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Deutsche National Bibliothek
Keep Solutions
National Library Estonia
The Royal Library
Statens Arkiver
UK Data Archive
University of Glasgow

Quality and Trustworthiness as Economic Determinants in Digital Curation

The 4C project submitted its latest Deliverable, the finalised 'D4.3— Quality and Trustworthiness as Economic Determinants in Digital Curation' this week. This study provides a report on the overhead, cost, intellectual input and the eventual benefits that may accrue from undergoing self-assessment or audit procedures to become a ‘trusted digital repository’.

The report is part of a suite of case studies into indirect economic determinants under the ‘Enhancement’ Work Package and, “this particular report discusses costs and benefits of standards-based quality assurance associated with trustworthiness through audits and certification practice,” explains co-author Raivo Ruusalepp of the National Library of Estonia.

‘Quality and Trustworthiness as Economic Determinants in Digital Curation’ identifies the key generic cost drivers around audit and certification, and demonstrates some of the difficulties in separating out audit and certification costs from organisational costs.

It proposes that quality in all components of digital curation is a precondition of trustworthiness. Trust can be earned through reliable services that the repository provides. Trusted repository audit and certification is primarily aimed at increasing the perceived reputation of the repository among its stakeholders through publication and transparency of self-assessment results or their validation by external auditors.

Raivo adds that “the report should be of particular interest to those putting together business cases for this kind of investment, as it identifies some of the more intangible benefits which may be derived and also includes a cost structure that repositories can use to plan and budget their audit and certification activities.”

The project team has identified five methods for evaluating the quality and trustworthiness of digital repositories, ranging from self-assessment (DRAMBORA, DSA) to audit and certification by external auditors (TRAC, DIN 31644, ISO 16363). These have been used in two main ways: first, to increase the trustworthiness of the repository among its stakeholder groups and ultimately achieve a better reputation for the organisation; second, to increase the quality of repository processes being undertaken. Trustworthiness and reputation are seen to have been enhanced through the publication (transparency) of audit results (which has become synonymous with assessment of quality).

The 4C Project’s vision is to create a better understanding of digital curation costs through collaboration through the provision of useful, useable resources which support the process of cost management in digital curation. This report is one of these resources which may be used to enable a more informed investment in digital curation.

The full report may be found at in the 4C Project website’s ‘Community Resources’ Section:

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