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Authors: Stefan Müller, Astrid Recker, GESIS - Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences
Digital curation and preservation efforts are futile if the objective of the preservation process is unclear. Working under the assumption that it will not be possible to preserve digital objects unchanged, in their “original” form, digital curators have to have a clear idea of the features and characteristics that have to be preserved in order for the curated object to be understandable, accessible, and usable in the future. What these characteristics, referred to as significant properties, are depends largely on how and for which purposes the preserved objects will be used.
In this presentation we will give an overview of the approach taken by the GESIS Data Archive for the Social Sciences to the identification and definition of the significant properties of the digital assets curated and preserved by the archive. In doing so, we discuss challenges experienced and benefits expected – including an improved communication with the stakeholders involved in the curation and dissemination of the data held by the archive.