Forum Report

Expert Forum Data Publication and Availability #2: Long-term preservation - Report

Publication & Availability Forum Academic Discipline

The NFDI4Culture consortium has set itself the task of supporting disciplines such as art history, architecture, music, theatre, dance, film and media studies regarding their challenges around the storage and long-term preservation of research data.
After the successful kick-off event for repository operators on 12th March 2021, a need amongst the community to discuss, in particular, the sustainable storage of research data as well as the permanent preservation of digital cultural assets became apparent.
Therefore, the NFDI4Culture Data Publication and Availability Forum #2 on 15th June 2021 was dedicated to long-term preservation. The event provided insights into the basics of digital preservation, and an opportunity for participants to share their individual expectations as well as discipline-specific challenges and requirements.

The first part of the forum focused on the general definition of long-term preservation and different archiving models, which were illustrated through presentations about the services offered by SLUB Dresden (SLUBArchiv.digital), Heidelberg University (heiARCHIVE) and FIZ Karlsruhe (RADAR).

The second part of the forum provided a detailed overview of the archiving process as well as associated difficulties and challenges, such as assessing the archival value of archival material, identifying significant properties or selecting archivable formats.

During the subsequent discussion, participants asked questions and described specific concerns, thereby focussing on the following topics:

- individual consultation on developing preservation strategies

- preservation of active and closed databases

- procedure models for when a preservation period expires

- overview of cost models and digital preservation services

- guidelines for assessing the archival value and suitability of research data and digitised cultural property

- preservation of one's own research data as a quality criterion for academic work

- legal advice

- ensuring findability and visibility of research data

- establishment of multilingualism

It became clear that there is a specific need for comprehensive advisory services, especially for general copyright issues or questions around the rights descriptions of archive packages.

This forum focused primarily on the basics of long-term preservation, but also on initial discussions with participants about challenges and difficulties in the archiving process. In the following event "Forum Data Publication and Availability #3 - How do you archive and publish your research data?" on 15th September 2021, individual use cases presented by representatives of the different communities will be discussed in order to identify the needs and challenges for sustainable long-term preservation of research data.