Piloting the LIFE costs Tool in UK HEIs

The LIFE tool was developed by HATII as part of the LIFE3 project which ran from August 2009 to September 2010. While the project did include user testing, potential end-users of the LIFE tool in UK HEIs would benefit from a greater wealth of practical user experiences and a broader range of cost data to draw upon.

Over this 3 month project, the DCC will lead a phase of more detailed user testing of the LIFE tool to capture and disseminate a wider range of user experiences and cost data. The current LIFE model costs were derived from a number of case studies that were carried out primarily in national libraries and similar institutions. The DCC aims to capture additional cost data from institutional repositories - who may not necessarily view digital preservation as a core activity - to provide a more balanced picture of the potential costs associated with preserving content at the institutional level. By characterising costs according to the contexts within which they are evident the tool will better serve more diverse user communities and offer more representative default cost values.


The main objective for this project is to assess whether the current LIFE tool is fit for use by UK HEI repositories. The participating HEI repositories will benefit from a greater understanding of their day to day running costs and may even be able to identify inefficiencies in their current processes. In the longer term, this increased understanding of actual costs may inform strategic planning and policy development at the institution. The cost data provided by the targeted repositories, once anonymised, will have the potential to enrich the LIFE model for all subsequent users of the tool and will help to provide more accurate cost estimates for a broader group of organisation types.


Outputs and Outcomes

  • a selection of UK HEI repositories tested the current version of the LIFE tool with dedicated support from the project team and in some cases maintained an activity journal
  • a survey was distributed to gather feedback on the tool
  • the information contained within the activity journals was analysed by the project team and compared against the LIFE tool for compatibility
  • report on the effectiveness of the LIFE tool and provide recommendations on future developments
Start date: 
End date: 

summary report, recommendations for future iterations of the LIFE tool, additional costs data for LIFE model