Sarah Middleton

Sarah Middleton

Last updated on 28 September 2016

In this issue:

  • What's On - Forthcoming events from August 2012 onwards
  • What's New - New reports and initiatives since the last issue
  • What's What - Happy New Year?, William Kilbride, DPC
  • Who's Who - Sixty second interview with Eleanor Burgess, Royal Museums Greenwich
  • Feature - Accessing ceased or cancelled content with LOCKSS, Adam Rusbridge, UK LOCKSS Alliance, University of Edinburgh
  • Your View? - Comments and views from readers

What's New is a joint publication of the DPC and DCC

What's On

The DCC have a number of events coming up that may be of interest to you. For further details on any of these, please see our DCC events listings at You can also browse through our DCC events calendar to see a more extensive list of both DCC and external events.

Advanced Techniques on Data Analytics and Data Visualization
22-24 August 2012
Advanced tools such as data mining, data modeling, data visualization, and information analysis etc. have been extensively researched recently. The objective of this workshop is to provide an interactive platform for academic researchers and industrial practitioners to exchange ideas, disseminate the latest development in data analytics and data visualization. Conceptual models, tools, and current issues are encouraged to be discussed.

Digital Humanties Congress 2012
6-8 September 2012
A new conference intended to promote the sharing of knowledge, ideas and techniques within the digital humanities. At Sheffield we understand the digital humanities to mean the use of technology within arts, heritage and humanities research as both a method of inquiry and a means of dissemination. We’re therefore excited to have a varied programme with speakers from disciplines across the arts, humanities and heritage domains.

2nd SPRUCE 'Mashup', London 18-20 September
18-20 September 2012
JISC funded SPRUCE Project cordially invites you to the second SPRUCE Digital Preservation Mashup. SPRUCE is organising a series of free events around the UK that will provide support and technical expertise to address the real digital preservation challenges that institutions face. The best work from event attendees will be awarded funding to develop the activity and embed it within business as usual processes. £60k is available for these awards.

International Conference on Theory and Practice of Digital Libraries
23-28 September 2012
The International Conference on Theory and Practice of Digital Libraries is the successor of the European Conference on Research and Advanced Technology for Digital Libraries (ECDL). TPDL/ECDL has been the leading European scientific forum on digital libraries for 15 years. The conference continues to bring together researchers, developers, content providers and users in the field of digital libraries. TPDL 2012 is organised by the Cyprus University of Technology (CUT) in collaboration with the University of Cyprus and the City University London. It will take place in Paphos, Cyprus on 23-27 September 2012

Research Networks: Underpinning Discovery, Supporting Knowledge Transfer
27 September 2012
The UK is ranked as having the second strongest research base in the world behind only the US. The UK's universities and research centres have an exceptional international reputation, but there is room for improvement. Given the spiralling costs associated with research and development, the process needs to become more efficient and deliver better value for money. That may mean working more closely with other institutions, with the private sector, across disciplines and across international borders. If research is better coordinated and if resources are pooled more effectively, then it is more likely that outcomes will achieve excellence and commercial success. The conference aims to explore how to foster pioneering research and innovation. The programme will showcase best practice of knowledge transfer, collaboration and excellence, highlighting the network infrastructures that can help to deliver results.

iPRES 2012
1-5 October 2012
Registration has opened for the ninth annual conference on digital preservation, which will be held at the University of Toronto. The finalised program will be published in dure course.

Digital Preservation Training Programme (DPTP)
2-3 October 2012
The DPTP is a modular training programme, built around themed sessions that have been developed to assist you in designing and implementing an approach to preservation that will work for your institution. Through a wide range of modules, the DPTP examines the need for policies, planning, strategies, standards and procedures in digital preservation, and teaches some of the most up-to-date methods, tools and concepts in the area. It covers these topics via a mixture of lectures, discussions, practical tasks and exercises, and a class project. (The course does not, however, offer hands-on training with any of these tools, and is not an 'enabling' course).

Preservation and Archiving Special Interest Group (PASIG)
17-19 October 2012
PASIG, the Preservation and Archiving Special Interest Group, will be holding its 11th international meeting 17-19 October, 2012, in Dublin, Ireland. This independent, community-led meeting is open to and welcoming of practitioners, researchers, industry experts and vendors in the digital preservation and archiving field.

23rd International CODATA Conference “Open Data and Information for a Changing Planet
28-31 October 2012
The theme “Open Data and Information for a Changing Planet” encompasses some relevant issues in data-intensive scientific fields. Nurturing an open environment for data and information is crucial for disseminating research results to a wide audience and allowing thorough, collaborative analysis. Also, the theme distinguishes between data and information and by so doing highlights the role data-intensive science plays in transforming raw observations into applicable, intelligible results and discoveries. CODATA 23 will bring together stakeholders from industry, research and academia who will highlight, debate and address these issues over a three day period. It will provide an international forum where these stakeholders, in collaboration with the ICSU and CODATA international networks and other networks can create a dialogue on legal, economic, and technological challenges; evaluate societal impacts; and put forward possible solutions that can in turn benefit the planet. Nurturing an open environment for data and information plays a pivotal role in this process. This will be the underpinning message of the conference.

APA 2012 Conference
6-7 November 2012
APA 2012 Conference to be held at the European Space Agency in Frascati, nr Rome, Italy, this year the programme will include:

  • Influencing European and Global decision makers about the importance of ensuring digital data is preserved
  • High level speakers from around the world
  • The benefits to scientific communities, historians, library archives, medicine, culture, finance and industry – in other words, every aspect of our lives
  • Latest research currently being undertaken by APA members
  • Updates on the APA member projects
  • Opportunities to engage with EU officials and digital preservation experts
  • Information on training courses and workshops

RDMF9: Shaping the infrastructure
14 - 15 November 2012
Examples of technological change designed to assist the producers, users and managers of research data are becoming increasingly prevalent. The impetus for this is varied. At a broad national level, for example, the JISC Managing Research Data programme has recently sponsored a number of infrastructure initiatives; from the funders' perspective, many institutions have now embarked on a three year programme of transition to achieve research data readiness as defined by the nine EPSRC expectations; and the DCC's own series of targeted institutional engagements has identified significant opportunities for improving infrastructure that will support and enhance the research process. Other socio-technical advances bringing influence to bear on data management practice are legion.

RDMF9, the last Research Data Management Forum to be held before the end of the DCC's third phase, will consider not only the technology solutions that are being offered but also the policies and players who are shaping them.

DPC AGM and Digital Preservation Awards Ceremony
3 December 2012
The Annual General Meeting of the Digital Preservation Coalition will take place at the Wellcome Library, Euston Road, London on the 3rd of December 2012. This will be followed in the evening by the Digital Preservation Awards Ceremony. Four awards will presented this year to mark the DPC's 10th anniversary.

Data Seal of Approval Conference
10 December 2012
The Data Seal of Approval is an initiative to provide basic certification to data repositories. Receiving the DSA signifies that data are being safeguarded in compliance with community standards and will remain accessible into the future. The DSA and its quality guidelines are of interest to researchers, organizations that archive data, and users of the data.

Conference topics will include:

  • Information on the Data Seal of Approval, including how to apply for the DSA
  • An overview of the European Framework for Audit and Certification of Digital Repositories
  • Case studies

Trusted Digital Repositories and Trusted Professionals
11-12 December 2012
Following the success of previous conferences, Fondazione Rinascimento Digitale is delighted to announce the 3rd edition of the “CULTURAL HERITAGE on line - Trusted Digital Repositories and Trusted Professionals” Conference ( ) that will be held on 11-12 December 2012 in Florence, with a rich program of specialised events and tutorials. This year the focus is on competences and skills necessary to manage trusted digital repositories. In particular the following topics will be investigated:

  • how to preserve digital contents in a trusted digital repository
  • how to understand cultural heritage and digital humanities specific requirements
  • long term preservation policies for trust and sustainability
  • the role of standards and the importance of cooperation among user communities
  • user needs for training and re-skilling of professionals in cultural institutions
  • a focus on the Italian policy framework for the cultural and scientific heritage

8th International Digital Curation Conference
14 - 16 January 2013
IDCC brings together those who create and manage data and information, those who use it and those who research and teach about curation processes. Our view of ‘data’ is a broad one – video games and virtual worlds are of just as much interest as data from laboratory instruments or field observation. Whether the information originates in the arts, humanities, social or experimental sciences the issues faced are cross-disciplinary. Digital curators maintain, preserve, and add value to digital information throughout its life, reducing threats to its long-term value, mitigating the risk of digital obsolescence, and enhancing the potential for reuse for all purposes. If you are a curator, if you teach or train future curators, or if you depend on them for your work, IDCC is for you.

The 8th International Digital Curation Conference (IDCC13) will be held in Amsterdam at the Mövenpick Hotel Amsterdam City Centre and IDCC will be organised by the Digital Curation Centre, UK in partnership with the Coalition for Networked Information (CNI). There will be a programme of pre-conference workshops on Monday 14 January and the main conference will run from 15-16 January 2013

What's New

For more information on any of the items below, please visit the DCC website at

DPC Launches 2012-13 Prospectus
The Prospectus outlines the DPC's activities in the next twelve months. These activities are designed to meet the needs of the organisations' members, who have already seen this document in a variety of forms in the last couple of months and have helped to shape it. The Prospectus outlines a substantial and forward looking programme which will be of wide interest, all designed to help meet the wide strategic aim of ensuring that our digital memory is accessible tomorrow. The DPC is owned by its members who have priority access to events and publications: so we expect this will be a great year for members and it's a very good time to consider joining.

Assessing the Economic Impact of Digital Preservation and Data Curation
We are pleased to announce that the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) in the UK has published the report of the Economic Impact Evaluation of the Economic and Social Data Service (ESDS) to coincide with the launch of the new UK Data Service that succeeds it. The ESDS has its origins in the UK Data Archive established over 40 years ago and this one of the longest standing research data archives and proponents of digital preservation. The impact evaluation therefore may be of interest to the digital preservation and data curation communities beyond the social sciences and economics, particularly as quantitative as well as qualitative evidence of impact in our fields is still relatively rare.

The Economic Impact Evaluation of the Economic and Social Data Service report was produced by Charles Beagrie Ltd and the Centre for Strategic Economic Studies (CSES) Victoria University and was authored by Neil Beagrie, John Houghton, Anna Palaiologk and Peter Williams. It combines approaches for qualitative and quantitative assessment of impact drawing on methodologies from Keeping Research Data Safe and more generally from Economics and the Social Sciences.

New ARK Identifier Discussion Group
The University of California Curation Center (UC3) at the California Digital Library (CDL) is pleased to announce the formation of the first discussion group for ARKs (Archival Resource Keys). The group is intended as a public forum for people interested in sharing with and learning from others about how ARKs have been or could be used in identifier applications.

The forum is also intended as a mechanism for the CDL/UC3, in its role as the ARK scheme maintenance agency, to seek community feedback on a number of longer term issues and activities, including:

  • publishing the ARK specification as an Internet RFC,
  • clarifying local and global resolution options, and
  • understanding metadata retrieval in a linked data environment.

Support your Digital Preservation Community!
A new proposal for a Digital Preservation question and answer site needs your support. This community has a wealth of resources on digital preservation and curation but they're spread across all sorts of different web sites. Finding exactly the right information, particularly for someone new to Digital Preservation, is not easy. Repetition or re-invention of existing work, due to lack of awareness of solutions already available, is another common problem. A single point of contact for advice, that is driven by the expertise of the whole community, would therefore be really useful and that's exactly what Stack Exchange is for.

Stack Exchange began as Stack Overflow, the go-to website for assistance with programming problems. The functionality and socially driven moderation that evolved there resulted in such an effective question and answer web site that it was opened up to all sorts of different topics ( A dedicated Stack Exchange site for Digital Preservation has now been proposed, but needs support from the community before it can go live.

Please demonstrate your support by committing to use the site here (, but we need even more to get the site live. We need commitment from existing Stack Exchange users. That means having a reputation score of 200 or more on another Stack Exchange site. It's easy to get 200 rep by asking and answering questions. The new Libraries and Information Science Stack Exchange may be an ideal place for you to do this (


William KibrideWhat's What - Editorial - Happy New Year?

William Kilbride, Executive Director, DPC

I realise it's the middle of the summer, though you could be forgiven if you looked at the weather. But while everyone else is busy with holidays, Olympics or both, the DPC calendar has ticked over to the start of a new year. DPC was founded from the JISC offices at King's College London and we still calculate time and budgets using the academic year. So it gives me an unseasonal excuse to wish you all a happy new year, to toast your health and prosperity, and to offer some tentative predictions for the year ahead.

Some of my predictions are easy, and lazy insofar as you've seen them before. We've just published our Prospectus for the year which points to the range of events and publications which are already on the books. The programme includes briefing days on preservation metadata, file formats, preserving computer-aided design, writing and understanding requirements, writing a preservation plan, and emerging trends in virtualisation, emulation and preservation. These briefing days are immensely popular and we almost always reach maximum capacity. From time to time in the last year we have extended the available space so that all the members who want to come can have an allocation. We do offer the few remaining places for paying guests who are not members of the DPC, but it's a measure of how closely our programme has touched on member priorities that we've had very few places to sell in the last year. Evaluation remains positive, and the mix of training and research, with opportunities for networking seems to work.

It may seem crazy to meddle with a winning formula, but we're always keen to try new things. So this year we're also going to experiment with a couple of short web-cast seminars where we introduce a particular topic with a speaker for a short time then open the Ethernet for questions and moderated discussion. In the meantime we're keen to hear your thoughts about what works (and what does not).

I've learned a lot in the last year from the AQUA project and its successors about how much can be achieved from an event with minimal programme and maximum time for practical action. We're lucky to be part of the SPRUCE project and there will be three more 'SPRUCE Hack-a-thons' in the year ahead. These 3 day events combine practical problem-solving for techies with networking, training and knowledge sharing for collection owners. It's a winning formula which is hard to explain in practice, but if you've not come along to one of them then let me encourage you to do so. We will try to apply some of this innovative practice to our briefing days, such as the 'File Format's event late in the year, especially after the great success of the Unconference format at the recent Director's Group in Cambridge.

The publications plan is also pretty full and we continue to shadow the events programme. The current batch of technology watch reports has three new additions - web archiving, computer-aided design and a second edition of the popular but dated report on preservation metadata. Some improvements to the website will include the introduction of a wiki and this will allow for changes to the way we engage members in the production of publications like the annual report, and enabling some interesting new work in information sharing between them.

All of this is a little predicable for anyone who has read the prospectus. The big question for the DPC in the next 12 months are the destinations of the 2012 Digital Preservation Awards. There are four prizes in total and three of them - the Award for Research and Development, the Award for Training and Communication, and the prestigious 'Decennial Prize' will be subject to a vote of the DPC members. The short list will be announced in the House of Lords in October and the winners revealed in a short ceremony in London at the start of December. The deadline for nominations is 1200 on the Friday 17th August, so there is still just time to get your entry in.

But there's a lot more to look forward to, over and above the official programme. The working parties and task forces, for example, will continue to progress, and a lively discussion at this year's Planning Day on the recommendations on 'Assurance and practice' will be progressed. There's always capacity to add a few initiatives onto the agenda through the year, and conferences like PASIG, APA and iPRES will all see strong representation from the DPC.

And if that were not enough, it's going to be a busy 12 months for our two major projects - TIMBUS and APARSEN. DPC's role in both of these is primarily about training and dissemination and the next 12 months will see the first delivery of training materials from both. This will significantly expand what the DPC and others can offer in terms of specialist and advanced training in digital preservation and supplement efforts to enable more rapid workforce development. Both projects also have active research agenda and the results of these will start to make an appearance: for example, TIMBUS has just completed a major study on the business of preservation, while APARSEN is actively working towards the development of a common vision for digital preservation research. All of this will interest - and where appropriate involve - the DPC members.

Of course, there are any number of initiatives that we hope we can capitalise on and will try to get DPC involved in. For example, a recent blog post from the US has led to the unofficial declaration that November will be the month in which we ‘fix’ the ‘file format problem’. It’s not entirely clear what the problem is, and less clear on how it will be solved – but there’s enough good will and enough need to make this a useful endeavour. Everyone in digital preservation has a file format problem, and solving even a small number of them will be good for all. That’s just one of a number of initiatives that we’ll be supporting in the year ahead.

Finallly, the Leadership Programme will continue to make grants available for training. So if there’s a particular specialist training topic you or your staff need, let us know. And if you are designing or offering training in the year ahead, then tell us about it.

Happy New Year! It's going to be a great year for the DPC and a good year to join us.


Eleanor BurgessWho's Who: Sixty Second Interview with Eleanor Burgess, Records Manager, Royal Museums Greenwich

Where do you work and what's your job title?
I’m the Records Manager at the Royal Museums Greenwich, I’m based in the IT department and manage both the corporate records for the museum in both hard copy and electronic format.

Tell us a bit about your organisation
The Royal Museums Greenwich opened in 1937 and consists of the National Maritime Museum, The Queen’s House and the Old Royal Observatory. The newly reopened Cutty Sark has also recently become part of the Royal Museums Greenwich group. Our Mission is to illustrate for everyone the importance of the sea, ships, time and the stars and their relationship with people.

What projects are you working on at the moment?
We are currently looking at implementing a digital preservation strategy for both our collection and non-collection items, which includes looking at the business requirements for a digital asset management system.

How did you end up in digital preservation?
As a records manager my role is about ensuring information is available to the people who need it in a useable and timely fashion. With business now being done almost exclusively electronically the requirement my role increasingly needs me to understand the long term preservation and access needs for digital records and assets. From there it seemed like a small step to also look at the digital preservation requirements for our collection pieces.

What are the challenges of digital preservation for an organisation such as yours?
I think most of our challenges are similar to other institutions, but one of the main challenges that concerns me at the moment is trying to balance the curatorial need for collecting the rare and unusual digital collection pieces of the future whilst managing the long term preservation of the potentially difficult and proprietary file formats that go alongside that.

What sort of partnerships would you like to develop?
As an organisation just starting out in digital preservation we are keen to build partnerships with other institutions and individuals who have and are experiencing the same challenges as us as a problem shared is generally an easier problem to solve.

If we could invent one tool or service that would help you, what would it be?
As it is the idea of migration of proprietary and difficult file formats that keeps me up at night, a tool that could trawl the file formats, identify the key requirements for migration and then produces a perfect replacement format and all with minimal intervention from me.

And if you could give people one piece of advice about digital preservation ....?
I think the key is just to dive in, the idea of digital preservation is a daunting one and it can be all too easy to get bogged down in the theory behind it and to try follow overly complex standards that are not appropriate for the requirements of your organisation. Having spent a month reading every paper I could find on the subject when writing our draft digital preservation strategy I wish I had followed that advice.

If you could save for perpetuity just one digital file, what would it be?
I’m not sure I’d choose anything work related, I think if I had to choose just one digital file it would be a zip of the Red Dwarf TV series, because every generation should experience the comedy genius and I also think they might enjoy our predictions of what the future might look like.

Finally, where can we contact you or find out about your work?
I can be contacted by email at the museum at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Adam RusbridgeFeature: Accessing ceased or cancelled content with LOCKSS

Adam Rusbridge, UK LOCKSS Alliance Coordinator, University of Edinburgh

An e-only environment for journal consumption offers academic libraries significant cost savings over print, with the potential to reduce a library’s expenditure by between 8 to 17%1. However, academics want assurances that e-only is secure and that the institution can guarantee continuing access to content in the event that the publisher cannot supply access in either the long or short-term. After cost, concern around continuing access is the main barrier hindering a sectoral shift to e-only journal provision.2

The LOCKSS Program approach ( provides libraries with the software and support needed to supply continuing access by building local archives of electronic content. 2012 has seen the introduction of functionality to integrate the LOCKSS software with leading link resolver software. Libraries can now provide access to ceased or cancelled subscription content through LOCKSS, meaning students and researchers can readily access content that otherwise they would not be able to.

Providing access to content is giving institutions further confidence in the LOCKSS approach, which in turn results in greater confidence to dispose of low-use print and consider more seriously the cancellation of low-use subscriptions. LOCKSS currently integrates with Ex Libris’ SFX and Serials Solutions’ 360Link, and the development team is working to integrate with Innovative Interfaces WebBridge.

Once content is preserved in a library’s local LOCKSS box, the institution has custody of that content just like it did with print collections. If the original subscription is cancelled, the content remains in the LOCKSS box in perpetuity and the institution can provide access to the preserved content for as long as it is needed. Once activated, the content in LOCKSS simply appears as another target in the link resolver results.

By maintaining a LOCKSS archive, libraries retain control of access arrangements to ceased or cancelled subscription content. A library’s local LOCKSS archive serves two distinct roles: short term backup provision and long-term preservation. Providing short-term access is unique to the LOCKSS approach. Whereas other services require negotiation to supply access, content preserved in a library’s local LOCKSS box can immediately be activated to provide access, even when a publisher is temporarily unavailable. A member of the UK LOCKSS Alliance3 ( recently noted “the main thing is that [LOCKSS is] in house so in event of a trigger, we’d have the control to switch it on right at the moment that we need it. With other systems, we have to wait for that to be agreed and that can take some time – months.”

To find out more about the LOCKSS approach and the activities of the UK LOCKSS Alliance, please visit

[1] Beagrie, Neil. e-Journal Archiving for UK HE Libraries - a White Paper (Final). Discussion Paper.
[2] JISC, Research Information Network, Publishers Research Consortium, Research Libraries UK. E-only scholarly journals: overcoming the barriers. November 2010.
[3] The UK LOCKSS Alliance is a co-operative membership organization whose goal is to ensure continuing access to scholarly work in ways that are sustainable over the long term.


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