Attitudes and aspirations in a diverse world: the Project StORe perspective on scientific repositories
When preparing a team of recent postgraduates who were about to embark on a survey of repository users, it became necessary to equip them with a glossary of terms for use when explaining their mission. Whilst our project’s focus was upon the present and future functionality of source and output repositories, in the specific context of their potential interoperability, describing the gamut of issues that might arise during the survey required some definition of digital curation, which led me for inspiration to the Digital Curation Centre’s web pages. I settled eventually on the following definition: The actions needed to maintain digital data and other digital materials over their entire life-cycle and indefinitely for current and future generations of users. These actions will include not only the processes of digital archiving and preservation but also all of the processes that are essential to good data creation and management, as well as the capacity to add value to data to generate new sources of information and knowledge. Without stretching a point, the second sentence firmly attaches the concept of digital curation to the aims and anticipated deliverables from Project StORe. The principal aspiration of Project StORe, a two year JISC-funded project that concludes in August 2007, is to invest new value in the reports and papers that represent the intellectual products of academic research. Our proposed route to achieving this is the provision of bi-directional links between source and output repositories and the benefits from such a linkage are anticipated as improvements in opportunities for information discovery and in the curation of valuable research data. In this context the Project StORe programme is directly aligned with the ethos of digital curation.