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Recommendations Report for the COPPUL Digital Preservation Network

The following reccomendations were produced in consultation with the COPPUL DPN Management Committee, endorsed by attendees at the Spring 2016 COPPUL Directors meeting in Victoria, B.C., and approved by the COPPUL Board.

For comments, please contact Corey Davis, COPPUL DPN Manager, at corey@coppul.ca or (250) 472-5024

Recommendations Report for the COPPUL Digital Preservation Network

The digital preservation landscape is complex and rapidly evolving. As collections become increasingly digital, university libraries are looking for solutions to address the substantial challenges associated with their emerging digital stewardship responsibilities.

As the demand for digital preservation escalates, COPPUL’s current digital preservation services are poised for transformation. The COPPUL Digital Preservation Network (COPPUL DPN) transformation project aims to transform COPPUL’s current digital preservation activities into a set of comprehensive, flexible, scalable, and sustainable services provided by a COPPUL Digital Preservation Network (COPPUL DPN).

The COPPUL DPN Manager undertook an extensive requirements gathering process which resulted in a series of recommendations intended to guide COPPUL’s efforts for the next 18 months. The following 14 recommendations, which are explored in more detail throughout this report, are the result.

Recommendations and next steps

Support, promote, and extend the organizational capacity of COPPUL members for digital preservation.

  1. Create a digital preservation advocacy toolkit aimed at senior administrators and faculty, to effectively communicate the important role academic libraries play as stewards in the digital age, and how this role can situate digital preservation activities within campus IT services and infrastructures.
  2. Create an online self-assessment tool to help members both get started with digital preservation, and to focus existing efforts.
  3. Formalize a peer matching service to connect institutions at similar stages in their digital preservation development. Provide guidelines and recommend assessment methods and tools to enable ‘preservation peers’ to effectively support each other’s efforts.
  4. Create document templates and workflow diagrams to help members: 1) undertake digital asset inventories; 2) create a digital preservation framework document; and, 3) create digital preservation action plans for specific types of content (e.g. ETDs).
  5. Explore educational and professional development opportunities. Work with allied organizations to offer professional development and educational opportunities to members.

Expand COPPUL members’ technical capacity for digital preservation.

  1. Modernize the COPPUL Private LOCKSS Network (COPPUL-PLN). Reconfigure the PLN to: 1) enable drag-and-drop deposit; 2) provide storage-as-a-service; and, 3) allow expansion of network-wide storage capacity.
  2. Explore other preservation storage options. Explore lower-tiered off-site preservation storage options for member content that might not, for a variety of reasons, require LOCKSS-level storage infrastructure.
  3. Act locally, think nationally. Work with allied regional and national organizations to align efforts and enable multi-network, pan-Canadian collaborations.

Establish a governance, membership, and sustainability model for the DPN that enables COPPUL member libraries to achieve their institutional goals more rapidly and efficiently as a result of collaboration.

  1. Create a sustainable funding model for the COPPUL DPN that provides: 1) a cost model, including initial investments and ongoing costs for staff and infrastructure; 2) a funding model that sets tiered membership fees for core services; and, 3) a revenue-sharing model that provides offset costs for institutions that host infrastructure on behalf of the network.
  2. Create a COPPUL DPN Charter that: 1) outlines the mission, goals, organizing principles, and core services of the COPPUL DPN; 2) lists membership levels; and, 3) details the roles and responsibilities of network members, including participation on steering committees, sub-committees focused on organizational capacity building and technical issues, and working groups focused on services, systems, and emerging issues.
  3. Create a COPPUL DPN Membership Agreement that outlines the terms of the agreement made between members of the COPPUL DPN. 

Explore potential services for affiliates and non-members, and explore community partnerships with other memory institutions in Western Canada.

  1. Work with other regional and national organizations to establish one or more PLN caches outside of Western Canada. This can be understood as a first step in working towards COPPUL’s participation in an emerging network-of-networks, while at the same time increasing the robustness of the COPPUL-PLN.
  2. Create an MOU with the Canadian Association of Research Libraries (CARL)’s Portage Initiative in order to effectively coordinate research data management efforts with COPPUL’s digital preservation efforts, and to explore the possibility of the COPPUL DPN offering preservation services vis-à-vis a national research data platform.
  3. Explore hosted repository services through collaborative efforts with initiatives like British Columbia Electronic Library Network (BC-ELN)’s Arca Repository Network and the Abacus Dataverse Network. The COPPUL DPN could in turn offer Arca and Abacus participants reciprocal preservation services.