Developing and Integrating DMAOnline with Archivematica
On Wednesday John and I made the trip across the Pennines to visit our colleagues at the University of York who are also working on a JISC Research Data Spring-funded project. Their project is complimentary to ours and is called Filling the Digital Preservation Gap which you can read about here. The project is looking at managing research data from a digital preservation perspective, with a particular interest in improving and automating many of the actions which make up this process. Given that managing data for long-term preservation focusses quite heavily on getting intellectual control of the data, this is something which we feel DMAOnline can help with, as it is a user-friendly and adaptable platform for analysing research data management. We are also very interested in seeing how it could support a reporting structure for various digital preservation processes, such as file format identification etc. We believe that our DMAOnline portal is a useful and flexible tool for the management of both current research data as well as its long term preservation and are looking for use cases beyond our own institution.
We were fortunate enough to be invited to present our Data Spring project to members of York’s RDM team. John detailed the background to the project and the benefits that a research-focussed institution would get from using DMAOnline. At the moment we have been trialling the system using a use case based on our own Research Data Management requirements and systems but we are keen to develop the application functionality so that it can be used multi-institutionally and also using multiple data sources and platforms. It was great to have the opportunity to get some feedback about the kinds of statistical information which another institution with its own workflows and systems might need.
York are an ideal use case as not only are their RDM needs different to ours (and the information sources available to them are different) but they are also trying to develop ways in which they can query the digital preservation system Archivematica, which creates and logs metadata relating to the different processes, for use with digital preservation planning and management. This kind of information will contribute to a robust digital preservation environment. Having a tool which can interrogate and report on these processes will be of great benefit for the preservation planning part of the preservation process.
We are hoping that working collaboratively we can develop useful tools which will contribute to the whole Research Data Management and Digital Preservation communities.