Digital Sustainability at Oxford

Why we need Digital Sustainability

Oxford produces some of the best digital research in the world. We want to make that research accessible and sustainable for decades to come.

Many research projects in Oxford create websites or other data repositories. Funding ends, technologies change, and researchers move on to new projects. These projects span many disciplines in Oxford, across the University's academic divisions and its gardens, libraries and museums. Their websites continue to be used, added to, and adapted long after the initial project has ended. This "life's work" provides a vital resource for academic communities around the world, and also contributes to future research projects. 

These data and assets must be:

  • Live, ready to be continuously updated. Scholars continue to make new findings, which they want to make available and enable collaboration with other researchers. 
  • Open, available to access by researchers from institutions outside Oxford and across the world. In many cases, these are also important cultural heritage collections, used by broad communities with audiences that go well beyond the research environment. 
  • Discoverable, and ready to be queried in many ways. This provides the catalyst for future research projects and opens up new opportunities for collaboration.

The Digital Humanities Sustainability Project is committed to helping researchers access the right solutions for these challenges. We're currently developing our Digital Sustainability Service, which will offer support to projects across the Humanities Division and beyond. 

How we provide Digital Sustainability

We're launching our Digital Sustainability service in August 2020, offering support to Oxford University projects. This new service draws on multiple different repositories and archiving solutions across the University, as well as establishing a new, easy-to-use platform that will be free at the point of use for most projects. 

Our new Figshare platform will be available for new projects from January 2021. This repository is widely used across the academic world for publishing, preserving and accessing data and research outputs. However, we don't adopt a one-size-fits-all approach. We will aim to connect researchers with the Oxford University platform that best fits your project, needs, and resources. If you're planning a new digital project, or looking for a solution to keep an existing project online, please do get in touch

In the meantime, we've begun to transfer existing projects onto this new platform, beginning with some key Digital Humanities projects:

Fresco of saints in late antiquity

This project in the History Faculty, led by Professor Bryan Ward-Perkins, is a world-leading resource on religion in Late Antiquity.

 

avatar scigossip

This crowdsourcing project, from the department of English Language & Literature, explores collaborative cultures of scientific knowledge. Led by Professor Sally Shuttleworth, we are working to preserve this resource after its active crowd-sourcing work had ended.

Get in touch

From January 2021, our new Digital Sustainability platform will be open to new and existing digital projects from across Oxford University. If you are seeking a sustainablitly solution for your digital project, or are planning how to safeguard your future project's legacy, our free consultative service is open to you. Please email dhsustainability@it.ox.ac.uk.