The Design and Use of Assessment Frameworks in Digital Curation

Christoph Becker, Emily Maemura, Nathan Moles

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


To understand and improve their current abilities and maturity, organizations use diagnostic instruments such as maturity models and other assessment frameworks. Increasing numbers of these are being developed in digital curation. Their central role in strategic decision making raises the need to evaluate their fitness for this purpose and develop guidelines for their design and evaluation. A comprehensive review of assessment frameworks, however, found little evidence that existing assessment frameworks have been evaluated systematically, and no methods for their evaluation. This article proposes a new methodology for evaluating the design and use of assessment frameworks. It builds on prior research on maturity models and combines analytic and empirical evaluation methods to explain how the design of assessment frameworks influences their application in practice, and how the design process can effectively take this into account. We present the evaluation methodology and its application to two frameworks. The evaluation results lead to guidelines for the design process of assessment frameworks in digital curation. The methodology provides insights to the designers of the evaluated frameworks that they can consider in future revisions; methodical guidance for researchers in the field; and practical insights and words of caution to organizations keen on diagnosing their abilities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)55-68
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of the Association for Information Science and Technology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2020
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Information Systems
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Information Systems and Management
  • Library and Information Sciences


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  • Evaluating Assessment Frameworks in Digital Curation

    Becker, C., Maemura, E., Moles, N., Whyte, J., Kulovits, H. & Marks, S., Jul 2018, 59 p.

    Research output: Book/Report/Conference proceedingTechnical report

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