Submitting InstitutionAberystwyth University
Unit of AssessmentCommunication, Cultural and Media Studies, Library and Information Management
Summary Impact TypeCultural
Research Subject Area(s)
Information and Computing Sciences: Artificial Intelligence and Image Processing, Distributed Computing, Information Systems
Summary of the impact
Department of Information Studies (DIS) researchers (Judith
Broady-Preston, Nicole Convery (née Schulz), Kirsten Ferguson-Boucher,
Allen Foster, Sarah Higgins) contribute to the preservation and long-term
accessibility of digital assets across the heritage, public, private and
commercial sectors. They have developed, and widely disseminated, a series
of toolkits and models which are helping government, professionals and
organisations adapt to the changing technical landscape. Their research
informs and influences data management policy and practice; provides
guidance on operational and lifecycle management of digital information;
and underpins the relevant sections of professional guidance documents by
high profile international and national organisations. Knowledge is
contributed to both: information practice and policy advancement; and
practitioner continuing professional development (CPD), through
participation in international and national training events, working
groups and practical workshops.
DIS's research regarding the management of digital assets concentrates on
the neglected area of the organisational strategy and relationships
required for success. The need for tools and models to facilitate
professionals and organisations in the practical decision making
processes, when planning the lifecycle management of digital assets and
the implementation of emerging technologies, were identified in the areas
of cloud computing, data management and digital forensics. These tools
influence the development of: strategy for managing digital materials at
local, national and international level; practical project planning for
administrative and implementation challenges; and the improvement of CPD
The VaPaR Model (Value, Alignment, Performance, Assurance and
Risk) addresses the governance and assurance implications of managing
digital assets through emerging technologies. Building on earlier
research from DIS, it defines and identifies the key problems into one
cross-disciplinary model to assist in identifying both the perspectives
and roles of different professional stakeholders (3.1).
The Cloud Computing Toolkit (3.2) focuses on one of
these emerging technologies, cloud computing. Building on the VaPaR
Model, it provides more complete guidance on the management,
operational and technical issues surrounding the storage of information
in "The Cloud". Funded through a research grant from the primary
professional body for UK archivists, The Archives and Records
Association (ARA), the research had considerable practitioner input
through a survey, in depth interviews and case studies, and an
"Unconference" (Manchester, 2010).
The Lifecycle of Data Management (Higgins, 2012) (3.3)
elaborates the lifecycle approach to digital asset management. This work
focuses on the activities required to manage digital assets and the
organisational, personnel and technological implications of these.
- A specific element in the VaPaR Model and lifecycle approach
is the role that digital forensics can play in the retrieval of
information from the various technologies. The Digital Forensics
Continuum Model, developed in collaboration with researchers at
the University of Washington Centre for Information Assurance and
Cyber Security (CIAC), helps professionals and organisations adapt
to new information storage methodologies in cloud technologies. Its
application is developed in a book for practitioners (Endicott-Popovsky
& Ferguson-Boucher, 2012) (3.4).
- The KABSAi Model (Knowledge Architecture, Behaviour and Situation
Analysis) evaluates previous research, both external and internal
to DIS, to build an integrated model which can help professionals and
organisations understand how to effectively deliver digital material to
their users. It develops an understanding of how users interact with
information and how to evaluate and measure information process,
behaviour and management on multiple levels (3.5).
References to the research
3.1 [professional conference address] Ferguson-Boucher, K. (2012). VaPaR
in the Cloud: A Model for Information Governance and Assurance in the
Cloud. The Future of Information Governance Conference. London
3.2 [grant funding] Convery, N. (2010). Cloud Computing Toolkit:
Guidance for Outsourcing Information Storage to the Cloud. ARA UK
3.3 [book chapter] Higgins, S. (2012). The Lifecycle of Data Management.
In G. Pryor (Ed.), Managing Research Data. Facet Publishing.
3.4 [book chapter] Ferguson-Boucher, K. & Endicott-Popovsky, B.
(2012). Forensics Readiness in the Cloud (FRC): Integrating Records
Management and Digital Forensics. In K. Ruan (Ed). Cybercrime and
Cloud Forensics: Applications for Investigation Processes. IGI
Global DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-2662-1.ch005
3.5 [peer reviewed journal article] Foster, A., Ferguson-Boucher, K.,
& Broady-Preston, J. (2010). Unifying Information Behaviour and
Process: A Balanced Palette and the Balanced Scorecard. Performance
Measurement and Metrics, 11(3), 280-288. DOI:10.1108/14678041011098550
Details of the impact
DIS's holistic research into managing digital assets is informing and
influencing information management practice and policy globally while
contributing to professional development. This is evidenced through:
practical implementation of the toolkits and models developed; policy and
advice documents and CPD which take different aspects of the research as
their basis; and demand for researcher expertise by professional bodies.
The Cloud Computing Toolkit provides guidance on the management and
operational issues surrounding the lifecycle storage of information in the
cloud. It was widely disseminated through: the ARA website and meetings;
international professional conferences and workshops; and online
bibliographies. Information professionals have been trained in using the
toolkit to: assess the risks and benefits of outsourcing information
storage and processing to the cloud; assess cloud computing services; and
develop strategies for their organisation. It underpins key guidance texts
on managing digital archival material by major international projects and
institutions, including the US National Archives and Records
Administration (NARA) (5.1) and the internationally adopted
InterPares Project (5.2), which aim to influence data management
policy and practice and data managers' professional methods and ideas in
the areas of information privacy, organisational risk and performance and
the human impact of change and informs and influences.
Research into the lifecycle management of digital materials is
influencing professional methods and the development of expert systems
through the comprehensive articulation of the work-flow and activities
required to manage digital assets. It is contributing to practical
implementation projects and cross-sectorial CPD for information
professionals charged with managing digital assets.
Support is given to the Archives and Records Council Wales Digital
Preservation Group (ARCWDP) in both preparing a business case and
implementing a shared digital preservation infrastructure for Wales (5.3).
Expertise has been used to chair the ARA Section for Archives and
Technology — a professional group which provides professional digital
asset management networking and training — `between June 2011 and June
2013 [and] contributed greatly to the Section on delivering projects such
as the Guide to Standards and nationwide training on Digital Preservation'
The book chapter, The Lifecycle of Data Management was requested by the
Digital Curation Centre's Associate Director for inclusion in the book
Managing Research Data. This reached Amazon's number one best seller, in
their library management category, was ranked in the top 15 for a year
after publication, and sold out of its UK print run after a month (5.5).
Since publication, the chapter has been used by the Digital Curation
Centre (DCC) to support their internationally offered professional
training course, Digital Curation 101. This training course is typically
attended by professional data managers and has been offered 35 times since
January 2012 http://www.dcc.ac.uk/training/dc-101)
(5.6). The chapter forms the basis of CPD materials for librarians
developed by RDMRose (5.7).
The Digital Forensics Continuum Model was first developed and presented
at the influential Information Security, Compliance and Risk Management
Institute Conference, Seattle (2008), attended by information security
professionals, information technology officers and managers, attorneys,
researchers and risk management and financial professionals, it focused on
privacy, data protection, information assurance and technology management.
The model was further disseminated to professional practitioners and
expert systems developers at the Information and Records Management
Society's Annual Conference (2009) (5.8) and a professional
symposium attended by practitioners in Welsh local authorities and SME's
at the National Library of Wales (NLW) (2012), and has been incorporated
into training materials from the Australian based Recordkeeping Institute:
"The extension of the recordkeeping model into recordkeeping informatics
is via the other related models including the information continuum, the
publishing continuum, the data continuum, the digital forensics
continuum." (5.9) and into a podcast available online.
As a result of dissemination of the underpinning research, researchers
further contribute their expertise to the information professionals' CPD
through editorship of online advisory material aimed at helping members of
professional organisations adapt to technological change. These advise
professionals on technical implementation of data management solutions and
include the Digital Preservation Coalition's Technology Watch Series (5.10).
Sources to corroborate the impact
5.1 The US National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). (2012). Toolkit
for Managing Electronic Records. Available at http://www.archives.gov/records-mgmt/toolkit/pdf/all-nara-non-nara-tools.pdf.
5.2 InterPares and International Council on Archives. (2012). Digital
Records Pathways. Module 8: Cloud Computing Primer. Available at
5.3 Burns, H., Higgins, S., et al. (2010). Business Case for Shared
Digital Preservation Provision. ARCWDP. Letter available from ARCWDP
Chair detailing continuing contribution.
5.4 Letter available from ARA Chief Executive detailing contribution.
5.5 Screen-shot available showing Managing Research Data ranked
number one on Amazon and email detailing sales figures.
5.6 Letter available from DCC Associate Director.
5.7 RDMRose. (2012). Learning Materials, Section 3. Available at
5.8 Information and Records Management Society Conference. Brighton, UK.
ESI: An Episode on Cross Disciplinarity: Legal Admissibility, Digital
Forensics and Records and Information Management. Programme
5.9 The Recordkeeping Institute. Recordkeeping Informatics: A
Discipline under Construction. Available at http://recordkeeping.net.au/recordkeeping-informatics/5-the-records-continuum/.
5.10 Digital Preservation Coalition (DPC). Technology Watch Reports,
ISSN 2048-7916. Recent editions include: Pennock, M. (2013) Web
Archiving; and Lavoie, B. (2013). Preservation Metadata. The
full series is available at:
http://www.dpconline.org/advice/technology-watch- reports. Letter
available from DPC Executive Director detailing contribution and download