Digital preservation cost: a cost accounting approach

Juanjo Boté (University of Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain)
Belen Fernandez-Feijoo (University of Vigo, Vigo, Spain)
Silvia Ruiz (University of Vigo, Vigo, Spain)

The Learning Organization

ISSN: 0969-6474

Publication date: 16 September 2013



Digital preservation (DP) is the term used to describe the processes that guarantee the accessibility of data in the long term. The high value of health information justifies the use of electronic health records and the DP of them. This paper aims to examine one of the economic aspects of DP, presenting a cost model proposal for DP in health care organizations.


Using a cost accounting methodology and beginning from the product and productive process definition, the authors propose a customized application of cost calculation to digital preservation for health data.


This paper contributes to the existing literature with a cost model proposal to calculate the cost of DP applying a cost analysis methodology.

Research limitations/implications

The authors present a cost model to the DP process in the health care field, with specific, concrete and limited kind of digital formats to be preserved. This can represent a limitation to this paper.

Practical implications

Implementing a cost model of DP in hospital is a practical way to obtain basic information for making decisions regarding preservation.


This paper sheds light on how to apply the methodology of one of the most traditional information systems, accounting, to one of the newest information systems, DP.



Boté, J., Fernandez-Feijoo, B. and Ruiz, S. (2013), "Digital preservation cost: a cost accounting approach", The Learning Organization, Vol. 20 No. 6, pp. 419-432.

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