Sarah Middleton

Sarah Middleton

Last updated on 20 April 2017

In this issue:

  • What's on, and What's new
  • Editorial: The Evolution of Research Data Policy – where are all the requirements leading? (Sarah Jones, HATII)
  • One world: A Glance at Digital Preservation in Sweden (John Lindström & Prof Lennart Karlsson, Luleå University of Technology)
  • Featured Project: TIMBUS - Digital Preservation for Timeless Business (William Kilbride)
  • Your view: Commentary, questions and debate from readers
Compiled by Kirsten Riley. What's new is a joint publication of DPC and DCC. Also available as a print-friendly PDF (shortly) 


What's on:

Aligning National Approaches to Digital Preservation
23-25 May 2011
Ensuring long-term access to digital resources is a task few institutions or even countries can take on by themselves. Cooperation is key to successful digital preservation: cooperation between individual institutions, sectors, and countries.
This conference intends to provide a participatory forum for information exchange and focused work on these topics for the purpose of building international collaborations to support the preservation of our collective digital memory. The outcomes for the event will be a strategic alignment of national approaches to enable new forms of international cooperation and an edited volume that documents an action plan for building collaboration among interested digital preservation initiatives.

CILIPS One Day Seminar on Shared Services
25 May 2011
This one day seminar will explore the cooperative landscape in library services.

A Roundtable Meeting on the Economic Sustainability of Digital Information (The ESDI Roundtable)
26 May, 2011
The purpose of this Roundtable meeting is to take a focused look at issues relating to economic sustainability, a topic that originates from the work of the Blue Ribbon Task Force on Sustainable Digital Preservation and Access (BRTF) ( ). Discussion at the Roundtable will doubtless reference the BRTF findings, but the purpose is also to focus on new work and to hear from an international mix of participants about the various national actions that are currently in train to ensure an economically sustainable digital future. The meeting will feature a presentation and discussion of work that is being commissioned by the Digital Curation Centre/JISC and OCLC Research to produce a reference model that will help decision-makers understand the economic context surrounding digital lifecycle management, and inform the development of viable economic sustainability strategies. The reference model will be based on the findings and recommendations of the BRTF Final Report, but aims to translate the report’s conclusions into a practically-oriented tool for economic decision-making. The goal is to produce a reference model that underpins the economic aspect of lifecycle digital planning and management, much as the OAIS Reference Model has underpinned planning and management for technical/workflow issues.

Data For Life: Digital Preservation and Health Sciences
26 May 2011
This DPC briefing day, held in conjunction with the Datum project at the University of Northumbria and sponsored by JISC, is intended to introduce key concepts of digital preservation to students and information managers working in the health and wellbeing sectors.  It will provide a forum to review and debate the latest development in the preservation of digital qualitative research data in the health field and it will initiate a discussion on how the necessary skills can most effectively be developed. Based on commentary and case studies from leaders in the field, participants will be presented with emerging tools and technologies and will be encouraged to propose and debate the future for these developments.

JISC Collections 2011 Workshops
May and June 2011
JISC Collections will run eight free  workshops across the UK in may and June for member institutions. The events will feature overviews of current initiatives and will also provide time for discussion on challenges including e-books, licensing for partner organisations, access management and open access.

Digital Preservation Management: Short-Term Solutions for Long-Term Problems
5-10 June 2011
The intended audience for this five-day workshop series is managers at organizations of all kinds who are or will be responsible for managing digital content over time. The workshops were initially developed at Cornell University beginning in 2003 under the direction of Anne Kenney and Nancy McGovern. 

13 June 2011
The Doctoral Consortium is a workshop for Ph.D. students from all over the world who are in the early phases of their dissertation work (i.e., the consortium is not intended for those who are finished or nearly finished with their dissertation). The goal of the Doctoral Consortium is to help students with their thesis and research plans by providing feedback and general advice on using the research environment in a constructive and international atmosphere. Students will present and discuss their research in the context of a well-known and established international conference, in a supportive atmosphere with other doctoral students and a panel of established researchers.

DCC Roadshow: Glasgow
22-24 June 2011
The DCC is organising a series of inter-linked UK workshops aimed at supporting institutional data management, planning and training. The events will run over 3 days and will provide institutions with advice and guidance tailored to a range of different roles and responsibilities. The workshops are free and can be booked individually. The third DCC Roadshow is being organised in conjunction with the University of Glasgow Library and will take place from 22-24 June 2011.

DPC Directors' Group
27th June 2011
Details to follow, Oxford 

Digital Forensics for Preservation: DPC Members' Briefing
28th June 2011
Details to follow, Oxford

International Curation Education Forum
29 June 2011
The event is being subsidised and led by JISC in association with: the Digital Curation Centre (DCC); the Institute of Library and Museum Services; the School of Library and Information Science, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; and the Department of Information Studies, University College London.  The Forum will be an ideal opportunity for a number of different groups to congregate including: academics; curation training professionals; digital curators; repository managers; archivists; records managers; data managers; data librarians; publishers; commercial service providers; and students. It should be of interest to anyone who attended the DigCCurr conferences at UNC Chapel Hill (2007 & 2009) and will also build on the discussions of the IDEA (International Digital Curation Education Action) Group. 


What's New:

New DCC Curation Reference Manual instalment on the role of microfilm in digital preservation
Drawing on a risk management perspective, this instalment introduces the complementary role that microfilm, and particularly computer output microfilm (COM), can play within the broad spectrum of digital preservation. It provides some international examples of current and best practice and highlights some technical issues relating to standards.

Piloting the LIFE costs Tool in UK HEIs
As part of the JISC-funded Piloting the LIFE costs tool in UK HEIs project , the DCC is now seeking volunteers to test the effectiveness of the LIFE 3 tool within UK HEI repositories. Testing will run from early June until the end of July and participants will receive dedicated support in employing the tool. For more information please see our website.

OpenAIRE Compliance
The Repositories Support Project has developed a briefing paper to support the UK repository community in implementing the OpenAIRE guidance. It summarises the OpenAIRE guidelines and provides technical information to enable DSpace and EPrints users to ensure their repositories are compliant.

California Digital Library Announces Release of XTF Version 3.0
The California Digital Library (CDL) is pleased to announce the release of version 3.0 of XTF an open source, highly flexible software application that supports the search, browse and display of heterogeneous digital content. XTF provides efficient and practical methods for creating customized end-user interfaces for distinct digital content collections and is used by institutions worldwide.

7th International Digital Curation Conference (IDCC) call for papers
The IDCC Programme Committee invites submissions of papers that reflect current concerns in digital curation and specific concerns about navigating the open data landscape.

The I2S2 project is pleased to announce the availability of 2 benefits use cases
The Infrastructure for Integration in Structural Sciences (I2S2) project is identifying requirements for a data-driven research infrastructure in ‘Structural Science’, focusing primarily on the domains of Chemistry and Crystallography. A key aim of I2S2 has been to develop use cases that examine the business processes of research, identify the costs and benefits of the integrated approach proposed by I2S2, and explore perspectives of “scale and complexity” and “research discipline” throughout the data lifecycle. During the course of the project, the complementary but often different perspectives of researchers and central facilities in terms of benefits were also recognised as significant and built into the use cases.

LoC Newsletter
The April 2011 Library of Congress Digital Preservation Newsletter is now available.

Confused by copyright? In the dark about IPR?
A new elearning module from the JISC-led Strategic Content Alliance is to help update people dealing with intellectual property rights in universities, colleges, museums, libraries and other public bodies. The module will help them understand the implications and roles of Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) and licensing – all crucial to their institution’s role as a provider, aggregator and/or publisher of digital content.

VuDL Open Source Software
The Technology Development team at Villanova University’s Falvey Memorial Library announces the official alpha launch of their open source digital library management software, VuDL.  With VuDL, you can store, manipulate, display and make discoverable your digital collections.

Research Data Management Framework - Capability Maturity Guide
The ANDS Capability Maturity Guide sets out five levels of attainment or maturity which institutions may achieve in managing their research data. Organisations can use it to assess their current level of attainment and to identify areas where they may wish to concentrate in the future. In this way the model can serve as a form of gap analysis and should be of assistance to those of ANDS Partners who are engaged in improving their institution’s capacity to support research data management. This guide is intended for practitioners within research organisations who have responsibility for some aspects of research data infrastructure provision.

DCC seeking testers for Collaborative Assessment of Research Data Infrastructure and Objectives (CARDIO) tool
If research data lies at the heart of your organisation, you need to know that you have adequate infrastructure, staff skills and resources, and senior management support in place to ensure that your data is effectively managed for validation, reuse and evidential purposes. The JISC-funded Collaborative Assessment of Research Data Infrastructure and Objectives (CARDIO) is a benchmarking tool for data management and curation strategy development for use at the departmental or research group level. The toolkit blends key aspects of the Cornell three-legged stool model, DAF, AIDA, DRAMBORA, and DMP and draws upon the legacy data within these tools to provide users with practical recommendations for improvement based on real-life examples. CARDIO helps you to assess your data management support and infrastructure and to collaboratively plan for improvement. We are currently seeking feedback on the tool so please get in touch.

DINI Certificate "Document and Publication Services"
The DINI certificate describes technical, organisational and legal aspects that should be considered in the process of setting up and operating a scholarly repository service and puts considerable interest in Open Access. The aim of DINI is to move forward towards a standardised and interoperable repository landscape to improve the visibility and linkages of scientific publications. The English version of the DINI Certificate 2010 is now available to the public.

Portsmouth join DPC
The Digital Preservation Coalition is delighted to welcome the University of Portsmouth as its latest associate member. 

The value of libraries for research and researchers
This jointly commissioned RIN and RLUK report presents the findings of a systematic study of the value of the services that libraries in the UK provide to researchers, and of the contributions that libraries from a wide range of institutions make to institutional research performance.

JHOVE2 version 2.0.0 released
This release of JHOVE2 supports all the major technical objectives of the project, including a more sophisticated, modular architecture; signature-based file identification; policy-based assessment of objects; recursive characterization of objects comprising aggregate files and files arbitrarily nested in containers; and extensive configuration and reporting options.  It provides a stabile interface against which developers can code new format modules.

New edition UKDA guide: Managing and Sharing Data
The UK Data Archive has just published the 3rd edition of its 'Managing and Sharing Data - best practice for researchers' guide. This edition contains much new content, illustrated with numerous case studies. Guidance is aimed at researchers across the natural and social sciences and humanities.

PersID initiative promotes cooperation between Persistent Identifier systems
As internet resources are being moved, they can no longer be traced. Having persistent links to these resources is of great importance for the citation, retrieval and preservation of cultural and scientific resources. A persistent identifier infrastructure is needed to support these persistent links to materials. Eight national organisations, brought together by Knowledge Exchange and SURFfoundation present five reports on work done on establishing a persistent identifier infrastructure.

iPRES 2011 – call for papers
The 8th International Conference on Digital Preservation of Digital Objects, the main international conference on digital preservation, is calling for proposals for original full and short papers, panels, workshops, posters and demonstrations.


Sarah JonesEditorial: The Evolution of Research Data Policy – where are all the requirements leading? (Sarah Jones, HATII)

For the past month I’ve been reviewing data policies for a chapter in Managing Research Data to be published by Facet in the autumn. Back in 2009 I did a curation policy study for the DCC and it’s fascinating to see how things have advanced in just a couple of years.

We’ve seen a flurry of new and updated policies in the last six months. Revised policies have been released by the ESRC and NERC, the much-anticipated RCUK Common Principles on Data Policy were announced in April, and the EPSRC published its first data policy in May. Interestingly, in contrast to the other funders, the EPSRC does not expect researchers to provide data management plans in grant applications. Perhaps the benefit of seeing other funders’ experiences has led it to develop an approach that’s more scalable to implement and monitor.

So, how are research data policies evolving? Here are a few sneak previews from my forthcoming book chapter.

Funders’ data policies are becoming more explicit about roles and responsibilities. The new ESRC policy makes clear the responsibilities of grant applicants, grant holders, the ERSC and its data service providers - each stakeholder is tasked with various activities in the implementation guidance. The EPSRC meanwhile emphasises the role of research organisations to provide appropriate policies and infrastructure to support data management, and to ensure their researchers are aware of individual responsibilities to manage and share data.

Concerns about meeting the cost of data management and sharing are now addressed by more funders. The NERC and Wellcome Trust added a requirement in 2011 for researchers to clarify and build in associated costs at the proposal stage, while the EPSRC states that it expects research organisations to make use of both direct and indirect funding streams to support data management.

Data management requirements are being balanced against cost/benefit considerations, as there is a growing acceptance that investment of time and resources is not appropriate in every case. The NERC, for example, is introducing a ‘data value checklist’ to identify data of long-term value and to help set criteria that inform the selection decisions made by its designated data centres. The Wellcome Trust meanwhile specifies that data management and sharing plans are only required where a proposal involves the generation of datasets that have clear scope for wider research use and hold significant long-term value.

University research data policies, which were non-existent in 2009, are now starting to emerge. See, for example, the statement of Commitment to Research Data Management at the University of Oxford. Such policies seem set to increase - a second JISC Managing Research Data programme is being planned, which is likely to ask projects funded under its infrastructure strand to deliver institutional data policies.

We are also seeing more links between publications and data. Both the NERC and the EPSRC now require that all publications include a statement on how the underlying data can be accessed, so that the integrity of the research they fund can be validated. Methods for linking data and publications ensure that researchers see a direct return in terms of increased citations and I think that this is the key.

A considerable culture change is required to sustain the shift to data management and sharing that these policies are pushing for, and more incentives are needed to speed this along. Policies are often seen as an imposition and are unlikely to inspire the widespread adoption of new practices. Recognition and rewards are likely to offer a far greater return. 



John LindströmOne World: A Glance at Digital Preservation in Sweden

In this section we invite a partner or colleague to update us about major work on their home country that will interest readers, or about major international initiatives. In this issue we talk to....John Lindström & Prof Lennart Karlsson, Luleå University of Technology

Dr. John Lindström and Prof Lennart Karlsson work at Luleå University of Technology, located in the North of Sweden. Their main interest in digital preservation takes an industrial perspective and they work closely with many international corporations and organizations within the Faste Laboratory, the SmartVortex and APARSEN projects.

With an industrial perspective, there are different requirements, laws and regulations that affect what information to store, how, and for how long. In some industries like the aeronautic industry it is required to store blueprints and other product data for some 30 years, while economic and financial information in general have a 10 year limit. Automation industry has its own specific requirements on digital preservation too. Thus, there is a large need to not only store information but also to be able to access it timely - sometimes after long periods of storage. Hopefully, new requirements will allow for storage in electronic formats instead of mainly paper based which is common today.

Looking at emerging business models such as Functional Products (also called Product-Service Systems), there is a need to process real-time product data arriving in large scale data streams together with stored data for monitoring and statistical purposes. This kind of product data generated by Functional Products in use at customers is often produced in extremely large volumes (by sensors measuring at kilo hertz level), whereby mostly only parts of it is stored on long-term basis for aggregated analysis, statistics and trend finding.

Swedish universities like Luleå University of Technology, Mid University, and University of Borås conduct research within library and archival science, and various disciplines of digital preservation. These institutions also participate in international research projects such as SHAMAN, APARSEN Network of Excellence, and PROTAGE. Local projects like Testbed Long-term Digital Preservation, looks to develop a testbed reflecting the OAIS-model covering the information life-cycle.

The institutions mentioned above are also the most active ones regarding education within the topic, and their educational portfolios range from individual courses to masters programs.

The National Archives keeps more or less everything that is published and stores that in large collections. In February 2001, The Swedish Government assigned the National Archives to set up and run a coordinating secretariat for digitization, digital preservation, and digital access/delivery of the national cultural heritage during 2011-2015.

The Royal Library keeps electronic versions of academic publications available on-line at, which is a resource indexed by many search engines. The National Archives and Royal Library takes part in research on digital preservation, digital curation of the Swedish heritage, and are active in OpenAccess matters.

The interest for cloud computing also inspires other organizations to add interesting angles on digital preservation. An example of such organizations is Cloud Sweden, which has made a publication with areas and problems to consider during procurement or use of cloud services.

 William KilbrideFeatured Project: TIMBUS

In this section we invite a partner or colleague to update us a new project or feature that will interest readers. In this issue we hear from....  William Kilbride of the DPC who describes TIMBUS - digital preservation for Timeless Business Process.

A proposal to fund the ‘Total Recall’ project was submitted to the European Commission’s Directorate General for the Information Society in April 2010 and approved for funding in November, with a request from the EC that the project title be changed from Total Recall: it is now called ‘TIMBUS’ an abbreviation for Timeless Business Processes .  This proposal is for an ‘Integrated Project’ – a project which supports research to achieve a specific objective and where the primary outcome is new knowledge or techniques.  Such projects are generally framed around large scale economic or social goals and they are oriented around the development of products, processes or services that support these wider social or economic aims.

TIMBUS is designed to offer ‘timeless business processes and services’, filling a gap within existing preservation solutions.  Migration tools now exist to provide long term management of data and emulation approaches and services are in development for long term access to software so that information objects can be rendered.  However business processes rely on increasingly complicated networks of responsibility in which services and data are shared.  The dependencies associated with a ‘web of services’ are seldom properly documented and the risk management required to assess and resolve these risks becomes increasingly complicated as the interdependence of services grows.  If the execution context of business processes assumes that services and data are available, then digital preservation services will also need to provide mechanisms that describe and where necessary exhume defunct processes. 

The TIMBUS project seeks to respond to emerging trends within business information environments.  It acknowledges the declining popularity of centralized ‘in house’ business processes and supporting services and technical infrastructure in favour of the ‘Internet of Services’ in which software and platform are developed and delivered as a service.  This on-demand architecture is popular because it provides greater flexibility and scalability at reduced costs – but it also raises questions of dependability and durability.  TIMBUS will therefore establish the set of processes and tools necessary to ensure continued access to services over decades.  It will do this by developing and expanding tools for intelligent enterprise risk management, service dependency monitoring, legalities lifecycle management and the virtualisation of distributed and interdependent services. Tools and services within such an architecture have been characterised as ‘Three E’s’: Expediency tools; Execution environments; Exhumation services.  This approach is complementary to existing and emerging tools and services in digital preservation and it makes explicit the relationship between digital preservation and business continuity management.

The project has 12 partners and is led by Dr Phil Taylor of SAP AG (Belfast).  The proposal has ten work packages spread over three years.  The DPC is the only UK partner but is acting as a multiplier to represent 38 different agencies.  The DPC is directly involved in two work packages – ‘Exploitation’ and ‘Dissemination and Training’ – and is the project lead for the latter. The project started on 1st April 2011 and a kick off meeting was scheduled for 2-3rd May 2011 in Regensdorf at which the DPC was represented by Joy Davidson.

The purpose of the Dissemination and Training workpackage is to promote and disseminate TIMBUS and its results to various external stakeholders.  It will do this by participation in public events and exhibitions, submission of papers, whitepapers and public documents to conferences, journals, magazines and editorial initiatives promoted by the Programme, the Commission, a project cluster or any cross-programme action.  It will develop a set of training and demonstration materials and courses aimed at introducing the TIMBUS process, infrastructure, tools and capabilities to European service providers and consumers.  It will deliver training sessions for the various communities involved in the project on a national or regional basis and on different industrial sectors, offer generic training sessions for potential users both on a national or regional basis and in different industrial sectors, it will offer training modules that can be used by tertiary, university and industrial courses.

Key tasks to achieve this aim include monitoring and contributing to standards and regulation, public promotion and dissemination, the public face of the project website, provision and development of training sessions.  Other workpackages in TIMBUS include a series of industrial case studies that will provide a basis for case studies that will assist the development of training materials.

Compiled by Kirsten Riley.
What's new is a joint publication of DPC and DCC.

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