Reference Model for Economically Sustainable Digital Curation

  • Published on

  • View

  • Download

Embed Size (px)


Presentation to workshop at the International Digital Curation Conference, 2011. Discusses the draft reference model in preparation


  • 1.Reference Model for Economically Sustainable Digital Curation Brian Lavoie, OCLC Chris Rusbridge, Consultant IDCC11 Workshop Bristol, England 8 December 2011

2. BACKGROUND 3. Foundations for progress 15 years ago Focus on digital preservation as a technical problem OAIS Reference Model Organized problem space and provided foundation for future progress Today Focus on digital curation as economic/organizational problem Report: Sustainable Economics for a Digital Planet: Ensuring Long-TermAccess to Digital Information Draft: Reference Model forEconomically SustainableDigital Curation Organize problem space, provide foundation for future progress 4. Blue Ribbon Task Force on Sustainable Digital Preservation and Access

  • Task Force:
    • Supported by NSF, Mellon, JISC, Library of Congress, CLIR, NARA
    • Cross-domain: cultural heritage, academia, public sector, private sector
    • Cross-discipline: computer scientists, economists, archivists, librarians
  • Goal:Frame digital preservation assustainable economic activity
    • Define and characterize theproblem space
    • Providepractical recommendationsfor key decision-makers
    • Establishfoundationsof an economics of digital preservation


  • Comprehensive description of fundamentals of economics of digital preservation
    • Definition of economic sustainability in digital preservation context
    • Identification and explanation of core economic attributes of digital preservation, and their impact on sustainability
  • Practical findings and recommendations to aid preservation decision-making:
    • Based on detailed economic analysis of 4 key digital preservation scenarios
    • Both context-specific and general recommendations
  • Second-order results: concepts, vocabulary, organizing framework to shape future work on economically sustainable digital preservation

Final Report: Sustainable Economics for a Digital Planet: Ensuring Long-Term Access to Digital Information 6. Some reflections on the report

  • Strengths:
    • Relevantto virtually all digital preservation activities
    • Comprehensive assessment of theeconomic infrastructureneeded to support successful digital preservation
    • Well-suited toinformhigh-level strategic analysis and planning
    • Solidfoundation for future workon economics of digital preservation
  • But
    • Lengthy narrative form (110 pages) aimed at senior decision-makers
    • Not easily applied as a practical tool for developing a sustainability strategy for a particular curation context

7. Reference Model (via Wikipedia)

  • model that embodies the basic goal or idea of somethingand can then be looked at as a reference for various purposes
  • Attributes:
    • Abstract: not real things, but abstract representation of things (concepts)
    • Entities and Relationships: things that exist, and how they relate/interact
    • Within an environment: describes a particular problem space
    • Technology agnostic: does not make assumptions about the real-world environment that would reduce its applicability
  • Uses:
    • Create standards for entities and relationships
    • Educate (deconstruct and analyze the problem space)
    • Improve communication
    • Create clear roles and responsibilities
    • Compare implications of alternative solutions

e.g., OAIS 8. Reference model for economically sustainable digital curation

  • Model that embodies the basic goal ofeconomically sustainable digital curationand can then be looked at as a reference forbuilding a sustainability strategy for a curation activity .
  • Attributes:
    • Abstract:key concepts of economic sustainability
    • Entities and Relationships:ecosystem of stakeholders and relationships
    • Within an environment:focuses on economic aspects of digital curation
    • Technology agnostic:applicable to most digital curation contexts


  • Lots of interpretations!
  • Preservation: we are taking to mean actions at the archival stage (cf OAIS)
    • Digital assets less active, value harder to determine
  • Curation: we are taking to mean caring for the digital asset throughout its life
    • Value easier to identify at active use stage and in aggregate

11. Digital Assets Stake-holders Curation Process Sustainability Strategy A sustainability strategy orchestrates the Key Entities to achieve Sustainability Benefits Selection Incentives Organization/governance Ongoing resource allocation 12. Summary of Model 13. Economic lifecycle 14. Creator Rights Holder Current Beneficiaries Future Beneficiaries Managing Agency Representatives of the Long-term Public Interest Supply-side Demand-side Lifecycle Management Digital Assets Investors Ecosystem Layer 1: Roles 15. Creator Rights Holder Current Beneficiaries Future Beneficiaries Managing Agency Representatives of the Long-term Public Interest Supply-side Demand-side Lifecycle Management Digital Assets Investors Ecosystem Layer 2: Relationships 16. Economic risks

  • What is affected by economic risks?
    • Value
    • Selection issues
    • Incentives
    • Rights issues
    • Organisational issues (including policy)
    • Resources
  • Risk actions
    • Avoid
    • Reduce/mitigate **
    • Transfer
    • Accept

17. Commentary so far

  • Style too dense; needs work
  • Alternative economic lifecycle model
  • Need business plan rather than sustainability strategy?
  • Balancing value, risk, and reassurance
  • Concern were not covering preservation
  • Framework of use cases for stakeholder categories?

18. Commentary so far - 2

  • Comment on aggregate value
  • Scope and target audience not clear
  • Limited spheres of influence for stakeholders
  • Sustainability strategy needs to be less abstract
  • Comments on balance in text
  • Abstracted wildly from comments, see web site for actual commentary text & image!

19. Contacts/Links

  • Brian Lavoie:[email_address]
  • Chris
  • Reference model:
  • (Google: sustainability reference model)
  • Blue Ribbon Task Force:
  • (web site)

20. Reference Model for Economically Sustainable Digital Curation: Tools & Evidence IDCC Workshop Bristol, UK December 8, 2011 21. Theory to practice Tools to aid in applying reference model concepts & frameworks Development of evidence base of worked examples Reference model: Concepts & frameworks Practical application: Real-world decision-making (sustainability strategy design) 22. Ex: KRDS Benefits Analysis Toolkit KRDS BenefitsFramework Value Chain & Benefits Impact Tool Partner case studies User Guides 23. Tools (wishlist!)

  • Design template:basic steps to navigate through process of designing a sustainability strategy
  • Step 1: Understand environment
  • What is the economic lifecycle?
  • Who are the key stakeholders?
  • Step 2: Characterize curation activity
  • Step 3: Identify risks
  • Step 4: Select remedy
  • etc.

24. More tools

  • Interactive questionnaires:Guides to help gather relevant information for well-defined subsets of sustainabilitydecision-making process
  • Example: Characterizing the stakeholder ecosystem
    • Is the community of beneficiaries well-defined/tightly coordinated?
    • Is there currently significant usage of the digital assets in question, or is usage expected in the future?
    • Are there organizations/associations that could act as liaisons to the community of beneficiaries?
    • etc.

25. More tools

  • Taxonomies & checklists:Lists of real-world examples of concepts in practice
  • Example: Risk Taxonomy
  • Creation of curation service: unpersuasive value proposition, diffused/uncoordinated beneficiaries, etc.
  • Continuation of curation service: interruptions of funding flows, loss of key stakeholders, etc.
  • Example: Starter taxonomies for key relationships in stakeholder ecosystem
  • grants preservation rights to, acts on behalf of supplies resources to, etc.

26. Hinting at greater complexity 27. More tools

  • Adapt existing tools produced for other contexts
    • KRDS Activity Model (curation process)
    • KRDS Benefits Analysis Toolkit (value proposition)
    • Risk assessment tools
  • Tool to explore the economic lifecycle
  • User guides
  • Other ideas???

28. Evidence base

  • Accumulateevidence baseof case studies in sustainability that highlight:
    • Distinctive features that help digital curation activities map to case studies similar to local circumstances
    • Linkages between environmental & curation activity characteristics, salient economic risks, and effective remedies
    • Best practices for using reference model/tools to support process of designing a sustainability strategy
    • Shortcomings in reference model/tools that can be addressed in future revisions

29. Case studies: different perspectives

  • Focus on specific digital curation activities
  • Or generalize to classes of activities
    • Scholarly discourse; Research data; Commercially-owned cultural content; Collectively-produced Web content(cf. BRTF report)
    • More?
  • Encourage range of international contexts
  • Provide template to facilitate creation of case studies and promote consistency of information provided across case studies

30. Possible next steps

  • Identify points in reference model where tools would aid practical application
  • Encourage one or two digital curation activities to design & refine tools based on local testing of reference model
  • Encourage several digital curation activities to seed the evidence base with case studies; develop case study template for wider use

31. Reference Model for Economically Sustainable Digital Curation: Concluding Discussion IDCC Workshop Bristol, UK December 8, 2011 32. Questions for discussion

  • Are any key sustainability-related concepts & entities from the curation problem space missing from the reference model?
  • How does the reference model link up with other digital curation tools and resources (e.g., OAIS, KRDS, DCC Digital Lifecycle, etc.)?
  • What are the best mechanisms for encouraging take-up of the reference model within the digital curation community?
  • What are the key use cases for the reference model?
    • Communicating sustainability plans tofunders?
    • Coordinating digital curation discussions among stakeholders ?
    • Analyzing impact of alternative policy options?
    • Foundation for standards-building?
  • Other comments?

33. Contacts/Links

  • Brian Lavoie:[email_address]
  • Chris
  • Reference model:
  • (Google: sustainability reference model)
  • Blue Ribbon Task Force:
  • (web site)

34. Thank you!


View more >