Friday, 28 September 2007

eBank report

Thanks to the UKOLN newsfeed for pointing out a new report from the eBank project - A Study of Curation and Preservation issues in the eCrystals Data Repository and proposed federation. Now in its 3rd phase, eBank is exploring preservation, curation and sustainability issues, with a view to progressing a federation of repositories in crystallography, thus ensuring data remains usable (and reusable by others).

Some of the specific issues considered in the report are:
  • Audit and certification: including a brief overview of recent work and current instruments. The recommendation is to use the lightweight version of the DRAMBORA toolkit due this month, as part of an annual self-audit cycle. It is acknowledged that short-term staff contracts and funding cycles have a detrimental effect on the organisational aspects which need to be in place to ensure sustainability. A further recommendation is to explore LOCKSS or CLOCKSS "to engage the crystallography community in the preservation of its valuable data"
  • Open Archival Information System (OAIS) standard: the report recommends eBank develop a formal deposit, ingest, validation and dissemination policy and that work on Representation Information looks wider than just the eCrystals repository but looks at the whole crystallography domain
  • Metadata: The report recommends further exploration of provenance information as currently versioning is the only type of information stored; and also how preservation metadata can be generated, extracted and maintained automatically

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