MSU Digital Curation Planning

September 30, 2009

Baseline Data Questionnaire: An Opportunity to Help Preserve MSU’s Digital Assets

Filed under: Survey — admin @ 4:35 pm

Is your MSU department or unit responsible for large quantities of data that document the activities and scholarship of Michigan State University? Are you concerned about the future of your unit’s unique digital assets?

If you would like to participate in this important initiative that will result in effective preservation and management guidelines for the university’s digital information, please click here to fill out a short questionnaire about your digital environment. It should only take approximately ten minutes to complete. The questionnaire will be available through October 16, 2009.

“Digital Curation”— What is This?

Filed under: General — admin @ 4:20 pm

The introduction to the MSU Digital Curation Planning Project included some possibly unfamiliar terms, such as “digital curation.” Besides providing information and updates on the project itself, this website seeks to offer resources that will help to educate the University community about the research and concepts that inform the project. One great resource on the preservation and management of digital assets is the “Digital Preservation Management: Implementing Short-term Strategies for Long-term Problems” tutorial. More educational resources will be posted on the Resources page of the website. (If a good resource you know of isn’t posted there, please contact Lisa Schmidt at or leave it in the comment section.)

And what exactly is “digital curation”? According to the Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR), digital curation is “the active management and enhancement of trusted digital resources across the life cycle.” In a word, proper curation ensures that digital objects such as computer files are captured, stored, preserved, and made accessible for the long term.

September 28, 2009

Introducing the MSU Digital Curation Planning Project

Filed under: General — admin @ 1:14 pm

Like other research universities, Michigan State University has amassed a growing body of digital information. Much time, effort, grant funding, human capital, and research has gone into creating these digital resources—some of which only exist in digital form. All of MSU’s digital assets are at risk of eventually becoming inaccessible due to the ever-changing nature of technology. Through a collaboration of the University Archives, MATRIX, and the MSU Libraries, and with the support of the Office of the Vice Provost of Libraries, Computing and Technology, MSU seeks to develop a digital curation plan and guidelines to ensure trustworthy preservation, management, and stewardship of the university’s digital assets and intellectual property.

Anticipated outcomes of this MSU Digital Curation Planning Project include:

  • Determining institutional readiness for digital asset preservation and management through a gap analysis of existing assets, technical infrastructure, and digital repositories at select MSU units.
  • Providing units with guidelines on how best to preserve and manage existing digital assets and plan for the future, based on best practices, available resources, and anticipated future resources.
  • Creating awareness of technical resources across campus.

What the MSU Digital Curation Planning Project will not do:

  • Mandate one-size-fits-all digital preservation policies.
  • Create and mandate the use of a one-size-fits-all data repository for the university.
  • Address confidential or sensitive data.

The first step in this analysis will be a survey of campus units housing representative samples of major categories of data, including but not limited to: non-confidential administrative data, faculty and student research, theses, and dissertations; research data sets; instructional media resources; university publications; multimedia collections; and more. Again, no confidential data or data with security issues will be covered in the survey.

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