Procedures for administering the "filters" at the gateway to

the DLESE Broad Collection


What are the filters?

The DLESE Scope Statement says:

"Resources will be considered for inclusion in DLESE, provided they pass the [following] filters and there is sufficient information within the resource to create a catalog record.

Relevance Filter

Is the resource relevant to Earth System Science education?

Integrity Filter

Are there no blatant errors of fact in the resource?

Are there no blatant political, religious, or commercial messages in the resource?

Does it function reasonably; i.e., seem to be basically bug-free?


Goals in designing procedures for administering the filters:

Note that the filters at the gateway to the Broad Collection will be complemented by a more extensive review system at the gateway to the Reviewed Collections. The filters at the entrance to the Broad Collection are intended to identify inappropriate resources, and keep them out of the collections. The review system at the entrance to the Reviewed Collection is intended to identify the "best" resources, and showcase them in the Reviewed Collection.


Strawman Plan

Note: this plan should be considered as a starting point for discussion. I attempted to follow the spirit and letter of the discussion at the Dec 2000 Steering Committee meeting. However, there are several points that the SC didn't discuss, where I made something up out of thin air. Also, this needs to be reality-checked with input about what is hard/easy/impossible from a technical perspective.

  1. Following an initial startup phase of purposeful resource-gathering, we envision that many resources entering the DLESE Collection will be contributed from the community, either by the creator of the resource, or by a satisfied user of the resource. Such resources will be referred to "contributed resources."

  2. In order to contribute a resource, the contributor must provide the required level of metadata, using the online DLESE resource cataloging tool. The required level of metadata includes title, author's contact information, and importantly for this procedure, a designation of broad topic area (e.g. ecology, hydrology).

  3. When DLESE receives a contributed resource (with complete required metadata), that resource will enter a "comment period" for 30 days.

  4. When a resource enters the Comment Period, comment from the community about the resource will be solicited by:

    1. inclusion on a list of New Resources, accessible from the DLESE home page.
    2. email notification to all DLESE members who have registered an interest in resources in that broad topical area.
    3. email notification to a specific individual who is the "DLESE designated filterer" for resources in that broad topical area. The "DLESE designated filterers" are volunteers.

  5. During the 30-day comment period, the resource will be findable through the Discovery System, but will be conspicuously flagged as "provisional" or "not yet approved." [I don't remember whether the SC talked about access through the Discovery System or only through the new resources notification mechanisms. I could argue on either side. KK]

  6. When someone accesses a resource during the 30-day comment period, either from the Discovery System or via one of the new resource notification mechanisms, they will be sent to a special page that states: (a) that this resource is now open for comment from the DLESE community about its suitability for inclusion in the DLESE Broad Collection, (b) that the filters for inclusion in the Broad Collection are as follows, and (c) that if you think the resource does not pass these filters, please send email to this address.

  7. The send-email-to address should be a neutral, non-revealing address like where the XXXX would be the DLESE resource ID number. Behind the scenes, at the DPC, mail coming to this address will be archived, and then forwarded to the "DLESE designated filterer" for that broad topical area.

  8. The responsibilities of the DLESE designated filterers would be: (a) to look at the resource themselves, and thus ensure that at least one set of critical eyes looks at every resource during the 30-day filtering period, (b) to digest email that comes from the community during the 30-day comment period.

  9. We anticipate that the vast majority of contributed resources will sail through the filters with no problem. At the end of the 30-day comment period, the designated filterer will indicate no-problem, and the resource will enter the Broad Collection.

  10. In a small minority of cases, a problem will be identified by the designated filterer or by the community comments. In that case, some kind of review board would have to consider the case. Initially, this review board could be the full group of designated filterers, with the designated filterer for the resource in question acting as Chair. The resource creator should be given an opportunity to respond to the identified problem. [Now I'm really making this up from scratch, no guidance from the SC meeting here. KK]


Transition strategy:

The plan above requires policy, technical and organizational efforts to put in place, and the library collection requires resources now. As an interim measure, the filters are being administered by the Dave Mogk (Collections Coordinator at the DPC), Christopher DiLeonardo (as the master "Gatherer" of the NSDL-funded Collections project, and to some extent by the DPC staff. This is a viable strategy while the flux rate of resources is small, and while the NSDL-funded Collections grant is still in its first year (funding level for gathering in that grant drops in year 2.) A reasonable target date for transitioning out of this interim procedure into the community-mediated strategy is fall 2001.

The proposed community-mediated filtering system will be discussed by the Collections Committee and DPC staff at the Feb 2001 Collections meetings, discussed on the collections listserver, and presented to the Steering Committee as a proposal at the April meeting. A final, approved plan should be in place at the end of the April Steering Committee meeting.

If a plan similar to that outlined above is approved, the Collection Committee/Collections Group will identify and recruit the initial group of "DLESE designated-filterers," aiming for about a half dozen individuals, who can collectively span the DLESE topics list. As the flux rate in contributed resources increases, the territories of the designated filterers will be subdivided, and new filterers will be recruited.

The time interval between the April SC meeting and the summer roll-out of the library is short, and technical resources will be overstressed. Implementing the technical underpinnings of the filtering system may not be the most important priority at that time, if the Mogk/DiLeonardo/DPC interim filtering strategy appears to be working adequately. Implementing the technical underpinnings of the filtering system should be one of the first priorities following the summer 2001 roll-out.


Revision history: