Governing Board Sets 2018 Direction for APTrust

December 11, 2017 News

In phone meetings the week of December 4, the Governing Board of APTrust heard recommendations from its community for new directions and new tasks for the organization in 2018.

The Board generally endorsed the list of recommended tasks, subject to continuing evaluation and refinement by the community and APTrust staff (in consultation with the Board when appropriate), while setting a single broad direction for APTrust in 2018. The direction and the set of tasks follow.

Governing Board's 2018 direction for APTrust:

After its initial development of a cloud-based digital preservation repository, APTrust will now turn its focus to better understanding the digital-preservation strategies and processes of its individual members, with the goals of addressing barriers to use of its services and evolving in ways that broaden the value of membership.

APTrust Task List for 2018

Section I: Technical Milestones

  • Offer a lower-cost preservation storage option (urgent)
  • Provide service that encrypts deposits using AWS or other provider encryption and key-management (urgent)
  • Make APTrust deposit process easier, improve training, and improve reporting on deposit in progress (urgent)
  • Complete APTrust security policies and testing routines (urgent)
  • Explore integrations with Archivematica, Archivespace, Fedora, Samvera/Hyrax/Hyku, DSpace, Dataverse, Bitcurator, Avalon (among others) (soon)
  • Develop capacity to provide APTrust-managed key escrow service for institutions encrypting their own content (soon)
  • Explore cloud-based options for format migration that APTrust could make available (when we can)
  • Design and make available a cloud-based environment that enables depositors to validate formats and index content of deposits (when we can)

Section II:  Improvements for Collaboration
--General:  Ensure that understanding of how each of our institutions does digital preservation is documented and shared as an APTrust community asset and planning resource

  • Draft templates for better understanding of member digital preservation plans/processes, including local workflows and tools (urgent)
  • Share practices for streamlining processing and selection of content for preservation (urgent)
  • Provide means for institutions to tell their own stories about value of APTrust (urgent)
  • Improve sharing of institutionally-developed tools and practices (urgent)
  • Develop a digital-preservation advocacy toolkit with talking points, presentations, videos, etc. (urgent)
  • Document plausible risk scenarios/case studies addressed only by these types of solutions (using real cases whenever available) (urgent)
  • Show how each of our institutions is building expertise and capability for digital preservation, and what role APTrust plays in that process (soon)
  • Formalize APTrust's ongoing review of platforms and other digital preservation infrastructure questions to be more useful to wider audiences (when we can)
  • Design means by which APTrust can be helpful in preservation of software that will be required to make deposited data practically useful in the future (when we can)

Section III: Document APTrust Value

  • Document the differences between APTrust and other services (urgent)
  • Better articulate collaborative nature and transparency of operations/finances (urgent)
  • Given that all institutions have access to cloud services, define specific value that APTrust provides over self-managed alternatives (urgent)
  • Accumulate evidence that we are working together to provide a vibrant community of practice, geographic diversity, financial transparency, continuing exploration of more cost effective services, and trusted services that evolve with time (urgent)
  • Develop a data-based analysis tool to illustrate financial implications of inaction (soon)
  • Develop use case for deposit of whole-collection metadata and encrypted user data as available short- or long-term preservation options through APTrust (useful in part for platform/application migrations) (soon)
  • Develop a use-case for large data sets/research data deposit to APTrust (soon)

Section IV: APTrust as an organization

  • Explore expansion of membership categories to subscribing members and consortial members, as long as culture and value to existing members is not sacrificed (urgent)
  • Do full cost-analysis of options for asserting trusted digital repository status/compliance, including open documentation, peer review, and independent audit (urgent)
  • Explore better alliance-building with other major community projects (soon)


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