4C helped organisations across Europe to invest more effectively in digital curation and preservation. Research in digital preservation and curation tended to emphasize the cost and complexity of the task in hand. 4C reminded us that the point of this investment is to realise benefit, so our research must encompass related concepts such as ‘risk’, ‘value’, ‘quality’ and ‘sustainability’. Through a program of outreach and development of a Curation Costs Exchange tool 4C helped organizations to understand this, to become more able to effectively control and manage their digital assets over time, and to understand how to build sustainable services.
Large quantities of research data are produced every year by academics working in institutions across the UK and beyond. Most has been funded by public money for public good. Some could not be reproduced or recreated if it were lost. Much has long term value and great reuse potential. Institutions must look after this data for the longer term and ensure it is available for future generations. The Filling the Digital Preservation Gap project has been exploring how to integrate digital preservation tools into our systems for managing research data in a way that is both sustainable and affordable.
To achieve cross-domain collaboration and to create a network of nationwide facilities, a practical framework has been developed in The Netherlands for public organisations that ensure sustained access to digital information. Based on realistic and achievable scenarios, these organisations and their clients can now make well-founded policy choices, rearrange resources, and better designate responsibilities on a national scale. Carefully avoiding a one-size-fits-all approach, the strategy is based on differentiation between domains while achieving economies of scale and other efficiencies by sharing jointly facilities and services where possible.