Research Areas

Exemplary research problems that arise from the perspective of the DCI and have been identified as crucial to the advancement of digital curation include the following.

  • Sustainable Information Systems Design. As argued in [1], “[t]he fundamental importance of designing sustainability into the infrastructure, organizations, and systems for digital curation and preservation makes these fields an interesting test case for approaches to sustainability… For the most part, some techniques required to address sustainability may already exist… However, for many systems, the concerns are not sufficiently identified as relevant and valuable, the implications are not well understood, and the techniques hence often not applied. Evidence on the effectiveness of these techniques over longer time spans is scarce”.
  • Effective decision support. At the intersection of software design, data analytics, computer-human interaction, decision support and digital curation, major challenges arise in how to support digital curation decisions on large volumes of data, be it for purposes of selection, acquisition, archiving, quality assurance, annotation, or reuse.
  • Assessment and Improvement. There are still no coherent frameworks in digital preservation and curation that organizations can use effectively to assess and improve their capabilities. The same is true for assessing data quality, automated processes, systems and designs. Which concepts, mechanisms and methods are needed to facilitate systematic assessments and improvement?

Clearly, these are just a select few questions. Many crucial questions that go beyond these can be envisioned, and additional perspectives are needed. Areas such as data analytics, archival theory, records management, service science, electronic health records, business intelligence, museum studies, or digital humanities all have something to say about core aspects of digital curation. When the DCI is the venue to have such conversations, it is a success.


  1. Christoph Becker (2014). Sustainability and longevity: Two sides of the same quality? To appear in the Third International Workshop on Requirements Engineering for Sustainable Systems (RE4SuSy) at the 22nd IEEE International Requirements Engineering Conference (RE2014).