In five years time (2020) it will be easier to design or procure more cost effective and efficient digital curation services because the costs, benefits and the business cases for doing so will be more widely understood across the curation lifecycle and by all relevant stakeholders. Cost modelling will be part of the planning and management activities of all digital repositories.
How can organisations working in a variety of different domains more cost-effectively look after and account for the digital assets in their care? This concise Roadmap sets out to address that question by outlining the steps that should be taken over the next five years in order to maximise the efficiency of digital curation and to ensure sustainability.
Digital curation involves managing, preserving and adding value to digital assets over their entire lifecycle. The active management of digital assets maximises their reuse potential, mitigates the risk of obsolescence and reduces the likelihood that their long-term value will diminish. However, this requires effort so there are costs associated with this activity. As the range of organisations responsible for managing and providing access to digital assets over time continues to increase, the cost of digital curation has become a significant concern for a wider range of stakeholders.
Establishing how much investment an organisation should make in its curation activities is a difficult question. If a shared path can be agreed that allows the costs and benefits of digital curation to be collectively assessed, shared and understood, a wider range of stakeholders will be able to make more efficient investments throughout the lifecycle of the digital assets in their care. With a shared vision, it will be easier to assign roles and responsibilities to maximise the return on the investment of digital curation and to clarify questions about the supply and demand of curation services. This will foster a healthier and more effective marketplace for services and solutions and will provide a more robust foundation for tackling future grand challenges.
Situating the Roadmap: The six messages in the roadmap have been carefully considered to effect a step change in attitudes over the next five years. It starts with a focus on the costs of digital curation—but the end point and the goal is to bring about a change in the way that all organisations think about and sustainably manage their digital assets.