Evaluating Assessment Frameworks in Digital Curation

Christoph Becker, Emily Maemura, Nathan Moles, Jess Whyte, Hannes Kulovits, Steve Marks

Research output: Book/Report/Conference proceedingTechnical report


Assessment of organizational digital curation capability and maturity plays an important role as a diagnostic instrument to support planning and prioritize areas of an organization’s capabilities to improve. The last decade has seen a surge in the number of models and tools that aim to support digital curation practitioners in this process. The central role of these frameworks in strategic decision making suggests that they are worth studying, but the frameworks themselves have not been the subject of evaluation comparable to that expected of organizations themselves. This report describes a study of digital curation assessment frameworks in theory and practice. The report presents a case study methodology to support the systematic study of such frameworks in use and describes the application of this method with practitioners at an academic library and a national archive. This presents a rich set of evidence about four cases, collected and organized to facilitate the analysis of two frameworks. A comparative case study analysis characterizes these frameworks across multiple real contexts of use to facilitate their evaluation. The evaluation method is described and documented in detail to facilitate its replication in other contexts and to other frameworks. This evaluation of frameworks in practice is based on theory and frameworks from design science research methodologies and complemented by an analysis of their design and the process followed in designing them. The findings identify opportunities to improve these frameworks and raise questions for further investigation into the design of such frameworks.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Number of pages59
StatePublished - Jul 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Digital curation
  • AIDA
  • Capability Maturity Model
  • Design
  • Assessment framework
  • Digital preservation


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