Having confidence in the permanence of a digital resource requires a deep understanding of the preservation activities that will need to be performed throughout its lifetime and an ability to plan and resource for those activities. The LIFE (Lifecycle Information For E-Literature) and LIFE2 Projects have advanced understanding of the short and long-term costs in this complex area, facilitating better planning, comparison and evaluation of digital lifecycles. The LIFE Project created a digital lifecycle model based on previous work undertaken on the lifecycles of paper-based materials. It applied the model to real-life collections, modelling their lifecycles and studying their constituent processes. The LIFE2 Project has reviewed and refined the costing model and associated tools, making it easier for organizations to study, cost and compare their digital lifecycles in a useful way. New Case Studies provided useful practical experience of the application of these costing tools and brought the LIFE approach full circle by investigating the comparison of complex digital and analogue lifecycles. The Case Studies were able to elicit useful results, although digital preservation lifecycle costing remains a complex and involved process.
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