Research and cultural heritage institutions are facing increasing costs to provide long-term public access to historically valuable collections of scientific data, born-digital records, and other digital artifacts. With many institutions moving data to cloud services, data sharing and access costs have become more complex. As leading institutions in decentralization and data preservation, the Internet Archive (IA), Code for Science & Society (CSS) and California Digital Library (CDL) will work together on a proof-of-concept pilot project to demonstrate how decentralized technology could bolster existing institutional infrastructure and provide new tools for efficient data management and preservation. Using the Dat Protocol (developed by CSS), this project aims to test the feasibility of a decentralized network as a new option for organizations to archive and monitor their digital assets.
Dat is already being used by diverse communities, including researchers, developers, and data managers. California Digital Library is building innovative tools for data publication and digital preservation. The Internet Archive is leading efforts to advance the decentralized web community. This joint project will explore the issues that emerge from collecting institutions adopting decentralized technology for storage and preservation activities. The pilot will feature a defined corpus of open data from CDL’s data sharing service. The project aims to demonstrate how members of a cooperative, decentralized network can leverage shared services to ensure data preservation while reducing storage costs and increasing replication counts. By working with the Dat Protocol, the pilot will maximize openness, interoperability, and community input. Linking institutions via cooperative, distributed data sharing networks has the potential to achieve efficiencies of scale not possible through centralized or commercial services. The partners intend to openly share the outcomes of this proof-of-concept work to inform further community efforts to build on this potential.
More about CSS: Code for Science & Society is a nonprofit organization committed to building public interest technology and low-cost decentralized tools with the Dat Project to help people share and preserve versioned digital information. Read more about CSS’ Dat in the Lab project, our recent Community Call, and other activities. (Contact: Danielle Robinson)
More about CDL UC3: The University of California Curation Center (UC3) at the California Digital Library (CDL) provides innovative data curation and digital preservation services to the 10-campus University of California system and the wider scholarly and cultural heritage communities. https://uc3.cdlib.org/. (Contact: John Chodacki)
More about IA: The Internet Archive is a non-profit digital library with the mission to provide “universal access to all knowledge.” It works with hundreds of national and international partners providing web, data, and preservation services and maintains an online library comprising millions of freely-accessible books, films, audio, television broadcasts, software, and hundreds of billions of archived websites. https://archive.org/. (Contact: Jefferson Bailey)