Sustaining Data Archives over Time: Lessons from the Organisational Studies Literature

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Title: Sustaining Data Archives over Time: Lessons from the Organisational Studies Literature
Authors: Shankar, Kalpana
Eschenfelder, Kristin R.
Permanent link: http://hdl.handle.net/10197/6639
Date: 26-Jun-2015
Abstract: The long-term preservation of digital data involves a complex intersection of technologies, institutions, stakeholders, and policies. But for data to remain accessible over time, the data repository which houses it, preserves it, and circulates it must itself be sustainable. The sustainability of data repositories is a growing concern as researchers, archival practitioners, and funders of digital archive projects seek to ensure that resources invested in research will have benefits that endure beyond the period of individual research contracts and grants. However, sustainability efforts are limited by lack of long-term comparative studies of digital repositories in research field contexts, national and market contexts [6]. Also, there has been little attempt to synthesize the organisational literature with practitioner perspectives in an effort understand how successful data archives maintain themselves (and how and why some data archives do not).┬áThis paper will explore how organisational theory approaches to understanding institutional sustainability could be applied to contemporary data archives and archival practices, with the aim of raising larger questions about data sustainability. The paper is part of a larger study in progress of how one particular example of long-lived archives, Social Science Data Archives (SSDAs), have maintained themselves over time. SSDAs predate both computers and the Internet and provide a unique opportunity to examine perceptions about what makes an archive sustainable, through the ups and downs of funding cycles and massive changes in technical and organisational infrastructure.
Type of material: Conference Publication
Keywords: Institutional longevity;Organisational theory;Business models
Language: en
Status of Item: Peer reviewed
Conference Details: The 1st Annual Conference on Digital Preservation for the Arts, Social Sciences, and Humanities (DPASSH), 25-26 June 2015, Dublin, Ireland
Appears in Collections:Information and Communication Studies Research Collection

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