CNI Fall 2012 – Digital Preservation Network (DPN)

DPN briefing – James Hilton

Brief recap of DPN mission/logic

Create a federated Digital Preservation NEtwork, owned by and for the academy, to ensure that the objects and metadata of research and scholarship are replicated and preserved across diverse: software architectures, organizations, geographic regions, political environments.

Ensure sustainability and longevity bu building a framework that can scale and evolve over time, formats, and organizations

Current state of play – lots of repositories with a smattering of aggregation. Playing out across different content areas and object types, all susceptible to multiple single points of failure. We’ve seen this before in networking, which is why we built Internet2. Want to leverage investments we’re already making.

Many layers to the problem. Huge cost advantages accrue to scaled solutions. While we can buy commercial services, it’s not clear what we are getting and we risk recreating the lock in problem that we have seen around books and journals now with data. Waiting only makes the problem harder and more expensive to solve.

We will either solve this problem institution by institution or we will solve it together at scale. Start by building an archive backbone linking together investments we’ve already made. Creat a sustainable framework at scale that evolves and adapts to new preservation challenges and allows movement up the preservation stack. Have a framework for succession rights. Start with what we understand (text) then move on to new forms of scholarship.

DPN is not a software project. It is an ecosystem designed to evolve for new forms of scholarship. DPN is a federation, leveraging a diverse ecosystem. Primary functions are to: audit and verify to ensure succession, provide grant-based/contract funding to the replicating nodes; provide a legal framework for holding succession rights.

Where are we today? 57 members. Interim leadership team in place, working with AAU and ARL to develop permanent governance model (Feb/March). DPN director in place (Steven Morales), Tech working group up and running. Five replicating nodes are working together to create a “proof of concept” DPN network. Swap bits, verify, and demonstrate possible to repopulate contributing node and provide “web view” access to data and metadata. Idea is you could rebuild from DPN if you needed to.

Succession rights group starting up, model agreements in March. Discussion with NSF, IMLS, LoC, NIST, et al about funding models. Growing engagement with data communities.

Looking to have a discussion with funding agencies about developing a sustainable busines model.

Have five replicating nodes: Hathi, Chronopolis, Stanford, UT, AP Trust.

There will be deposit fees for DPN. You don’t want it just to become the attic where you keep everything – force winnowing. Will not provide quick, easy retrieval – it’s last resort.