APARSEN, A SHARED VISION
APARSEN is a Network of Excellence, bringing together views on digital preservation from researchers, institutions, universities, associations and commercial companies. It is a Digital Preservation Technologies project funded by the European Union 7th Framework Program RTD (research and development) that aims to ensure that the benefits from digital preservation/curation are realized effectively and efficiently.
Conceived to create a “Virtual Center of Excellence”(VCOE), APARSEN main objective relies on creating a common vision and continuing the journey of integration of the European digital preservation landscape. This is a fairly new organizational concept, that describes the aim to bring together the capabilities, knowledge and expertise from diverse teams across geographical and organization boundaries to create something exemplary and outstanding within its domain.
The VCOE is not a single centralized organization. Its skills reside largely in its members but it acts as a support mechanism to help to improve the way digital preservation is carried out.
The key to a successful VCOE is the vision which is shared by all members, including the know-how and “know-why” of digital preservation. The networks link expertise includes who to ask about particular areas. The unique feature of APARSEN is that it is building on the already established Alliance for Permanent Access (APA), a membership organization of major European stakeholders in digital data and digital preservation.
APARSEN will focus a considerable effort on promoting and supporting the spread of digital preservation best practice. This will include the production of publications, development of training courses and curricula, and hosting of workshops.
APARSEN will be examining issues relating to interoperability, intelligibility and scalability to help develop a roadmap for how data and digital objects can remain useable and understandable in the long-term.
APARSEN will provide some of the answers to how access can be maintained through work on identifiers and citability, data policies and governance, and digital rights.
APARSEN will address issues of trust through work on testing environments, authenticity and provenance, annotation and data quality, and repository certification.
APARSEN work on topics such as cost/benefit analysis, preservation services, storage, and business cases will seeks to bring together disparate research to help build sustainable repositories.
- Researchers in digital preservation will have a common understanding of the digital preservation landscape, a common set of testing procedures and test data and a common repository of tools. Researchers in digital preservation will share a similar standing in almost every university as any other mainstream academic areas of research such as Physics or Humanities, with large numbers of graduates in digital preservation supplying a large demand in commerce, culture and society.
- Research data users will be able to find, access and use a wider variety of digital objects than previously possible. In the long term they should be able to access, understand and use the massive range of digital information available to them from across the globe and across time
- Research data producers will increasingly find preservation being built in to the workflows used to create data.
- Information curators will find it more affordable to preserve digitally encoded information, which will be reflected in their cost models and preservation plans. Ultimately, they will have choice of well tested, robust, cost effective ways of preserving their digital holdings, and will have more confidence in their ability to preserve their holdings.
- Decision makers will have a consistent overview of digital preservation and a view on cost/benefits; enabling them to take well founded decisions. External certification of the repositories for which they are responsible.
- Suppliers will create products for preservation and use of digital objects based on the identification of standards, common services and tools.
- Society will have an interoperable set of tools which will help them to survive and swim in, and even benefit from,the tidal wave of data.