Why Arkisto
It is increasingly apparent that research projects need to provide for their endings before they begin. Regardless of discipline, research data has interest and value that extends beyond funding cycles and must continue to be managed. Researchers must therefore consider the long term preservation and accessibility of their research data as part of the research planning process.
Arkisto's methods for preserving research outputs are being used by the New Life for Digital Research (NeLDiR) project run out of the Social and Cultural Informatics Platform at the University of Melbourne. NeLDiR is inspired by existing work done at Kings College (London) on rescuing expired research projects, and the work of the Canadian Project Endings, which are leading the way in preserving digital research outputs.
Arkisto addresses the significant issue of collections of research material that are no longer looked after. Some current examples are:
  • The eScholarship Research Centre, University of Melbourne. The ESRC has nearly 1,000 projects, mostly stored in MS Access databases, but with html versions generated from those databases. As the ESRC has been closed in 2020, there is a pressing need to preserve all of this valuable scholarship.
  • Omeka repositories are an attractive means of presenting research collections for sharing and collaboration, especially for student projects. Arkisto allows institutions to preserve this work after the conclusion of the project with the option of reusing it subsequently.
  • FMPro catalogs, e.g. at the Grimwade Centre for Cultural Materials Conservation, which catalogs hundreds of Indigenous artworks. Data stored in this and other proprietary formats needs to be exported into meaningful output and Arkisto addresses this need.