A structured, multi-disciplinary approach is needed to preserve and provide access to scientific information in Europe. APARSEN (Alliance Permanent Access to the Records of Science in Europe Network) is a Network of Excellence that aims to set up a virtual research centre for digital preservation in Europe. Up until now, public institutions such as libraries and universities have dominated the Permanent Access field. This project also involves the private sector for a substantial part, bringing together an extremely diverse set of practitioner organisations and researchers from the area of digital preservation in order to bring coherence, cohesion and continuity to research into barriers to the long-term accessibility and usability of digital information and data. The diverse range of topics includes:

  • Bringing together knowledge on applications for the long-term preservation of digital objects, the so-called preservation tools (for example migration, characterisation and emulation)
  • Digital Rights Management
  • Audit & certification of digital archives
  • Staff exchange programme
  • Setting up training courses
  • Developing business models for digital preservation stakeholders

The final objective is to establish a Virtual Centre of Excellence (VCoE), in which the acquired knowledge can be further spread and extended upon for the benefit of everyone dealing with the long-term accessibility and usability of digital information and data.

The project builds on the results of the completed PARSE.Insight project and is connected with the goals of the Alliance for Permanent Access (APA) that is closely involved with APARSEN as a stakeholder.

APARSEN started on 1 January 2011 and has a duration of four years. The consortium consists of 30 organisations, including the KB National Library of the Netherlands, varying from research institutions to industry partners. It is funded under the Seventh Framework Programme of the European Commission (FP7).

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