NDSA:Staffing Survey

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Title of Activity or Project
Digital Preservation Staffing Survey

One Sentence Description:
This is a survey of organizations currently responsible for digital preservation to gain insight into how organizations worldwide are addressing these staffing, scoping and organizational questions.

Statement of the Problem and Goals for Addressing the Problem:
Digital preservation is an emergent field. Businesses, cultural memory institutions and government bodies that want to responsibly preserve and generate digital assets face significant challenges with respect to staffing.

How many staff do we need? What types of positions are needed? What skills, education and experience should we be looking for? Should we hire new staff or retrain existing staff? What functions should be scoped as part of the program? What should be provided by other parts of the organization, outsourced or provided through collaboration with other organizations?

It is our hope that once we collate and interpret results we can provide valuable information for institutions that are embarking upon digitization and digital preservation programs and/or projects. Results from surveys like these may even become fodder for best practices with respect to digital preservation staffing.

Strategic Value of Activity:

  • This has been a good way to start the discussion of how a department or organization should plan to staff a digital preservation initiative
  • This survey will provide groundwork for developing best practices for digital preservation staffing
  • The iPRES poster will serve as a self-contained “beginning-middle-end” project that will help the Standards group learn to work together toward a common goal
  • The survey will lead to a white paper that will draw international attention to the NDSA

Required Resources:
What are the steps to take in order to accomplish this activity?

  • Time of working group members
  • Work space on Google docs for iPRES poster
  • Harvard-hosted Qualtrix software

How will this activity be shared?

1. Hold conference calls
2. Draft survey and review
3. Invite member feedback
4. Revise survey
5. Design survey in Harvard’s Qualtrix software
6. Disseminate survey to digital preservation practitioners (with the NDSA and without)
7. Post a blog to The Signal explaining the survey and getting the word out
8. Retrieve survey results and interpret
9. Design a poster for the 2012 iPRES conference to share survey results and interpretation

Dissemination of Knowledge:

  • Write a blog post
  • Send announcements to listservs
  • Present poster at iPRES
  • A white paper discussing the results (tentative)

Signifiers of Success and Outcomes:

  • Roughly 85 respondents to the survey
  • iPRES poster
  • A white paper discussing the results (tentative)