NARA could be a collaborator with government agencies in decisions on systems used and adopted to produce and manage government documents and records – there has been start to this process with the development of NARA guidelines on this topic
Different priorities of higher education institutions > used to be stewards of information and content needed by researchers, but there are so many pressures on these institutions and the return on investment is farther in the future, which makes it harder for institutions to provide support
Larger role of tech companies and cloud > in the short term these companies support the maintenance of digital content and in providing services for use and discoverability of this content > social media companies sometimes considered to be de facto repositories > must use caution, as content could easily disappear
Bigger role of private companies like ProQuest mediating use and access to government content > increasingly these companies are in possession of data about how the content is being used, which could be very valuable for libraries
Must get a better understanding of civic-minded organizations > these organizations are in the government information supply chain > there are many things we don’t know about the systems of private organizations that are storing government information and how the finances of these organizations work > there is a lack of economic transparency
Panel Discussion: Prospective Roles and Actions for Libraries and CRL Mary Case, University Librarian, University of Illinois at Chicago
Who gets to determine the value of the information? Governments, scholars? > there is tension between the desire of scholars to have everything available and how we manage all of this information with the laws and rights that govern it
The technologies do exist for improve metadata creation and document tracking, but it is not yet being applied in the domain of government information
We need to rebuild the connection between records managers and content creators > re-education on importance of documents for institutional memory and our ability to move forward
A big challenge lies with the fact that everything has become data > there is a push to ensure that all information can be mashed, taken apart, and recontextualized in some manner
When we talk data, we’re being encouraged to get closer and closer to the point when the data is being created > moving up stream will be critical for us
When trying to address the challenges of born digital information we need to think outside the FDLP box and find ways to do more, collaboratively
What can research libraries do?
Tell the story and explain why preserving government information is important, why any government data is critical for our present and our future
There are several local and regional consortia > can we model and do pilots with local and regional governments and researchers to see how we might manage information more locally
Urge more movement above stream (encourage GPO and NARA to put out best practices – don’t wait)
Have more conversations > can we figure out how to agree with ProQuest and others to create a trusted digital repository where if the company goes out of business we can maintain access > we can’t keep replicating
Brent Roe, Executive Director, Canadian Association of Research Libraries
Government information needs to be held independently of government > what role do research libraries have in this?
Some realities in Canada:
At the federal level, we need to work with government information in both languages
Crown copyright at the federal level (still 50 years)
Potential constraints on what researchers can do with information, but policy allows quite liberal use of content
Maybe we don’t need to keep everything? We should consider this perspective
It may be most logical for us to simply buy what’s provided by third parties because we don’t really have the capacity to preserve everything ourselves
Is there a way that research libraries can collaborative on web crawls? > each institution could be responsible for different domains or agencies
Research libraries have an important advocacy role to play
How to find money for these new opportunities / projects? > we need to come around to the idea that we may have to start and hope that the projects will get supported in the future
Ingrid Parent, University Librarian, University of British Columbia and former Assistant Deputy Minister, Library and Archives Canada
The situations in Canada and the United States have many similarities and differences, but what is clear is that a lot needs to be done
Support at the international level is needed to ensure long-term accessibility and integrity > generally not enough is happening > in European libraries the focus is on copyright exceptions for libraries and e-lending and digital government information is not top of mind
National archives and libraries are addressing some challenges, but there is little collaboration
Many questions about who does what, how do we do this at the international level, and who pays for what?
There is no one organization that can tackle the issue of born digital government information > collaboration with a variety of stakeholders will be key
There is a group in INFLA that deals specifically with government information and this may be a way for us to bring these issues to the international stage > perhaps an advocacy statement can be drafted to take to the international level
We are all struggling with digital big data, but the technology is there to be used creatively to meet our objectives and we should embrace and explore this > let’s be ambitious and pragmatic
Conclusions: a New Strategic Framework for Collective Action by North American Academic Libraries and New Multi-year Priorities for CRL Bernard Reilly, President, CRL
Analysis > we need to know more about what we don’t know > how gov info is produced, managed, and distributed and how gov records are declassified > more about systems and software involved inside governments > more about the organizations tasked with long-term management of government information > more about commercial actors, NGOs, and civic organizations > more about the consumption and the uses of government data and records
Need to locate and exploit expertise within the CRL community > collections development communities, libraries, people that know gov info and data, etc.
Need to know more about what’s at risk > the problems with declassification and things going missing > many problems seem to be in the access pipeline
In danger of losing material from foreign governments with unstable regimes and corrupt governments
Communicate > we need to tell the story better > articulate what we want and what we need
Audit > We need to audit commercial repositories and preservation repositories
We need to stop talking about e-government and paperless government documents as if they are manageable within the framework of the FDLP
Do we really want to put so much money in web archiving? What are we getting out of it? Is what we’re archiving going to be used? Should we focus more on at risk data that will matter if it disappears?
We should look more closely at the research being done by social scientists, economists, historians, etc. who are using web content and have stake in the near-term preservation of content
How to deal with big data is only half the story > we must also focus on organizational culture and adaptation or we lose track of the importance of culture and people
There is so much data now > what’s important is the process, what you do with it, and the talent you build around it > we must adapt and create a bridge between traditional skills and new quantitative approaches
There is skepticism about technology and our reliance on it and this is colliding with the emerging culture of break things and focusing on future and the next challenges
How does the civic sector do a better job of adaptability to build the tools that people want and need?
“Make something people want or move on” outlook is much harder to accomplish in civil society
The biggest cognitive switch we need to make is enabling ourselves to make mistakes
The Knight foundation works in the space of news and journalism, but links it to the community > learn more about the Knight Foundation here: http://www.knightfoundation.org/
There are many gaps in what we know: no list of born-digital government information, no list of all government websites, no list of preserved born-digital gov info
What we do know: FDLP libraries have preserved millions of volumes of non-digital government information and most born digital information is not held, managed, organized, or preserved by libraries
Preservation is at the mercy of budgets and social priorities > risk increases if persevering agency is the creator and doesn’t have preservation as mission or if preserving agency governed by politicians
The production of digital documents is far outpacing what’s being done to preserve these documents
The need for persistent URLs
The need for temporal context (ex: link to version of document or site that author linked to at time of publication and not updated version)
E-government issues (e-gov often hides information behind services > how to we preserve this information)
Relying on government for preservation and free access (most agencies do not have the mandate to preserve indefinitely – this is even the case for GPO)
Collections need services to provide important context for interpretation
When we create dark archives we’re not creating a value for our community > we need to create immediate value for our users
Who should preserve?
Option one: the government alone
Option two: the government with non-governmental partners (ex: GPO + LOCKSS-USDOCS)
Option three: non-governmental organizations without government cooperation (ex: Internet Archive)
There are different methods for selecting what needs to be preserved (the solutions should be mixed and the issue should be tackled collaboratively)
Focused selection (ex: by agency or title by tile)
Digital deposit (ex: deposit by creators to memory institutions)
When planning for preservation focus on different user-communities: don’t look at the web and decide what to preserve, look at the web and preserve based on what users will need
Every library should participate in digital preservation > it’s about building the value of libraries > collections and services should be reliable and useful > shared collections and services can be built with different contributions – not all libraries have to be data centres
Summary of key points:
Preserve born digital government information – the technology exists
Every library can and should participate
We can add value to the information by building collections of use to our user communities
The Digital Future of FDsys and the Federal Depository Library Program: A Public Policy Analysis R. Eric Petersen, Specialist in American National Government, Congressional Research Service
Access and service (tangible, digital, or both?)
Costs (Less print distribution, but still costs libraries to maintain
FDSys – there is no good model for permanent digital retention > we will have to update software and touch digital assets to make sure access continues > ongoing investment and responsibility required > every 8-10 years will require entire overhauls and updates
Born digital materials > identification, retention, preservation, service
Tangibles > retention, digitization, consolidation, service
Lack of consensus around:
What is to be captured > how to count – websites / documents vs. records
How to capture and by whom > GPO / FDSys, originating agencies, third parties
Legislative change is slow without clear agreement regarding the solutions among stakeholders
Before Congress will engage, we need clear proposals that are broadly supported and offered by stakeholders and interested parties > they must cover issues such as enduring standards for digital retention, who collects and retains born digital content and tangible content, and how the costs will be managed
Panel Discussion: New Models of Access: The Role of Third Party Aggregators and Publishers
Susan Bokern, VP, Information Solutions, ProQuest
We all have different roles to play and there’s enough content to go around
ProQuest’s essential role is to add value to content
ProQuest is focusing on researchers and the improvement of workflow processes to create new research output > enabling researchers to access content more efficiently, providing tools to improve workflow, visualization and analysis tools, not just about content but also about context
The process of adding value begins with market research (surveys, advisory boards, focus groups to identify known and unknown needs) > creating acquisitions strategy to develop collection > preserving content or data > keeping the technology up to date > identifying where and how to obtain the content
ProQuest takes preservation seriously > content is stored on their own servers > currently exploring a longer-term storage and preservation solution (ex: Iron Mountain)
East View is an aggregator for academic institutions and a variety of international governments
Some example projects: GIS, big data, political rallies ephemera
Big focus on content from Russia and China > not usually seeking or producing translations, but going after the information and data that’s not always available elsewhere or not the same as what’s provided in English
There is an operational risk is that the information received could later be reclassified
In China, content can be made available and digitized very quickly but it can also disappear or be blocked quickly, too
Interested in exploring cross-platform solutions for content
Voxgov harvests materials from over 10K web destinations each day > every 6 mins the system looks for new URLs > 49 diff types of documents (fact sheet, social media, congressional, federal register, speeches, etc.)
The collection process has evolved rapidly > learned to identify when a website’s format has changed to maintain quality intake of data > 18-22%, depending on the group, falls into the broken link category
Interested in tracking conversations from beginning to end to allow a much deeper and more comprehensive level of research
The involvement of third parties in the preservation and access process is inevitable
Mining the text we have to bring value has not yet been realized