In support of the Software Preservation Network’s (SPN) mission to preserve software through community engagement, infrastructure support, and knowledge generation, the Research Working Group facilitates research projects that bring individuals and organizations with diverse perspectives and interests together to document and analyze the landscape of software preservation and access. The Working Group aims to explore frameworks for sustainable, transparent, community-based research and to advocate for innovative models of research that accelerates practice. Research Working Group members also play a crucial advisory role in research activities initiated by other SPN Working Groups.

Action Plan:

  • 2019-2020: Conduct Software Preservation Service Provider Study
    • Overall goal: The Service Provider Study is a survey and interviews aimed at documenting how cultural heritage organizations are approaching software preservation services. The Research Working Group aims for the study to be repeated every five years, to map the evolution of software preservation services over time.
      • January – March 2019:
        • Survey data gathering and initial survey data analysis
      • April – June 2019:
        • Interviews
      • July – October 2019:
        • Data analysis
      • November 2019 – April 2020:
        • Write and publish report and anonymized dataset
  • 2019-2020: Launch Research Toolkit
    • Overall goal: The Research Toolkit will comprise survey and interview templates (already created in 2018) that individuals can use to gather data about software preservation and curation in their local organization or community. The individuals will be encouraged to contribute their data back to the SPN Research Working Group. The Working Group will analyze the data in aggregate and attempt to map the landscape of software preservation and curation over time.
      • January 2019 – July 2019
        • Define logistics for Toolkit use
      • August 2019 – December 2019
        • Beta test Toolkit
      • January 2020 – December 2020
        • Launch Toolkit

Preferred citation:

Metadata Working Group. Metadata Working Group Scope & Action Plan. Software Preservation Network.