Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Investing in Curation. A Shared Path to Sustainability. Final RoadMap.

Investing in Curation. A Shared Path to Sustainability. Paul Stokes. The 4C project. March 9, 2015.
Digital curation involves managing, preserving and adding value to digital assets over their entire life cycle. Actively managing digital assets maximizes their value and reduces the risk of obsolescence. The costs of curation is a concern to stakeholders. The final version of the road map is now available; it starts with a focus on the costs of digital curation, but the ultimate goal is to change the way that all organizations manage their digital assets.

The vision: Cost modeling will be a part of the planning and management activities of all digital repositories.
  • Identify the value of digital assets and make choices
    • Value is an indirect economic determinant on the cost of curating an asset. The perception of value will affect the methods chosen and how much investment is required.
    • Content owners should have clear policies regarding the scope of their collections, the type of assets sought, the preferred file formats.
    • Establish value criteria for assets as a component of curation, understanding that certain types of assets can be re-generated or re-captured relatively easily, thereby avoiding curation costs
  • Demand and choose more efficient systems
    • Requirements for curation services should be specified according to accepted standards and best practices.
    • More knowledgeable customers demanding better specified and standard functionality means that products can mature more quickly.
  • Develop scalable services and infrastructure
    • Organizations should aim to work smarter and be able to demonstrate the impact of their investments.
  • Design digital curation as a sustainable service
    • Effective digital curation requires active management throughout the whole lifecycle of a digital object.
    • Curation should be undertaken with a stated purpose.
    • Making curation a service further embeds the activity into the organization's normal business function.
  • Make funding dependent on costing digital assets across the whole lifecycle
    • Digital curation activity requires a flow of sufficient resources for the activity to proceed.
    • Some digital assets may need to be preserved in perpetuity but others will have a much more predictable and shorter life-span.
    • All stakeholders involved at any point in the curation lifecycle will need to understand their fiscal responsibilities for managing and curating the asset until such time that the asset is transferred to another steward in the lifecycle chain.
  • Be collaborative and transparent to drive down costs
    • Each organization is looking to realize a return on their investment.
    • If those who provide digital curation services can be descriptive about their products and transparent about their pricing structures, this will enhance possible comparisons, drive competitiveness and lead the market to maturity.

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