As the number and variety of digital objects increases, information gatekeepers become essential filters that make sense of this expanding digital library. Thus, curation ensures digital objects remain understandable, accessible, useable, and safe over time. 4C — the Collaboration to Clarify the Costs of Curation — is an initiative created to help public and private European organisations invest more effectively in digital curation and preservation, sustaining the long-term value of all types of digital information.
4C, the Collaboration to Clarify the Costs of Curation, will help organisations estimate the cost of digital curation work, and demonstrate long and short term benefits.
According to Neil Grindley, project coordinator from Jisc, persuading organisations to invest in curation is often difficult. He pinpoints two main reasons for this: because the real costs involved remain a mystery, and because short term benefits aren't always evident. In order to address these challenges, 4C will create an online 'curation costs exchange' to help users model their costs, and aid in predicting costs and benefits that will result from deciding to preserve. 4C will also provide guidance to practitioners so they can better convince executives to invest in new services.
4C hopes to engage with many different organisations, and will invite those interested to workshops and focus groups during the next two years. The network is ‘open and social’ and rather than waiting for perfect and polished results, they will be blogging and sharing findings as they go, stimulating debate and eliciting useful feedback from participants.
As we move further into the ‘information age’, we need to make the bridge between information of the information technologist and understanding of information in other disciplines. As researchers and practitioners in diverse fields grapple with an understanding of information – what it is, how it can be modelled and tools for coping with it – now more than ever is the time to share insights and bring some clarity and coherence to these differing perspectives.
Each session focuses on the way in which information is conceptualised within a different set of disciplines – philosophy, science, business/education and social science. In each case, the relationship between technical disciplines and these other fields is taken to be paramount. The goal of the workshop at each stage is to create conversations across disciplines, but especially between technical and non-technical disciplines.