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Published March 20, 2024 | Version v1
Working paper Open

LTDP-TF Final Report & Recommendations

Description

This paper is a digest of and conclusion to the work of the EOSC Association’s Long Term Data Preservation Task Force. The report provides an overview of the outputs produced, the vision for optimal preservation of FAIR Digital Objects within the context of EOSC, the conclusions from the task force and consultation process, and the final set of key recommendations.

This report is accompanied by a revised version of the preservation assertions and recommendations document[1] which has been updated in response to community feedback. Preservation depends upon much of the same knowledge, skill and technology that are necessary to retain, store, and provide access to digital objects, but ‘active’ preservation goes further.

The LTDP Task Force focuses on the need for active preservation as a level of care for digital objects that goes beyond their retention and initial curation. Active preservation may not be deemed necessary for all digital objects, but an appraisal process should define the level of care (retention, initial curation and preservation) to be applied. A repository should demonstrate that it is capable of providing, and be transparent about any change to, that level of care. Repository transparency increases the trust of users and funders and supports the evaluation and improvement of services and the outcomes of research.

Key recommendations
Preservation aims to generate assets for research with long term value. Therefore, digital objects must be retained, stored, findable, accessible, interoperable and reusable over time. Deciding which digital object should, and which should not, be preserved must be done via transparent appraisal processes, any change to levels of care must also be transparent and justified. This includes criteria set at the point of deposit in a repository, initial curation actions, and measures to ensure long term preservation. Transparency goes beyond specific actions taken on specific objects and includes measures to monitor changes to the technical landscape and the needs of digital objects’ reusers. Classified and aligned standards, practices, policies and training materials are all candidates for inclusion in future registries of reference information for repositories. Creating and curating digital objects with a view to their long term usability through preservation actions should be embedded in education and professional development training.
Important work related to preservation has been done, is ongoing, and will be undertaken through projects funded by current calls. Maintaining a focus on preservation within EOSC provides assurances that the long term value of digital objects as research assets will be maintained. Any future focus on preservation in the context of EOSC should include connection points to digital objects’ curation, criteria to ensure organisational viability, and to the specification, procurement and financing of infrastructure.

[1]LTDP-TF Recommendations & Assertions. Zenodo. https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.10848331

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Additional details

Additional titles

Subtitle (English)
EOSC Association. Long Term Data Preservation Task Force February 2024

Related works

References
Working paper: 10.5281/zenodo.10014697 (DOI)
Working paper: 10.5281/zenodo.7516258 (DOI)
Working paper: 10.5281/zenodo.7568399 (DOI)