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How to Assure Quality of Software Preservation Early in a Project Life Cycle and Ongoing Efforts

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posted on 27.02.2019 by Sandra Gesing, natalie meyers, Rick Johnson, Zheng Wang
With the increasing importance of software for research, preservation of software has become a challenge that many researchers face. Version control systems such as GitHub and containerizations such as Docker can deliver part of the solution but preservation of software requires tools for assuring reusability of the computational methods, reproducibility of results as well as advanced preservation features, e.g., keyword assignment, fixity tools and indicators for the quality of the preservation. Researchers typically reach out to digital librarians for support for the preservation process at the end of the lifecycle of projects. The point of time creates not only a tight schedule and is more labor intensive but also risks the loss of important intermediate data. The project PresQT (Preservation Quality Tool) funded by IMLS tackles these challenges by engaging stakeholders in a collaborative effort to enhance reproducibility and more open sharing of software and data through open source development of services. PresQT is repository and technology agnostic and engages partners for testing against diverse existing solutions like ReproServer, Fedora, HUBzero and JupyterHub, as well as Software Preservation Network’s EaaSI emulation service, and dashboards from the National Data Service. Advisors and testing collaborators from Confederation of Open Access Repositories, CERN, RDA, Science Gateways Community Institute, and West Big Data Innovation Hub inform priorities.

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IMLS LG-70-18-0082-18

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