Report maps international repository approaches

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The Digital Repository of Ireland (DRI) has launched a report on international approaches to caring for digital data.

The report, 'Caring for Digital Content: Mapping International Approaches' profiles a wide range of organisations and initiatives around the world.

According to the report authors, 'Mapping international approaches to caring for digital content is an important information-gathering exercise, which we are happy to share here with the community, in the hope that examples of best practice can inform and shape our community’s advancement as a whole.'

The repositories studied, which particularly focus on those for which English-language data is available, fall into three main categories: metadata aggregators, single-site repositories and multi-site repositories.

The study revealed the different emphases that digital projects place on access to versus preservation of the digital content. The report observed that current funding trends appear to favour access, visualisation, user engagement tools and mechanisms. However, the authors say, 'DRI urges some caution here: while user access and engagement are absolutely essential, it is equally important to consider the longer-term responsibility to preserve this rich digital content, so that future generations will also have the opportunity to access and engage with it.'

The authors also note - and support - the increasing emphasis on policy engagement and training and education programmes. 'Digital preservation and open access form a digital ecosystem, and for a system to work effectively all aspects must be addressed and sustained,' they write.