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Digital Preservation Policies - SCAPE

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  • 1. Catherine Jones Science and Technology Facilities Council DPC Advanced Practitioners Course University of Glasgow, 17th July 2013 Digital Preservation Policy Why is it needed for SCAPE watch and planning tools?
  • 2. What is policy? • Policy is the written representation of the aims and objectives of an organisation. • It sets the environment for all other activities being undertaken. • It is influenced by many things: political, environmental, technical, financial and legal issues. • It can be hard to make policy in a new & developing area – such as Digital Preservation 2
  • 3. What is digital preservation policy? • The organisation’s aims and objectives about the long term care of digital objects: • Preservation strategies and acceptable actions • Decision about the digital objects (formats, significant properties etc) • Who the material is being preserved for • Resourcing • Responsibilities 3
  • 4. Part of wider policy landscape IT infrastructure policy Digital preservation policy Organisational Resourcing policy Collection Management policy 4
  • 5. The role of policy in planning and watch 5
  • 6. SCAPE Policy Levels 6 Guidance High level General objectives Applies to all parts of the organisation and collections Written in natural language to be read by a human being Preservation Procedure More detailed level General approaches Written in natural language to be read by a human being Control Specific, measurable objectives Applies to specific collections or formats In two forms: natural language and machine readable form (RDF)
  • 7. Guidance policy • This will be at a high level that a Director of an organisation would understand. Topics: • Preservation goals & strategies of an organization • Designated Community/Stakeholders • Digital Objects • Metadata • Authenticity • Rights • Standards • Organisation • Storage 7
  • 8. Preservation Procedure • Preservation Procedure: Natural language human readable policy which may encompass the whole organisation or may be focused on a particular collection or material type depending on the needs of the particular organisation • SCAPE outcome in this area will be information and guidance on how to construct this level of policy and what factors need to be taken into consideration when composing it for areas of particular interest in watch and planning. 8 The list of suitable data formats for digital preservation will be based on the following criteria: • Openness of the format: Is the format well described and is documentation available? Is the format subject to any patents? Is a licence or permission required to use the format? • Distribution of the format: Is the format used widespread? Will many programmes be able to understand the format? • Error tolerance of the format: Will a single bit error make the whole file unreadable? Has the format been compressed (lossless or lossy data compression)? • Acceptance of the format as a preservation format: How is the format evaluation on corresponding lists of recommended formats? • Dependency of the format of external sources of information, for example fonts or pictures with external references. • Ability of the format to embed data in other formats, for example embedding of video in a pdf-file. Based on these criteria the owner of the digital collections can add a data format to the list as “Recommended” and “Accepted”.
  • 9. Control • These are statements derived from the Preservation Level, which are in both a human readable and machine-readable form. 9 Model links a particular content set (collection) with a particular user community (specific requirements) with specific measurable objectives which can be tested automatically
  • 10. Stage 2: Policy statements within the whole policy 1. Clarification of implicit meaning 2. Identification of control policy preservation case 3. Identification of objectives 4. Generate control statements 10 Stage 1: Whole policy activities 1. Identify the content set the policy addresses 2. Identify the user communities/roles required by the policy 3. Map policy statements to high level concepts. Creating Control policy statements This work was partially supported by the SCAPE Project. The SCAPE project is co‐funded by the European Union under FP7 ICT‐2009.4.1 (Grant Agreement number Stage 3: Review the Preservation Cases and identify any rationalisation required
  • 11. Worked Example 11 “3.1.1 All raw data will be curated in well-defined formats for which the means of reading the data will be made available by the Facility” Express some of the implicit information and rewrite to: • “All data curated will be in well-defined formats” • “Approved well-defined formats will be able to be read” • “The reader will be supplied by at least the ISIS Facility” Also need to express what “curated” means Goals/Objectives: 1. File format must be of an approved format for the contentset 2. The file format should have documentation 3. Any instrument specific schema should be documented 4. There should be at least one piece of software which can read the files 5. This file reader should be available from the organisation holding the data 6. This file reader should be able to be used by the designated user community 7. The file format should be able to be validated 8. Fixity checks should be undertaken Using the contentset 2011 LET Calibration and a user community of domain specific researchers i. The file reader MUST be available to the designated user community Using the contentset 2011 LET Calibration and a user community of ISIS data managers i. File format MUST be NeXus ii. The file format MUST have documentation iii. Any instrument specific schema MUST be documented iv. Nexus File reader software available > 1 v. NeXus file reader MUST be located at STFC vi. The file format MUST be able to be validated vii. Fixity checks MUST be able to be undertaken
  • 12. Conclusion • Having explicit policy in natural language is important • Expressing policy in machine testable ways is more complex but can bring benefit through use of tools • Points to note: • natural language preservation procedure policy defining acceptable states in statements but control level defining measurable attributes in questions • Written policy is at a fairly abstract level and practicalities may be addressed in implementation plan/job procedure document or one-off project plan • Implicit information understood by human audience which needs explicitly expressing for computers 12
  • 13. Thank you • Partners in the work package are Barbara Sierman (KB & lead); Gry Elstrom (SB); Sean Bechhofer (University of Manchester) and Catherine Jones (STFC) • Any further questions about SCAPE policy Catherine.jones@stfc.ac.uk 13