Life images

LIFE: Life Cycle Information for E-Literature

What is LIFE?

LIFE (Life Cycle Information for E-Literature) is a project looking at the life cycle of the collection and preservation of digital material. The project is a collaboration between University College London (UCL) Library Services and the British Library and funded by the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC).

LIFE completed its first phase (LIFE1) in April 2006 and the second phase (LIFE2) in August 2008. The third phase (LIFE3) began in August 2009, and will run for one year.

What does LIFE do?

LIFE1 examined the life cycles of key digital collections at UCL and the British Library and established the individual stages in the cycle. These stages were then costed to show the full financial commitment of collecting digital materials over the long term.

LIFE2 refined the LIFE Model and added three new exemplar Case Studies to further build upon LIFE1.

LIFE3, the third phase of the LIFE project, will expand the existing Generic Preservation Model from phases 1 and 2 to create a comprehensive suite of models covering all life cycle stages, providing greater accuracy and assurance in estimation.

What did LIFE deliver?

LIFE1 developed a methodology for analysing and costing the lifecycle of a collection of digital materials. It tested this methodology by applying it to real life collections in a number of Case Studies. It also developed a model for estimating the preservation costs of a digital objects lifecycle.

The final deliverables of the first phase of the project (LIFE1) can be found on the documentation page.
The Short Summary (pdf) of the project findings provides a useful overview of the project results.

Feedback received at the LIFE1 provided a useful steer on the design of the LIFE2 Project. Key aspects include further validation of the model, economic assessment of the LIFE approach and further testing and evidence generation via additional case studies.

One of the key deliverables for LIFE2 is to make the LIFE Model and findings more accessible to those institutions wishing to make use of the Model. Essentially, to answer the question - how is the LIFE work useful for our own collections? The final LIFE2 End of Project Report captures key elements of this discussion, and the project documentation can be found on the LIFE2 Documentation Page.

LIFE3 delivered a predictive costing tool that significantly improves the ability of organisations to plan and manage the preservation of digital content. This is available as an Excel model and a prototype web tool.

  • Link: UCL Library Services
  • Link: British Library
  • Link: Humanities Advanced Technology and Information Institute
  • Link: JISC
  • Link: RIN
  • Link: LIBER

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LIFE (Life Cycle Information for E-Literature) is a funded by the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) and Research Information Network (RIN) and is a collaboration between University College London (UCL) and the British Library