Report Open Access
Digital preservation is a fast-moving and growing community of practice of ubiquitous relevance, but in which capability is unevenly distributed. Within the research community, digital preservation has a close alignment to the FAIR principles and is delivered through a complex specialist infrastructure comprising technology, staff and policy. Capacity erodes quickly, so skills, technology, and policy need to remain fit for changing purpose.
To address this challenge, the Digital Preservation Coalition (DPC) conducted the FAIR Forever study, commissioned by the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC) Sustainability Working Group and funded by the EOSC Secretariat Project in 2020, to assess the current strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats to the preservation of research data across EOSC, and the feasibility of establishing shared approaches, workflows and services that would benefit EOSC stakeholders.
The study involved three stages of research: 1. a desk-based assessment of the emerging EOSC vision, 2. interviews with representatives of EOSC stakeholders, and 3. focus groups with digital preservation specialists and data managers in research organizations.
This report documents the study. It summarizes key findings on the need for clarity on digital preservation in the EOSC vision and for elucidation of roles, responsibilities, and accountabilities to mitigate risks of data loss, reputation, and sustainability. To better ensure that European Open Science can be FAIRer for longer, nineteen recommendations are made and tabulated with respect to owners, and five candidate services are delineated to address use cases that were identified.