Managing Digital Video Research Data across the Curation Lifecycle

Stephen Gray, University of Bristol & Angus Whyte, Digital Curation Centre

Digital video is an increasingly important form of research data in many fields, serving as raw material for observational and experimental analysis, or for practice-based learning, as well as a medium for research communication. There is now an impetus to retain this material for future re-purposing and analysis by yet-to-be-developed tools.

Large scale digitisation efforts have broadened the range of historical collections open for educational use. Now however these are joined by a massive increase in born-digital material. Video as a simple digital object is increasingly challenged, as video data is tagged and augmented with interactive features.

Video raises preservation issues and unique curation challenges that will be new to many researchers.

In this chapter we consider the DCC Curation Lifecyce as a framework for managing video data through the life of a project and beyond. Video technology evolves rapidly and today’s research projects have to plan for a broad range of uncertainties.

One of the main challenges is to manage the ‘transitions’ in the lifespan of a research project from video and associated metadata that is personally managed, to material worked on collaboratively, collected by information professionals and selectively published online. The chapter advocates managing the risks associated with the various stages of the curation lifecycle and revisiting the countermeasures taken as those 'transitions' come round.

This helps to mitigate technical obsolescence and avoid potential ethical or IPR problems. We review current choices for video preservation and management, and provide pointers to sources of further advice.

Key Points

  • Importance of digital video as research data
  • Video as a complex digital object: Basics and complexities of digital video
  • Managing risk: Review of challenges, concerns, and likely future problems
  • Video preservation tools: Metadata schemas, file formats, data models and methodologies to assist preservation
  • Video management tools: Integrated management systems i.e. Video in Digital Assets Managers, Content Managers, Institutional Repositories
  • Planning and preservation: Longer-term, sustainable preservation activity and policies with exemplars