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4C – Collaboration to Clarify the Costs of Curation


The objective of the 4C project was to identify and bundle relevant projects and initiatives working in the field of long-term preservation costs and to make these accessible to interested groups. How to make existing cost calculation tools more practical for users in public and private institutions was also investigated.

Systems and infrastructures for long-term digital preservation are expensive to set up and maintain. There is still little experience to draw upon and so many institutions base their long-term preservation activities on rough estimates. However, reliable cost data and cost models are needed in order to plan and calculate long-term preservation projects more accurately.

Two of the many practicable results of the 4C projects are the Curation Costs Exchange (CCEx) - an online platform for the pooling of experience and cost information in the field of long-term digital preservation: and the 4C Roadmap, a document consisting of a vision and six central statements aimed at providing an overview of required action and responsibilities with regard to costs and cost calculation in long-term digital preservation over the next five years until the launch of the Horizon2020 Initiative:

All reports and other materials can be downloaded free of charge from the project website:

The German National Library led the "Engagement" work package and contributed to all four other work packages (Management, Assessment, Enhancement, Roadmap).

Project partners

  • Higher Education Funding Council for England (for JISC) – overall project management
  • The Royal Library, Denmark
  • INESC-ID (Portuguese IT institute)
  • Danish National Archives
  • German National Library
  • University of Glasgow
  • University of Essex
  • KEEP Solutions
  • Digital Preservation Coalition
  • Verein zur Förderung der IT-Sicherheit in Österreich
  • University of Edinburgh
  • Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW)
  • National Archives of Estonia


European Commission, Seventh European Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development

Project duration

1 February 2013 - 31 January 2015

Project homepage

Last update: 09.03.2015

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