Digital Sustainability Scoring Model

Your digital files are only as secure as your storage infrastructure is sustainable. To test its reliability, go to This easily accessible tool allows collection managers to assess their storage infrastructure against requirements for a Trusted Digital Repository.

How does the Digital Sustainability Scoring Model work?

The scoring model is a survey that measures the status of your digital operations. The questionnaire guides you through the minefield of risks and threats.

Your final score highlights your digital management strengths and weaknesses, and indicates where you should intervene to further reduce your risks. The questions are grouped into seven clusters:

  • Mandate and policy: does your organisation have a mandate for the long-term preservation of digital files, and is your organisation sustainable in itself?

  • Preservation strategy: has your organisation made explicit what, for whom and how it preserves digital files?

  • Knowledge and organisation: does your organisation have proper in-house expertise and is it used adequately?

  • Technical infrastructure: does your organisation have a reliable and sustainable infrastructure for the preservation of digital files?

  • Ingest: does your organisation have procedures and requirements in place to manage the intake of digital files into your preservation system?

  • Planning and quality control: does your organisation have a mechanism in place to plan and monitor the accurate functioning of your digital repository and the implementation of your preservation strategy?

  • Access: does your organisation provide proper access to digital files?

Getting started with your score

It’s important for organisations to deal with risks systematically, starting by ensuring that each cluster is out of the red zone. The scoring model proposes a few targeted measures which can often resolve the biggest threats quickly. Less urgent measures can then be taken in a subsequent step. This ensures your digital storage becomes more secure in a systematic way, until a satisfactory level of safety is reached.


The first version of the Scoring Model was developed in 2014. The second, fully revised version has been available since January 2018. The assessment model was developed in collaboration with our Dutch colleagues from DEN (Culture and Digitisation Knowledge Institute) and NDE (Digital Heritage Network). The English version of the scoring model has been available since 2019.