Archiving and preservation for research environments

FAIR Forever: the importance of digital preservation in the EOSC context

10 May 2021

Last December, the Digital Preservation Coalition completed a study on EOSC, FAIR, and digital preservation, titled ‘FAIR Forever? Long Term Data Preservation Roles and Responsibilities’, which is now published and freely available here through the Zenodo Community. The report details the DPC findings relating to digital preservation capacity and the recommended coordinated actions by repositories, researchers, and stakeholders to better ensure the long-term preservation of —and access to— research data in all its forms.

The report highlights the main strengths within the EOSC vision, including a commitment to persistent identifiers, data management planning, robust data storage and repository certification. The opportunities created through the federated FAIR data and services provided by the EOSC are also enlisted, noticing that, beyond EOSC, FAIR provides an entry point for preservation awareness and early planning among active researchers and an opportunity to guide and assess preservation early in the research data lifecycle.

Furthermore, it is stressed that there are already projects and efforts underway for digipres services made available through EOSC, mentioning the three high-tech industry consortia selected via the ARCHIVER (Archiving and Preservation for Research Environments) Pre-commercial Procurement Tender to build archival and preservation services made available to European researcher communities through EOSC.

The Digial Preservation Coalition recognises that the expected outcomes of the ARCHIVER project —including the ‘research ready’ commercial services, trustworthy repository services, and set of derived ‘rules of participation’— will greatly benefit a number of EOSC stakeholders and improve the preservation of research data by its adopters. But at the same time, it states that these should not be the only digital preservation services or resources provided through EOSC: the study’s findings show that immediate, pressing preservation needs and requirements of those currently working with research data at research performing organizations extend beyond the availability of data archiving and preservation commercial services available through EOSC.

Based on the study's cumulative findings, the DPC made nineteen recommendations for action, addressing the weaknesses and threats found that will impact securing digital assets in the long term.

Find the full report on Zenodo: