Lifecycle Planning for Successful Digital Curation

Sarah Higgins, University of Aberystwyth
The lifecycle approach to digital curation ensures the continuity of digital material. Digital material, by its very nature, is susceptible to technological change from the moment of creation. The curation and preservation activities undertaken, or neglected, in different stages of their management, can influence the ability to successfully look after them at subsequent stages.
A lifecycle approach ensures that all the required stages are identified and planned, and necessary actions implemented, in the correct sequence. This can ensure the maintenance of authenticity, reliability, integrity and usability of digital material, which in turn ensures maximisation of the investment in their creation.
Lifecycle planning can ensure: the identification of all the actions required; the roles and responsibilities involved; the technologies and standards to implement; and ensure adequate documentation of policies and processes.
A number of disciplines and projects have researched the lifecycle approach to digital asset management, and developed domain specific lifecycle models as frameworks for planning. A review of these informs the DCC Curation Lifecycle Model, which specifically addresses the needs of digital curation. Use-cases for practical lifecycle planning for curation are included.

Key Points

  • Motivations for managing digital information
  • The benefits of lifecycle planning
  • The actions required to ensure digital information maintains authenticity, reliability, integrity and usability 
  • Planning: roles and responsibilities; technologies and standards; documentation of policies and processes
  • Developing workflow
  • Domain specific requirements and use-cases