How BYU Library Adopted a FAIR Data Hub

View of Earth with overlaid digital data and coding elements, symbolizing global digital connectivity and information exchange.

During the summer of 2019, BYU Harold B. Lee library teamed up with ZONTAL, Inc. to see if technology developed for the Pharma market could revolutionize how libraries are currently managing their data.

Intrigued by the Allotrope Data Format and its possibility to store metadata as well as content data in one vendor agnostic file BYU Library set out to test the first Allotrope based information management system, ZONTAL Space.  In a first step they analyzed together with ZONTAL their current data preservation processes and identified five manual processes that require specially trained resources which could potentially be replaced through automatic workflows in ZONTAL Space. As a counter proposal to their original workflow using home grown Harvesting utilities, they decided to leverage ZONTAL’s inbuild API’s and ingest abilities to streamline their preservation process.

Download our whitepaper on digital content preservation.

The ZONTAL Space target process would only require one manual intervention, to start a bulk preservation process within a specified range, and automatically ingest files from a variety of data collections within ContentDM.  Instead of storing data long term in Rosetta, all files can be preserved within ZONTAL Space.

One important feature lacking in the old BYU setup was a dashboard providing accurate system sizes and files types within each managed collection. The new ZONTAL Space dashboard gives instant feedback on disk usage and file distribution.

Building on the great relationship, ZONTAL and BYU Library are now investigating recommender systems built on top of the indexed metadata as stored within ZONTAL Space.  If successful, tens of thousands of students will soon discover content through a completely new search experience.

The results of this Proof of Concept are currently under peer review with Digital Library Perspectives.