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Blue Ribbon Task Force on Sustainable Digital Preservation


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Presentation to JISC/CNI Conference 2010 on the Task Force final report. Thanks to Lavoie and Berman for many of the slides

Presentation to JISC/CNI Conference 2010 on the Task Force final report. Thanks to Lavoie and Berman for many of the slides

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  • 1. Blue Ribbon Task Force on Sustainable Digital Preservation and Access Summary of activity and recommendations Chris Rusbridge
  • 2. Many thanks to Brian Lavoie and Fran Berman for co-chairing the Task Force, and also for allowing me to plunder many of their slides!
  • 3. In around 20 minutes…
    • Lots of background
    • 5 Sustainability conditions
    • 5 Challenges
    • 3 Imperatives
    • Some economics…
    • 4 Domain areas
    • Action agenda…
  • 4.
    • We greatly appreciate the funding, time, and support from our sponsors.
    • Berman/Lavoie
    Cohen Acoustical AK Consulting
  • 5. We Depend on Digital Information
    • Berman/Lavoie
    E-Government E-Business Digital Entertainment Communication and Information Research and Education
  • 6.
    • Digital Access and Preservation is a technical, management, policy, regulatory, social, and economic problem
    • Key issues to resolve:
      • What should we preserve?
      • Who is responsible for digital information?
      • Who pays for digital information and its supporting cyberinfrastructure?
    Access to Information Tomorrow Requires Preservation Today
    • Berman/Lavoie
  • 7. How do we currently support access to digital information? Donations, etc. Subscriptions Government grants Advertisements Pay per service
    • Berman/Lavoie
  • 8. Those who pay, those who provide, and those who benefit are not necessarily the same!
  • 9. Focus on the Longer-term: The Blue Ribbon Task Force on Sustainable Digital Preservation and Access
    • BRTF Charge:
      • Conduct a comprehensive analysis of sustainable digital preservation
      • Identify and evaluate best practices
      • Make specific recommendations for action
      • Articulate next steps for further work
    • Berman/Lavoie
  • 10. Who’s Involved: BRTF-SDPA Participants
    • Blue Ribbon Task Force:
    • Fran Berman , Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute [co-Chair]
    • Brian Lavoie , OCLC [co-Chair]
    • Paul Ayris , University College London
    • Sayeed Choudhury , Johns Hopkins University
    • Elizabeth Cohen , AMPAS/Stanford
    • Paul Courant , University of Michigan
    • Lee Dirks , Microsoft
    • Amy Friedlander , CLIR
    • Vijay Gurbaxani , UC Irvine
    • Anita Jones , University of Virginia
    • Ann Kerr , Consultant
    • Cliff Lynch , CNI
    • Dan Rubinfeld , UC Berkeley
    • Chris Rusbridge , DCC
    • Roger Schonfeld , Ithaka
    • Abby Smith Rumsey , Consultant
    • Anne Van Camp , Smithsonian
    • Liaisons
    • NSF: Chris Greer , Lucy Nowell, Sylvia Spengler, Phil Bogden
    • Mellon Foundation: Don Waters
    • Library of Congress: Laura Campbell, Martha Anderson
    • NARA: Robert Chadduck
    • Staff and Students
    • Task Force Administration: Susan Rathbun
    • Communications: Jan Zverina, Ben Tolo
    • Graduate Student Interns: Lori Eakin, Liz Bedford
    • Berman/Lavoie
  • 11. BRTF Deliverables
    • December 2008 : Interim Report
    • Foci:
      • Understand current practices
      • Synthesize major themes
      • Identify systemic challenges
    • February 2010: Final Report
    • Foci:
      • Structural analysis of 4 common scenarios
      • Recommendations and Actions
      • Next steps
    • Berman/Lavoie
    Economic Framework 4 Common Scenarios
  • 12. Context to Findings Interim Report: Problem Space, Experience Economic Framework 4 Common Scenarios Final Report: General Findings & Recommendations
    • Berman/Lavoie
  • 13. BRTF Final Report: Sustainable Economics for a Digital Planet
    • Berman/Lavoie
  • 14. Key Finding
    • “… sustainable economics for digital preservation is not just about finding more funds. It is about building an economic activity firmly rooted in a compelling value proposition , clear incentives to act, and well-defined preservation roles and responsibilities .”
    • Berman/Lavoie
  • 15. 5 Challenges
    • Long-term preservation activities funded by short-term resource allocations
    • Challenges in valuing (and monetizing) the benefits of digital preservation, to attract funding and investment
    • Little coordination of preservation activity across diffuse stakeholder communities
    • Misaligned incentives between those who are in a position to preserve, and those who benefit
    • Lack of clear responsibility for digital preservation, and a prevailing assumption it is someone else’s problem
    • Lavoie
  • 16. Technical Social Economic
    • Frame digital preservation as a sustainable economic activity
      • Sustainable: ongoing resource allocation over long periods of time
      • Economic activity: deliberate allocation of resources
  • 17. 5 Sustainability conditions
    • Recognition of benefits by decision-makers
    • Incentives for decision makers to preserve in public interest
    • Selection process for long-term value
    • Mechanisms to secure resources
      • ongoing
      • efficient
    • Appropriate organisation and governance
  • 18. Benefits & Incentives
    • Clearly articulate benefits of digital preservation activity
      • Benefits should emphasize outcomes
      • Articulate benefits  cultivate sense of value, “willingness to pay”
    • Clearly articulate incentives for decision-makers to act
      • Identify and leverage institutional “self-interest”: e.g., business opportunity; mission-driven; policy compliance
      • Orchestrate incentives over complete digital lifecycle
    • Lavoie
  • 19. Selection & Allocation of Resources
    • Selection: can’t “preserve everything for all time”
      • Prioritization: allocate resources where they generate most value
      • Circumscribed set of materials; realistic preservation goals
      • Align expectations and capacity
    • Support ongoing, efficient allocation of resources
      • Coordinate resource transfer from those who are willing to pay to those who are willing to preserve (pricing, donations, grants/taxes)
      • Efficiency: productive use of resources; leverage economies of scale, economies of scope
    • Lavoie
  • 20. Organization & Governance
    • Preservation activities can be managed through a variety of organizational forms :
      • Organization with no private interest in preservation (e.g., third party service)
      • Organization with private interest in preservation; preserves on behalf of itself and other organizations (e.g., research library)
      • Organizations with mandate to preserve, conferred by public policy, to fulfill stated public interest (e.g., national archive)
    • Governance : strategy, responsibility, accountability
      • Organization/governance  trust
    • Lavoie
  • 21. 3 Imperatives
    • Articulate compelling value proposition
      • the case for preservation is the case for use
    • Provide clear incentives to preserve in the public interest
    • Define roles & responsibilities
      • ensure flow of resources
      • throughout digital lifecycle
  • 22. Economics: core attributes
    • Digital Preservation represents a derived demand
    • Digital materials are depreciable durable assets
    • Non-rival in consumption
      • free-rider potential
    • Process is temporally dynamic & path-dependent
      • today's commitments are not for all time
      • today's actions can remove options for all time
  • 23. Economics: choice variables
    • Who owns?
    • Who benefits?
    • Who selects?
    • Who preserves?
    • Who pays?
  • 24. 4 Domain areas
    • Berman/Lavoie
    Commercially-Owned Cultural Content Collectively-Produced Web Content Research Data Scholarly Discourse
  • 25. Scholarly Discourse Sustainability Challenges Actions Consensus about value, (less so for emerging forms) Incentives often misaligned Roles & responsibilities rooted in print era Selection criteria for emerging forms Diffuse right to preserve to those willing to act in the public interest Align responsibilities with digital environment
    • Berman/Lavoie
  • 26. Research Data Sustainability Challenges Actions Vast amounts of data; Variable future value Incentives diminish as decision-making becomes more “granular” Fragmented decision- making/preservation Establish priorities in data selection Leading role for funders in mandating preservation Coordination and scale can leverage value and reduce costs
    • Berman/Lavoie
  • 27. Commercially-Owned Cultural Content Sustainability Challenges Actions
      • Variable/diffuse demand;
      • “ digital cultural heritage”
      • uncertain
    • Private & public incentives
    • to preserve often
    • competing
      • Lack of “hand-off”
      • mechanisms
    Define digital cultural heritage to aid selection Establish public right to preserve that protects private interests; enhance private incentives Public-private partnerships to ensure lifecycle curation
    • Berman/Lavoie
  • 28. Collectively-Produced Web Content Sustainability Challenges Actions Future demand not clearly articulated Incentives to preserve are weak Ownership diffused; no clear preservation actor among current stakeholders Gather stakeholders under leadership of stewardship Organizations Use public policy to strengthen incentives Contributors and hosting services should lower barriers to 3 rd -party archives
    • Berman/Lavoie
  • 29. Some General Principles
    • Dynamics: Preservation is a series of decisions
    • Benefits: Value of preservation based on use
    • Selection: Scarce resources = prioritization
    • Incentives: Strengthen, align, create
    • Organization/Governance: Responsibilities must be clear; “handoffs” secure
    • Resources: reflect community norms, flexible in face of disruptions, leverage economies of scale & scope
    • Berman/Lavoie
  • 30. Agenda for further action
    • Organizational action
      • Develop public-private partnerships (cf LoC-Twitter)
      • Seek economies of scale and scope
      • Create and secure chains of stewardship over time
    • Technical action
      • Build capacity and lower costs
    • Public policy action
      • Address copyright barriers, clarify rights
    • Education and public outreach action
  • 31. Action agenda for…
    • National and International agencies
    • Funders and sponsors of data creation
    • Stakeholder organisations
    • Individuals
    • … and action agendas by content domain
  • 32. In conclusion…
    • As a participant, this was a challenging but intensely interesting and valuable process
    • Broken new ground in the economic analysis of digital preservation
    • Laid foundations for valuable further work!
    • [email_address]
  • 33. Report Launch
    • US Symposium, Washington 1 April 2010
    • UK Symposium, London 6 May 2010