The Software Preservation Network (SPN) Research Working Group invites you to participate in a survey on practices, needs, and gaps related to software preservation.

Why Does This Matter?

For decades, researchers and practitioners in information science, digital preservation, and allied fields have discussed the necessity of software preservation: preserving software is a prerequisite for preserving and providing access to digital cultural heritage and research, and software is increasingly considered a research product or artifact in itself.

How are cultural heritage professionals working on preserving software? What are the obstacles to software preservation? Do best practices exist?

To help answer these important questions, we need your input. This survey is the first in what we hope will be a longitudinal study of software preservation services over time.

'At the Georgia Tech Library, as part of our retroTECH program, we’re collecting, preserving, and providing access to software -- from software that will empower us to preserve digital architectural collections to student-created Game Boy Advance games. We hope to preserve not only the bits but also the human stories behind the software’s creation and use. That's why I helped design the Service Provider Survey with the SPN Research Working Group -because the data from this study will directly inform both the field and our local policies and procedures.' Take the survey at: . Survey will close on February 19, 2019.

Who Should Participate?

Any individual or organization involved in activities that involve or rely on software preservation is encouraged to take the survey. For the purposes of this survey, software preservation encompasses a wide range of experimental or established services or actions at organizations such as collecting original software media and documentation, consultations with software producers or users of specialized or obsolete software, preservation of software code or executable files, metadata creation for preserved software, etc.

The survey will close on February 19, 2019.

How will the survey information be used?

Anonymized data from the study will be made available to the profession, along with analysis of current trends and possibilities for future research. This study has been approved by the Georgia Institute of Technology Institutional Review Board.

How do you take the survey?

Take the survey (roughly 15 minutes):

Questions? Contact:

Thank you in advance for contributing your insights!

The Software Preservation Network Research Working Group

Jessica Benner, Carnegie Mellon University

Wendy Hagenmaier, Georgia Institute of Technology

Monique Lassere, University of Arizona

Christa Williford, Council on Library and Information Resources

Lauren Work, University of Virginia

Preferred citation:

Research-in-Practice Working Group. Service Provider Survey. Software Preservation Network.