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'3 (more) reasons to head to iPRES 2014' by Sarah Middleton

In a few days the movers and shakers of the digital curation community will be convening on iPRES 2014 (International Conference on Preservation of Digital Objects) in Melbourne, and 4C is packing its bags and heading Down Under to be part of the action.

Having worked hard polishing the Roadmap and Curation Costs Exchange all summer we are keen to hear what the cream of the digital curation crop at iPRES has to say about the fruits of our labour.

 So, as well as our sun cream (it’s always sunny in Australia isn’t it?), flip flops and holiday reading, we’ll be taking:

  1. All we need for our ‘Defining a Roadmap for Economically Efficient Digital Curation’ workshop,
  2. our ‘New Perspectives on Economic Modelling for Digital Curation’ Paper,
  3. and our Curation Costs Exchange (CCEX) poster for the poster session.

If you’re not already going, it might be a bit late[1]. But if you are, here are three more ‘must dos’ while you’re there…apart from checking out the capital of Australian culture, the street art, top museums and stylish bars and restaurants of course.

Defining a Roadmap for Economically Efficient Digital Curation

Starting off the conference on day 1, the 4C team will be hosting the ‘Defining a Roadmap for Economically Efficient Digital Curation’ Workshop, promising participants the opportunity to learn about the economics of digital curation and how to critically assess the efficiency and sustainability of their own services and solutions.

Presented as a set of six messages, soon to appear in a snazzy online version, the recently published draft Roadmap considers the actions necessary to achieve a change in the way that all organisations think about and sustainably manage their digital assets.

New Perspectives on Economic Modelling for Digital Curation

On the Wednesday, and fresh from morning coffee, we present ‘New Perspectives on Economic Modelling for Digital Curation.’

In light of an increasing dependence on the availability of digital information assets, and the limited resources available for managing them over time, the 4C team will describe a framework of interrelated models that represent different aspects of the economic lifecycle based around curation. This includes a sustainability model, a cost and benefit model, a business model, and a cost model.

It is increasingly clear that organisations must be able to judge the effectiveness of their investments into curation activities, and this framework reflects the context in which managers operate and how it influences their decision-making.

Curation Costs Exchange: Understanding and comparing digital curation costs to support smarter investments

Wrapping up 4C’s contribution to the conference, and following our award winning poster in 2013, we’re unveiling this year’s hotly anticipated entry to coincide with the release of the Curation Costs Exchange’s (CCEx) full version.

If you’ve been away all summer and missed this, the CCEx is a crowd-sourced database which uses the costs data it gathers to provide cost comparisons with peers and insights into the financial accounting and activity costs of other organisations: helping you understand and compare digital curation costs with others, and supporting you in making smarter investments.

iPRES-ers will be treated not only to the visual delights of the Curation Costs Exchange poster, but a sneak peak at the full version of the CCEx with all new features including: an up-front view of average costs, a ‘draft’ mode which enables you to test out your costs without publishing your results to others, a ‘similarity score’ which shows you how similar other organisations are to your own to help you get the most meaningful cost comparison, as well as loads more tips and hints on getting the best results from this tool.

The rest of us will be able to get our hands on the full version of the CCEx, as well as the publications of all 4C iPRES activities, later in October. So even if you’re not heading Down Under this time, you’ll be swapping your cost data and spotting opportunities for cost efficiencies like a pro soon enough.

[1] Don’t worry we’ll publish everything online afterwards.

Sarah Middleton, Digital Preservation Coalition (DPC)

Sarah and the DPC are contributors to the 4C Project work package “Engagement,” developing The 4C Project Communications Plan and other communications deliverables which enable two way interaction between the project and its wide range of stakeholders.