This week, I have been mostly reworking and reviewing the ULCC AIDA toolkit. We’re planning to relaunch it later this year, with a new name, new scope, and new scorecard.
AIDA toolkit – a short history
The AIDA acronym stands for “Assessing Institutional Digital Assets”. Kevin Ashley and myself completed this JISC-funded project in 2009, and the idea was it could be used by any University – i.e. an Institution – to assess its own capability for managing digital assets.
At the time, AIDA was certainly intended for an HE/FE audience; and that’s reflected in the “Institutional” part of the name, and the type of digital content in scope. Content likely to have been familiar to anyone working in HE – digital libraries, research publications, digital datasets. As a matter of fact, AIDA was pressed into action as a toolkit directly relevant to the needs of Managing Research Data, as is shown by its reworking in 2011 into the CARDIO Toolkit.
I gather CARDIO, under the auspices of Joy Davidson, HATII and the DCC, has since been quite successful and its take-up among UK Institutions to measure or benchmark their own preparedness for Research Data Management perhaps indicates we were doing something right.
A new AIDA toolkit for 2016
My plan is to open up the AIDA toolkit so that it can be used by more people, apply to more content, and operate on a wider basis. In particular, I want it to apply to:
- Not just Universities, but any Organisation that has digital content
- Not just research / library content, but almost anything digital (the term “Digital Assets” always seemed vague to me; where the term “Digital Asset Management” is in fact something very specific and may refer to particular platforms and software)
- Not just repository managers, but also archivists, records managers, and librarians working with digital content.
I’m also going to be adding a simpler scorecard element; we had one for AIDA before, but it got a little too “clever” with its elaborate weighted scores.
Readers may legitimately wonder if the community really “needs” another self-assessment tool; we teach several of the known models on our Digital Preservation Training Programme, including the use of the TRAC framework for self-assessment purposes; and since doing AIDA, the excellent DPCMM has become available, and indeed the latter has influenced my thinking. The new AIDA toolkit will continue to be a free download, though, and we’re aiming to retain its overall simplicity, which we believe is one of its strengths.
A new acronym
As part of this plan, I’m keen to bring out and highlight the “Capability” and “Management” parts of the AIDA toolkit, factors which have been slightly obscured by its current name and acronym. With this in mind, I need a new name and a new acronym. The elements that must be included in the title are:
- Assessing or Benchmarking
- Capacity or Readiness [for]
- Management [of]
- Digital Content
I’ve already tried feeding these combinations through various online acronym generators, and come up empty. Hence we would like to invite the wider digital preservation community & use the power of crowd-sourcing to collect suggestions & ideas. Simply comment below or tweet us at @dart_ulcc and use the #AIDAthatsnotmyname hashtag. Naturally, the winner(s) of this little crowd-sourcing contest will receive written credit in the final relaunched AIDA toolkit.