The following is a set of example questions that might be used for an interview to gather information about the digital content that should be recorded in your organization’s DAR. They can be used as a starting point for developing your own question set: adding, removing, or tailoring the questions as needed to reflect the information you need to gather, how your interviews will be carried out, and organizational culture and working practices. This list is meant to be relatively comprehensive, so it is unlikely you would aim to cover all of these in a single interview session. Additionally, you may wish to consider the terminology used (are there particular terms used in your organization? Will you need to explain terms?)

  1. How does your role relate to the creation, acquisition, and/or management of digital content?
  2. Is there any particular digital content of digital content that you create, acquire, and/or manage?
    1. What is their purpose/significance?
    2. Is it important that they be preserved?
  3. Who owns the digital content? (e.g. the organization, a partner organization, a donor, etc.)
    1. Are there any agreements in place in relation to ownership, use, and/or intellectual property rights?
  4. Who has ultimate responsibility for managing the digital content?
  5. What types of content are included? (e.g. file formats)
  6. How much digital content is there? (e.g. in MB or GB)
    1. Is the digital content expected to grow? Can you estimate by how much and when?
    2. Are there multiple versions of particular content?
  7. What tools, equipment, and/or software are used in the creation, acquisition, and/or management of the digital content?
  8. Do you maintain, or know of, any documentation in relation to the digital content? (e.g. metadata, technical documentation, catalogue records, a data management plan.)
  9. Where is the digital content stored?
    1. Is it backed-up regularly? How?
    2. Are there security measures in place? (e.g. permissions needed to access, password protection)
  10. Does the digital content contain any sensitive data? (e.g. personal data, proprietary information about the organization that should not be shared)
  11. Are there any particular risks to the digital content?
  12. How long do we need to preserve and retain the digital content for?
  13. Has there ever been any data loss?
    1. Could the digital content be recreated if it were lost?
  14. Is access provided to the digital content? (e.g. to other colleagues, research partners, members of the public)
    1. Who are the current users of the content?
    2. Are there any other groups who might use the content in the future?
    3. Are there any ethical issues in relation to providing access? (e.g. the content includes information first nations/Indigenous peoples or vulnerable groups)
  15. Are there any other people you think I/we should talk to as part of this information gathering process?
  16. Is there anything else you would like to add?

Scroll to top