Grindley paper03 / DigCurV 2013 proceedings / Resources / Home page - DigCur

Grindley paper03

Paper: "Balancing the Books: The Economics of Digital Curation Training", Neil Grindley, Digital Preservation & Curation Programme, Jisc, London, UK

Abstract - A great deal of work has been done to try and quantify the costs of digital curation and much of it has focused on assigning a cost value, either to various parts of the lifecycle of digital objects or to stages in the curation workflow. These models tend to assume that an organisational capability to curate is a given and have not tended to factor in the economic considerations associated with ensuring the relevant personnel have the skills and knowledge to do the work effectively. Training can also be understood as an
investment and as such, organisations have to weigh the costs against the benefits to determine whether paying for training is worthwhile. From the perspective of standard economic theory, there may be disincentives to sponsoring training, which in turn may affect supply and demand issues and contribute to market failure in the training sector.

The skills and capabilities that personnel either develop or acquire via training are all part of the complex financial equation that institutions have to solve to ensure that their digital assets remain safe and accessible. This paper will look at some of the issues related to training through an economic lens to test whether new insights emerge. The ultimate purpose is to check whether these issues have relevance for other projects and initiatives, especially the newly commenced EC-funded 4C project that is looking to help a diversity of organisations understand the true nature of investment into all aspects of digital curation, primarily through the mechanism of costs, but also through related concepts such as sustainability, value and benefits.

paper03.pdf 240.01 kB