Research Associate Professor
University of North Texas
This project briefing will present a pilot set of interactive data visualizations resulting from a national-level, multi-sector, environmental scan of collaborative digital preservation activity. The Identifying Continuing Opportunities for National Collaboration (ICONC) research project (2012-13) was conceived and funded by the Library of Congress’ National Digital Information Infrastructure Preservation Program (NDIIPP), with an aim of better understanding the landscape of collaborative digital preservation activities at state, regional, and national levels. ICONC is led by the Educopia Institute, drawing in research expertise from the University of North Texas, the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and Auburn University. Across sectors (e.g., government, public, academic, commercial), organizations are developing and hosting digital preservation solutions, networks, trainings, and events. Their objectives vary, from disaster recovery to provisions of “enduring access.” To date, there is no easy mechanism to gain a national level understanding of these preservation efforts across sectors. Further, there is a limited understanding of where such activities are collaborative in nature, engaging players from across sectors and states. By leveraging informatics and visualizations that combine historical and current collaborative activities, leaders can inform the strategic alignment of future digital preservation research and development through insights into questions such as: Which institutions or regions are innovation hubs for digital preservation? Are specific regions or states under-represented in digital preservation initiatives? Which organizations or sectors are driving efforts in a given region or state? Or, which organizations act as connectors, engaging an array of project partners across domains?
The first half of this briefing will provide an overview of data visualizations related to such questions, generated from the ICONC project. It will highlight the underlying dataset, compiled by ICONC through stakeholder interviews, professional association surveys, and grant-award and publication data mining. The second half of this briefing is reserved for a facilitated discussion on how such tools could be advanced or provided to the community to support digital stewardship policy and program development at national and international levels.