The SCAPE Project – a brief introduction

The SCAPE Project – a brief introduction

SCAPE – what is it about?

SCAPE is an integrated research project co-funded by the European Union under the FP7 ICT program. It is running since February 2011 and has a total duration of 42 months. The SCAPE Consortium brings together a broad spectrum of expertise from memory institutions, data centres, research labs, universities, and industrial firms. Sixteen European institutions are cooperating to develop
solutions for the long-term digital preservation of large-scale and heterogeneous collections of digital-objects. Their aim is to develop scalable services for efficient and automated preservation planning and the execution of preservation actions of large (multi-Terabyte) and complex data sets.

SCAPE’s contribution to digital preservation

The volume of digital content worldwide is increasing exponentially. This fact demands that preservation activities become more
scalable and automated. However, current solutions for the preservation of digital object collections fail when applied to very large or complex sets of data.

SCAPE is devoted to enhancing the state-of-the-art of long-term digital preservation by developing an infrastructure and tools for scalable preservation actions (the SCAPE Platform and Components), and a framework for automated, quality assured preservation workflows. Additionally, these components will be integrated with a policy-based Preservation Planning and Watch System.

Benefits for Content Holders

The scalable preservation environments that are being developed by the SCAPE project team will enable organisations to keep pace with the rapid growth of digital collections by providing a new highly scalable architecture and reducing the need for human intervention. It will help ensure that the organisations’ preservation actions have been effective, and make sure that increasing regulatory obligations of the organisations are being fulfilled. Finally, it will reduce the risks to the organisations’ digital material.

The Project: Short overview

In order to meet the overall project goals, the SCAPE Consortium has conceived a project structure that enables a high level integration of the results from the several research and development work packages.

The Testbeds sub-project is the primary driver for the rest of the project in that it determines the use case scenarios, defines the preservation workflows, and evaluates the platform and the tools created in other parts of the project. The SCAPE Testbeds define specific preservation issues (described by the scenarios) with a special focus on three application areas: Large-scale digital repositories, Research Datasets, and Web Content.

The Preservation Platform sub-project is developing platform reference architecture for scalable preservation environments. The SCAPE Preservation Platform is an extensible infrastructure that provides reliable storage of voluminous data objects and records, and which supports the parallel execution of preservation tools and workflows close to the data. Additionally, it provides a scalable backend which can be attached to different data management systems.

The Preservation Components sub-project delivers the preservation components that will be executed on the platform. These tools will enhance the functionality of the digital preservation system in scalability, functional coverage, and quality.

The Planning and Watch sub-project develops automated components that address the bottleneck of decision processes and processing information required for decision making. The Watch Component (SCOUT) gathers information relevant to digital preservation activities (e.g. from repositories, technical registries), and provides an automated monitoring system. The Planning Component (that is building upon PLATO supplemented by a machine interpretable policy model) supports decision makers in producing automated preservation plans based on individual digital collections, preservation policies, previous preservation plans, and controlled experiments. The Planning Component integrates with SCOUT and the SCAPE repositories.

Coordination and Takeup Sub-projects

To make sure that the project delivers high-quality results, the research and development work packages are being coordinated by the Cross-Project Activities sub-project. Additionally, the Takeup sub-project ensures the regular dissemination of these results, and guarantees sustainability and impact of the outcomes beyond the project.

SCAPE: Scalable Preservation Environments

In the future, SCAPE will transform the manner in which content holders safeguard their digital content. The project results will increase confidence in the long-term accessibility and integrity of the content holders’ collections (at the European, national, and organisational levels). Furthermore the project SCAPE will have a profound impact on the way that digital repositories are designed and built in order to enable scalable preservation services.

For more information about the SCAPE project and its publications please consult

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