Monday, March 1, 2010

Sustainable Economics for Digital Preservation

The final report from the Blue Ribbon Task Force on Sustainable Digital Preservation and Access, “Sustainable Economics for a Digital Planet: Ensuring Long-term Access to Digital Information,” is available online.

From the executive summary:
Economic analysis of digital preservation of these materials [of long-term public interest] reveals structural challenges that affect all digital preservation strategies: (1) long time horizons, (2) diffused stakeholders, (3) misaligned or weak incentives, and (4) lack of clarity about roles and responsibilities among stakeholders. These risks, once identified, can be anticipated and provided for throughout the digital lifecycle. Major findings can be summarized as three imperatives for sustainable digital preservation (1).
The three imperatives are:

  1. Articulate a compelling value proposition (“make the case for use”).
  2. Provide clear incentives to preserve in the public interest.
  3. Define roles and responsibilities among stakeholders to ensure an ongoing and efficient flow of resources to preservation throughout the digital lifecycle.