Digital Curation Centre

Digital Curation Centre (DCC)
Formation 2005 (2005)[1]
Purpose Digital curation
Headquarters Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom
Parent organization
Slogan because good research needs good data

The Digital Curation Centre (DCC) was established to help solve the extensive challenges of digital preservation and digital curation and to lead research, development, advice, and support services for higher education institutions in the United Kingdom.[1]


The original call to establish the DCC described its function as

" provide a national focus for research into curation issues and expertise in the processes of digital archiving, preservation and management. Particular emphasis will be placed on the needs of users of the Centre's outputs." [2]

Scientists, researchers and scholars across the UK generate increasingly vast amounts of digital data, with further investment in digitization and purchase of digital content and information. The scientific record and the documentary heritage created in digital form are at risk from obsolescence, from the fragility of digital media, and from lack of the basics of good practice, such as adequate documentation for the data.


Working with other practitioners, the DCC supports UK institutions who store, manage and preserve these data to help ensure their enhancement and their continuing long-term use. The DCC also provides a national focus for research and development into digital curation issues and to promote expertise and good practice, both national and international, for the management of all research outputs in digital format.

It provides information about tools developed by the DCC and others which support all parts of the digital curation lifecycle. It provides training in the use of tools and other aspects of digital curation. It provides online tools, such as the Data Management Planning tool, to support the creation and management of research data.

The DCC runs a number of regular events to support different aspects of its mission. The International Digital Curation Conference (IDCC) acts as a focus for research activity in digital curation as well as reports of practice. The Research Data Management Forum brings together practitioners from a wide range of backgrounds including government, publishers, researchers and funders, to focus on particular topics of common interest. The Data Management Roadshows aim to raise awareness amongst UK universities of the assistance that the DCC can offer with establishing or improving research data services.


Jisc took a decision to establish the Digital Curation Centre some time in 2002, having funded a number of projects in the field of digital preservation. JISC's then digital preservation focus, Neil Beagrie, recognised that a number of the more compelling challenges required more than simple preservation of materials. The term digital curation was coined to refer to more active long-term management of digital material. The original call for bids to run the center was withdrawn in July 2003,[3] allowing the UK's e-science programme to add funding for a 4-year research programme to complement the work on education and advocacy funded by JISC. The revised call [2] from July 2003 required bids by 2003-09-18 with an intention to establish the DCC early in 2004. The range of expertise required meant that the funders expected to see collaborative, multi-centre bids.[2] A number were shortlisted with the winning bid chosen on 2003-11-26. Led by the University of Edinburgh (involving its School of Informatics, the National e-Science Centre (NeSC), the EDINA national data centre and the AHRC Centre for the Studies in Intellectual Property and Technology Law) the winning consortium also included HATII at the University of Glasgow, UKOLN at the University of Bath, and the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC).

The DCC began operations early in 2004, with a formal launch on November 5 of that year at Edinburgh's e-science institute. Although it was intended that the centre would be inaugurated by the Duke of Edinburgh, then the university's Chancellor, he instead had to attend the funeral of Princess Alice and his place was taken by Lord Sutherland of Houndwood.[4] The first Acting Director was Peter Burnhill, head of EDINA. He was succeeded by Chris Rusbridge from 2005-02-21 [5] who served until 2010-04-19, when he was succeeded by Kevin Ashley.[6] The original Associate Directors were David Giaretta STFC, Liz Lyon University of Bath, and Seamus Ross HATII.

Following the initial 3-year grant, JISC has funded 2 further phases of work at the DCC commencing in 2007 and 2010. The latter continues until March 2013. Research funding from the e-science core programme did not continue after the core programme itself was wound up. The DCC has continued research and development activities funded by a wide range of grants from other sources.[7][8]

In 2011, the DCC received additional funding from HEFCE's Universities Modernisation Fund (UMF) to implement salient recommendations from the UK Research Data Service report of 2010.

See also


  1. 1 2 Rusbridge, C.; Buneman, P.; Burnhill, P.; Giaretta, D.; Ross, S.; Lyon, L.; Atkinson, M. (2005). "The Digital Curation Centre: A Vision for Digital Curation". 2005 IEEE International Symposium on Mass Storage Systems and Technology (PDF). p. 31. doi:10.1109/LGDI.2005.1612461. ISBN 0-7803-9228-0.
  2. 1 2 3 Revised ITT 6/03 Description of call and links to related documents, from JISC website archive
  3. Announcement of postponement of call JISC 6/03 from JISC website archive
  4. Email from Gill Maddy of NeSC to delegates, 2003-11-03T1104
  5. Announcement of Chris Rusbridge's appointment Archives of JISCMAIL digital-preservation list
  6. Appointment of Kevin Ashley JISC press release
  7. Digital Repository Audit Method Based on Risk Assessment DRAMBORA
  8. SCARP project page From DCC website, 2011-05-27
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