The modules of the Roadmap are categorized into three sections, and it is best to take them in order. Section A is designed to help you scope your project, its vision, and its sustainability goals. Section B provides templates for documenting your staff and your technologies, including their sources of funding. Taking your work in Sections A & B into account, Section C then helps you create a list of concrete sustainability actions to be taken.
Section A: Project Survey
This module asks you to scope your project, identifying the ways it manifests itself in various creative outputs, such as datasets, websites, and other research products. We also propose that there are three primary phases of development into which projects may fall – active creation, ongoing maintenance, or retirement – and ask you to determine which phase your project currently inhabits.
This module asks you to consider the duration of time for which you expect or hope your project will last, and offers a few sample timespans to consider.
In this module, we explain the professional archival concept of “designated communities” and guide you through the process of describing your project’s imagined, actual, and unanticipated users.
This module introduces “significant properties,” a professional digital preservation concept. Having identified your designated communities and their potential needs, you now can begin to identify the traits or characteristics of your work which are most essential to its ongoing sustainability in its current and anticipated environments.
Section A concludes with a module that guides users of the Roadmap through some best practices for organizing project documentation in order to bolster effective sustainability. This module is also used to help participants think through how to organize and store the documents created in the course of participating in the Roadmap.
Section B: Staffing and Technologies
In this module, you are asked to list the contributors to your project – both internal and external to your team – their responsibilities, and their sources of funding.
Just as you identified your project team in Module B1, here you are asked to identify all of the technologies – both local and remote – upon which your work relies, their functions on the project, as well as their sources of funding.
This module brings together the work done in the first two B modules in order to provide the participants with an understanding of how their project team and technologies map onto one another. Roadmap participants are asked to document which staff (as listed in B1) are responsible for which technologies (as listed in B2), taking into account how and for how long both the staff and the technologies are funded.
Section C: Digital Preservation Plans
This module provides an introduction to the NDSA Levels of Digital Preservation, a professional framework designed to produce scalable digital preservation strategies, and explains the ways in which we have adapted them for the Roadmap.
This module addresses the first two sustainability areas for the Roadmap: the ways in which creators and users can access and interpret your project and the locations and media used to store copies of your work.
This module focuses on creating work in stable, sustainable formats and also making sure that these formats, as well as the rest of your project, are well-documented.
The final sustainability areas discussed in this section focus on protecting and maintaining the integrity of your work over time, from the platform level down to the bit level.
The final module in Section C guides you through the process of aggregating the work you have done in all previous modules, resulting in a comprehensive list of sustainability actions and their dependencies, both social and technical.
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