A Domain Model for Digital Curation
Digital curation is a complex of actors, policies, practices, and technologies enabling successful consumer engagement with authentic content of interest across space and time. Having a clear conceptual model of the curation domain is important for planning, performing, and evaluating curation activities in a formal and systematic, rather than ad hoc and idiosyncratic manner. While the curation and preservation communities have developed a number of useful pragmatic frameworks and rubrics (NAA, OAIS, PREMIS, BRM, etc.), it is not clear how, or indeed, whether, they cohere into a unified and theoretically sound representation of the curation domain. Too many fundamental terms of curation practice still remain overloaded and under-formalized, perhaps none more so than "digital object." This presentation will describe an effort at the UC Curation Center to synthesize and extend existing frameworks into a consistent, comprehensive, and parsimonious domain model for digital curation. The new model's vocabulary highlights important nuanced distinctions between various types of objects. It can also be used to make precise yet concise statements about curation intentions, activities, and outcomes.
Stephen Abrams is the associate director of the UC Curation Center at the California Digital Library, with responsibility for strategic planning, innovation, and technical oversight of UC3's systems, services, and initiatives.