D2.8—Curation Costs Exchange

The Curation Costs Exchange (CCEx) is a living platform, which will continue to evolve and be added to by the community which will own and adopt it. Even in the time it has taken to produce this report some aspects of the platform have developed further, and this document is a snapshot of the CCEx at the time of writing.

Executive Summary

There is a sizeable canon of research into cost modelling for digital curation. This research has tended to emphasize the cost and complexity of digital curation. However, the research is in many ways preliminary and there has been limited uptake and limited adoption of the tools and methods that have been developed. In addition there has been no integration into other digital curation processes or tools. The question is why? The 4C Project aims to address this question and provide access to resources and tools which endure.

4C seeks to help organisations across Europe to better understand the costs and benefits that accrue from digital curation and preservation, and the Curation Costs Exchange (CCEx) is just one of the key project deliverables which has been developed to support this aim.

One of the main objectives of 4C is to ensure that where existing work is relevant, stakeholders realise and understand how to employ those resources. An additional aim of the work is to examine more closely how these resources might be made more fit-for-purpose, relevant and useable by a wide range of organisations operating at different scales in both the public and the private sector.

The CCEx draws together existing, useful resources to help users make their own assessment of existing models and provide a foundation for developing their own cost modelling. In addition it provides resources to support smarter investments in digital curation through knowledge transfer and cost comparisons between organisations of all types.

Extensive community building and outreach work has been undertaken throughout the course of the project to optimise engagement with the resource, in order to sustain its relevance and currency—particularly through the further contribution of cost data sets—for as long as possible.

Since the beta launch in August 2014, the CCEx has been well received by the digital curation community, however there remains some reluctance to publicly share cost data through the platform. When asked why this is, a few reasons were cited more often than any others. Primarily users indicated that the commercial sensitivity of certain data would make it difficult to share. The other reason often mentioned was the resource required to separate just digital curation cost data from some of the often complex accounting systems. Users have also said that they would be worried that their data would be misinterpreted without sufficient context. On the other hand, provision of such context reduces comparability and puts too much administrative pressure on those entering cost data. Whilst the CCEx attempts to address these concerns through anonymity, confidentiality, simplified (but not too simplified) data upload mechanisms and ongoing activities to communicate these features, the 4C Project Roadmap is also presented as a route towards improved sharing in the future, aiming to breakdown the taboo of sharing costs and cost information.

To summarise the majority of comments from those who have been introduced to the CCEx: they are interested—if not keen—to use the CCEx, but would really only feel compelled to use it only when it holds more cost data sets for comparison. This summary aptly represents the Catch 22 situation faced by the CCEx and the dependence upon the digital curation community to adopt, use and benefit from its features.

To use the Curation Costs Exchange, visit: www.curationexchange.orghe {jc

D2.8 - Curation Costs Exchange (1.65 MB)

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