Jaye Weatherburn

Jaye Weatherburn

Last updated on 14 July 2021

Recently at the University of Melbourne we’ve had a chance to review an existing position description in our Digital Stewardship (Research) team, after the departure of a near and dear colleague.  

We reviewed this position in light of new requirements coming out of our five-year journey to date implementing a digital preservation strategy for the university

The position up for review played a crucial role in building the foundations for our digital assets repositories, and so now with technical foundations in place, the shift in this role reflects the maturity of service developments.  

New digital preservation requirements emerging after five years of dedicated digital preservation strategy implementation (a non-exhaustive list!) means we have to:

  • Manage a digital preservation repository, including operational services to support the library, archives, and records units at the university 

  • Support ongoing skill development for existing distributed staff having digital preservation functions added to their roles 

  • Update and share our emerging digital preservation policies and procedures 

  • Develop and share our operational framework and service model for doing digital preservation 

  • Maintain existing relationships and invest in coordination for new relationship building to support the digital preservation repository across a very distributed staff cohort. Especially given the separation of IT and digital preservation functions in the organisation 

  • Advocate for new capacity in terms of human infrastructure to support all of the above (as well as continue advocating for the technical infrastructure we have now put in place!)

It is very difficult to get an entire position dedicated to digital preservation, especially when our team does so many different tasks for the research and staff community across a range of areas – as well as digital preservation we support research data management and curation, open access, and data publishing to name some of the big ones.  

Thus we’ve arrived at the need for a dedicated Digital Curation Technical Specialist as we’re calling it – we are seeking primarily a technical skill set that includes curation and digital preservation knowledge and understanding, as well as data repository and outputs workflows.  

Take a look at what we’ve arrived at – I’d be very interested in comments or even a conversation with others grappling with how best to resource digital preservation requirements. And if you or someone you know would like to join a remarkably collaborative and supportive team, send this job advertisement out!


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