The study has investigated the medium to long term costs to Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) of the preservation of research data and developed guidance to HEFCE and institutions on these issues.
The study uncovered a lot of valuable data and approaches and we hope this can be built on by future studies and implementation and testing. The study makes 10 recommendations on future work and implementation. For further information see the Executive Summary online.
The costs information in the executive summary will make you stop and think. The costs do not go away, but they do seem to decrease over time. As the summary says:
Although focused on UK universities in particular, it should be of interest to anyone involved with research data or interested generally in the costs of digital preservation.
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Our case studies illustrate a number of efficiency curve effects. The start-up phases of repositories reflect both the ramping-up of activities e.g. recruitment of staff and specific start-up activities such as developing new policies and procedures for the archive. The start-up costs particularly in terms of staff time can be substantial. The operational phases reflect increasing productivity and efficiency as procedures become established, tested and refined and the volume of users and deposits increases.And there are indeed economies of scale.
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