About Digital Preservation
Digital encoding has become the dominant way in which we create, shape and exchange information, but this dependence carries many risks.
- As digital technology advances, hardware and software may become outmoded and information may become inaccessible
- Other users may be unable to understand or use data
- Access and use restrictions may make it difficult for others to re-use data
- The ability to identify the location of data may be lost
- The current custodian of the data may cease to exist
- The ones we trust to look after the digital holdings may let us down
Today’s research community must assume responsibility for building a robust data and information infrastructure for the future. Digital preservation is too big an issue for individual institutions or even sectors to address on their own. The answer to these challenges calls for coordinated approaches on both national and international level.
Launching the APARSEN Virtual Centre of Excellence
First joint APARSEN/EUDAT/SCIDIP-ES/DPHEP Workshop on Data Preservation and Reuse; Dublin 25 March
The launch of the first phase of the APARSEN Virtual Centre of Excellence took place on 25 March 2014 at an event in conjunction with the Research Data Alliance’s plenary meeting in Dublin. This event was a joint workshop with three other projects with linked interests in digital preservation: SCIDIP-ES, EUDAT and DPHEP. The workshop was chaired by Juan Bicarregui of the Science and Technology Facilities Council (UK), who is Chair of the Alliance for Permanent Access (APA) and a member of the Organisational Advisory Board of the RDA.
David Giaretta, the Director of the APA, introduced the concept of the Virtual Centre of Excellence, founded on the APA and growing out of the APARSEN Network of Excellence (funded by the European Commission’s 7th Framework Programme as grant number 269977). The APA and nascent Virtual Centre of Excellence have many “digital preservation pioneers” among their members, forming a nucleus of expertise in the area. The APARSEN project has produced a number of valuable resources, including in general evidence on which techniques for digital preservation are appropriate for which areas of application.
Ruben Riestra (INMARK, Spain) emphasized the importance of delivering value. Digital preservation should be seen as an opportunity multiplier. The Virtual Centre of Excellence has a coherent approach based on the concept of value, applicable to all types of digital objects, and will act as a mediator in the marketplace, bringing together those who need solutions with the expertise that can help them.
Fulvio Marelli (ESA-ESRIN) spoke about the SCIDIP-ES project, which is developing generic services and toolkits tailored to the earth science domain. The tools include a Knowledge Browser, Orchestration Manager, and Representation Information toolkit.
Rob Baxter, Pawel Kamocki and Marie Sandberg presented the EUDAT project. This is developing a Collaborative Data Infrastructure, focussed on five core research communities with common challenges. For high-energy physics, Jamie Shiers (CERN) presented DPHEP. CERN now has a data archive of more than 100 Pb. A cost model has been produced for storage, including periodic full migrations.
The next step in the launch of the APARSEN Virtual Centre of Excellence will be a dedicated launch event to be held in Brussels on 22-23 October 2014.
The 4th APARSEN Newsletter is available here