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Archiving and Preservation for Research Environments

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - ARCHIVER (Archiving and Preservation for Research Environments)

Reporting period: 2019-01-01 to 2019-08-31

Many research projects are currently struggling to preserve their data and associated products (metadata, software, documentation, etc.), as the current archiving and preservation capabilities are inadequate and fall below expectations, while data stewardship costs are frequently underestimated during the planning phase.
The ARCHIVER project goal is to address these data management challenges in a multi-disciplinary environment, allowing each research group to retain stewardship of their data whilst leveraging best practices, standards and economies of scale. ARCHIVER will combine multiple ICT technologies, including extreme data-scaling, network connectivity, service interoperability and business models, in a hybrid cloud environment to deliver end-to-end archival and preservation services that cover the full research lifecycle. By acting as a collective of procurers, ARCHIVER creates an eco-system for specialist ICT companies active in archiving, who would like to introduce new services capable of supporting the expanding needs of research communities.
The ARCHIVER project has achieved all of the foreseen objectives for the period. All of the deliverables scheduled for the first period have been produce:

D1.1 Data Management Plan
D1.2 First Periodic Report
D2.2 PCP Contract Notice
D2.1 State of the Art, Community Requirements and OMC results report
D5.1 First version of the Communication and Dissemination Plan
D5.2 Early Adopters Engagement Kit
D6.1 POPD Requirements No 1

These deliverables have been actively promoted by the consortium members and well received by their respective audiences.

All milestones foreseen during the period have been achieved:
MS1: Pin Publication, achieved in January 2019
MS2: First Collaboration Board Meeting, achieved in July 2019
MS3: Schedule of the Procurer hosted PMC events, achieved in February 2019
MS4: Web Platform established, achieved in January 2019
MS5: Technical Requirements Definition completed, achieved in June 2019
In order to assess the progress beyond the state of the art, the ARCHIVER consortium started by performing an analysis to identify the current gaps in preservation services offered in the public sector, taking lessons learned from past initiatives and consolidating future opportunities for the ARCHIVER resulting services.
A key finding during the state of the art analysis is that ARCHIVER will benefit from the know-how the research community accumulated through the development of models for successful curation and preservation of data and associated assets, such as documentation and software, across all stages of the curation cycle. ARCHIVER will put these models into practice for multiple scientific disciplines in order to simplify data management, making costs more predictable and helping to reduce fragmentation in data stewardship practices across scientific domains. An additional result of the analysis is the fact that the current context of the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC) provides an unprecedented opportunity to make the resulting services available to an estimated 1.7 million researchers in Europe. Services to make data Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable (FAIR), to store it and ensure long-term preservation will form the core of the EOSC. ARCHIVER will thus contribute with a set of aligned services for scientific data management, following best practices with clear criteria defined for the selection of high quality trustworthy repositories, serving FAIR data to scientists and consequently increasing data reuse fostering the development of science.

The expected impacts of the projects are:

Societal impact: The project is will greatly simplify the task of implementing FAIR data management whilst simultaneously reducing the costs and making them more predictable.

Societal & scientific impact: ARCHIVER will contribute to the reduction of fragmentation by offering innovative solutions to implement data management policies in this sector.

Scientific impact: ARCHIVER will provide commercialised solutions that implement the ESFRI recommendation by proposing a collective procurement model and transparent service pricing that will be of value to all Research Infrastructure Projects and Landmarks mentioned on the ESFRI roadmap.

Impact on the European Open Science Cloud and its Business Models: The innovative services resulting from ARCHIVER will offer solutions that can be integrated into the pan-European federation of research data infrastructures to serve many research disciplines across the EU28 with a clearly defined cost model. ARCHIVER will develop services making public data sets more widely accessible with a clear procurement model that will be promoted via the EOSC Stakeholder Forum.

Economic impact: ARCHIVER will accelerate data preservation services development on the supply-side for the public research sector by aligning components and functionalities and – where possible – reducing fragmentation across research disciplines and European Research Infrastructures which can be implemented through FAIR Data Management Plans in order to achieve maximum synergy potential of ongoing and past research in order to achieve a true single digital market.
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