The enduring problem that the Digital Preservation and Curation strand seeks to address is how to effectively maintain the integrity and usability of digital assets over time. If there are no plausible methods of ensuring that digital content will be useful, accessible and understandable for the short, medium and long-term, then a reliance on digital methods (both within and beyond the library environment) is a flawed and irresponsible strategy.

Information and library infrastruture: Digital preservation and curation

The strategy of relying on digital methods within and beyond the library environment will be flawed and irresponsible if we do not develop effective methods to maintain the integrity and usability of digital assets over time.

Previous work has focused on devising technical responses to specific problems. The next phase of JISC-funded work (August 2011- October 2013) is principally addressing the following significant and challenging non-technical issues: 

  • who should be responsible for preservation?
  • who should pay for it?
  • what should we try to preserve? 

Work will be commissioned around 2 grant-funded calls (details to follow later) to address the following questions:

  • can preservation be embedded into the grass roots of an organisation through existing training and staff development frameworks?
  • how do measures to enhance content affect the willingness of decision-makers and budget-holders to invest in its long-term stewardship?
  • what is the business case for preservation? A 2-year project will work with the community to build an evidence base.
Desired Outcomes

The impact of this work will mostly be for non-preservation specialists: managers to understand costs and benefits; researchers to understand the value of archives; staff to realise they can 'do' preservation; and content specialists to become advocates for preservation approaches.

Complementary activity will be funded separately to:

  • further investigate the efficacy of establishing a costs observatory to monitor and analyse the long-term cost of managing data.
  • further develop an economic sustainability reference model which builds on the work of the Blue Ribbon Task Force for Sustainable Digital Preservation and Access
  • increase the capability of non-specialists to undertake preservation by the provision of accessible training materials and usable tools

We will also support work in the following areas:

  • e-Journal Archiving. During 2011, JISC convened the e-Journal Archiving Implementation Group (JARVIG) to discuss and devise the best way of putting in place a national infrastructure for e-journal archiving. The aim of JARVIG is to come up with an implementation and action plan that will enable university libraries to work in partnership with funding bodies, archival agencies, publishers and all other relevant stakeholders to achieve this goal. 
  • Web Archiving. The web outputs of JISC-funded projects and services are archived by the Archiving JISC Websites project. The resultant collection forms a subset of the UK Web Archive. Opportunities to enhance the ways in which researchers can engage with web archives will be developed.

Contact

  • Neil Grindley, Programme Manager, Digital Infrastructure (Digital Preservation)

    Telephone: +44 (0) 203 006 6059

    Mobile: +44 (0) 7816 277 573

    Email:

    Fax: +44 (0) 207 240 5377