Chairs: Valentijn GILISSEN, The Netherlands | Reiner GÖLDNER, Germany | Hella HOLLANDER, The Netherlands  | Maurice HEINRICH, Germany | Julian RICHARDS, UK | Felix SCHÄFER, Germany

Studies of past human activities create results with a potential to shape the future. So, archaeological research data have to be preserved for future generations of scientists. Only if digital data are curated and preserved appropriately and disseminated to a wider audience can they be reused for new research or new purposes.
Archaeological data are created digitally with increased regularity. Digital data provide many more possibilities and more functionality then analogue data. Long-­‐time preservation is more than storing data on disk. Some famous experiences of data loss led to the “Open Archival Information System” (OAIS), which is a well-­‐accepted reference model and ISO-­‐Standard for the structure and operation of digital archives. So, OAIS is an important means to permanently preserve digital archaeological research data and to make them available to future generations with success.
This session will focus on the services and duties of existing repositories and archives and the implementation of the OAIS model within their day-­‐to-­‐day business of data curation, preservation and dissemination. Talks will address different aspects of how to preserve data, including recommended formats and significant characteristics of data formats, migration policies and special technical solutions. Questions
of which data are worth archiving and how to resolve this question, as well as suggestions about required documentation and metadata should also be considered. Other fields of interest relate to the challenge of how to encourage scientists to deposit their data in a recognized archive for professional preservation and what kind of support data providers need, as well as funding models for digital preservation.

Contributions are welcome, and may include:

  • Practical Experiences: Archaeological OAIS in operation (or last steps before).
  • Evaluation of Archival Value: Which decision criteria archaeologists use to answer the question: Which data shall be preserved?
  • Authenticity: How far can we trust digital data? Are they still authentic after years and years in the archive, after several steps of migration? Which significant features can be used to check authenticity?
  • Significant Features: Which criteria are important to check authenticity of digital documents in archaeological context? What types of use are imaginable regarding archaeological data in the year 2116?
  • Technical Solutions: Which systems and services implement the OAIS model?
  • What are the Core Tasks to start preservation with a low budget?

As important as the preservation of data is its dissemination to a wider audience. Only when preserved data are visible they can be reused and fed back into the research data lifecycle. This is why topics covering the following questions are equally important:

  • What are the best ways to make data accessible and reusable for others?
  • What are creative ways of disseminating data?
  • How to make archaeologists aware of the fact that there may be useful data in the archives?
  • What type of obstacles exist to make data accessible or to publish them as open data?
  • What information do data users require in order to be able to reuse data?

Contributions are also welcome if they deal with related themes and give rise to discuss e.g. requirements, tasks, challenges and resources to ensure the long term reusability of digital archaeological research data. In total the session aims to bring together archaeologists and archivists to improve the exchange of knowledge in this small but important field of digital activity.