Working Groups


The Legal/Policy Working Group supports SPN’s goal to explore and document legal licensing and information policy specifics pertaining to the preservation and reuse of software in cultural heritage and research contexts.

Policies and Standards (Metadata)

The Metadata Standards and Policies working group is responsible for developing, promoting and advocating for common metadata frameworks and related metadata standards, vocabularies, and ontologies that support software discovery, preservation, and access.  This working group will collect and analyze existing metadata standards, develop approaches for establishing a common metadata framework, suggest crosswalking strategies, advocate for the inclusion of software metadata standards in repositories and content management systems, and promote community awareness of software preservation standards.


In support of the Software Preservation Network’s (SPN) mission to define a strategy for software preservation and ensure long-term access to digital cultural heritage, the Research Working Group spearheads collaborative efforts to collect, aggregate, analyze, and distribute data about software preservation. Examples of data types that the Research Working Group aims to create, gather, and analyze include inventories, use cases, bibliographies, and visualizations of workflows and ecosystems. The Research Working Group’s core area of focus relates to the documentation of the landscape of software preservation. Research Working Group members also play a crucial advisory role in research activities initiated by other SPN Working Groups. The Research Working Group comprises both academic researchers and researcher-practitioners.

Software Curation Readiness

The curation-ready software working group aims to provide guidance, framed by use cases, for making software repositories or catalogs more useable by improving software’s “curation readiness”. Two perspectives will be explored. The first is the archival/museum perspective which is concerned with providing access to culturally important software and deals mainly with (often commercial) software that has already been released. The second perspective deals with software which is developed or intended for use in academic settings in which curation activities can take place at earlier stages in the software lifecycle.

Technical Infrastructures

The Technical Infrastructure Working Group is concerned with ensuring that technology solutions that may be proposed or taken on by SPN or its affiliate members are as technically feasible as possible. This may include specification of computing configurations needed to run common packages used in the preservation environment, or the creation of documentation necessary to make existing software packages more usable. This group is interested in engaging members of the digital preservation ecosystem, both institutions and consorita, in experimentation with existing tools for access and preservation of software in an effort to establish a community-driven development roadmap that serves the broadest spectrum of users.