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Collaboration on appraisal and collection development for the long-term preservation of digital content
 

Collaboration on appraisal and collection development for the long-term preservation of digital content

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Slides from a presentation given at: Appraisal in the Digital World, Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei, Rome, Italy, 15-16 November 2007

Slides from a presentation given at: Appraisal in the Digital World, Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei, Rome, Italy, 15-16 November 2007

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    Collaboration on appraisal and collection development for the long-term preservation of digital content Collaboration on appraisal and collection development for the long-term preservation of digital content Presentation Transcript

    • Collaboration on appraisal and collection development for the long-term preservation of digital content Michael Day DCC Research Team UKOLN, University of Bath Bath BA2 7AY, United Kingdom [email_address]
    • Presentation outline
      • Different approaches to selection and appraisal
      • Collection development
      • The importance of collaboration for:
        • Digital preservation
        • Institutional repositories
      • General principles for selection and appraisal
    • Approaches to selection (1)
      • Fully comprehensive
        • “Storage is cheap. Why select?” (topic of ASIST student chapter panel discussion, UNC, 2007)
        • May seem to provide a way of avoiding the cultural bias evident in most selection regimes
        • But, ad hoc decisions on retention may still be made, but maybe on pragmatic grounds (e.g., available technology, security, privacy) with little in the way of accountability
        • It also does not resolve the practical question of who should be responsible for preservation
    • Approaches to selection (2)
      • Different professional approaches to selection
        • Archivists focus on “appraisal”
          • Based on well-established theoretical principles
          • An important part of archival practice
        • Other cultural heritage organisations focus on the development and management of collections
          • Based on a different set of assumptions
    • Example: Web archives (1)
      • Highlights differences between the archival and collection development approaches
        • Archivists and records managers approach Web operations as a potential source or generator of records
          • Identify best practice for managing Web records, e.g. TNA
          • Mitigating organisational risk
          • Enhancing accountability
    • Example: Web archives (2)
        • International Internet Preservation Consortium
          • Internet Archive and national libraries
          • View Web as a source of “published” content that can be harvested to enhance existing collections
          • Whether highly selective (e.g. UK Web Archiving Consortium, National Library of Australia’s PANDORA archive) or broader in scope (domain capture), national library led-initiatives tend to focus on traditional collection development criteria
    • Collection development (1)
      • Typically focuses both on institutional objectives (e.g. “supporting the research and teaching needs of the university”) and subject needs
      • Traditionally includes a range of activities:
        • Selection, acquisition, deselection (weeding), disposal, preservation
        • Part of collection management (also includes policies, budget allocation, collection evaluation
      • Most collections will change over time, e.g. responding to changes to institutional objectives and the resources available (money and space)
    • Collection development (2)
        • Specific selection factors might include:
          • The overall purpose of the collection (e.g. supporting education and research)
          • Existing subject strengths
          • The information needs of users
          • Quality, accuracy, authoritativeness, currency, …
          • Value for money
          • Statutory requirements (e.g. for national libraries)
    • Collection development (3)
        • Collection development policies
          • These help guide ongoing collecting activities and form the basis for evaluation
          • In the library sector, these can be “highly charged political documents and … the province of the most senior library management” (Derek Law)
          • Helps to define organisational goals
          • “ Deaccessioning” can lead to controversy (e.g. Nicholson Baker’s Double Fold )
    • Collection development (4)
      • Digital resources raise new kinds of selection issues:
        • Defining content, e.g. understanding the “significant properties” of resources (vitally important for making preservation decisions)
        • The need for various types of metadata
        • Access
          • The longer-term implications of licenses
          • User support and training needs
    • Collection development (5)
        • The principle that it is important to select resources early in their lifecycle
          • Obsolescence leads to loss
          • Implicit knowledge gets lost
          • Metadata and documentation is hard to (re)create retrospectively
    • Collaboration on preservation (1)
      • Collaborative infrastructures have long been identified as necessary for digital preservation and curation, e.g.:
          • Preservation is "an ongoing, long-term commitment, often shared, and cooperatively met, by many stakeholders" (Lavoie & Dempsey, 2004)
    • Collaboration on preservation (2)
      • Examples:
        • Shared services (e.g. registries of representation information, third-party services for bit-level preservation)
        • Networks of "trust" (audit and certification)
        • Collaboration on policy level, e.g. on collection development and access
    • Institutional repositories (1)
      • Institutional repositories require collaborative infrastructures:
        • Distributed services linked (for access) by metadata harvesting
          • Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting (OAI-PMH)
          • Data Providers (repositories) and Service Providers (aggregators)
        • Potential for the development of shared services to support repositories (Swan & Awre, Linking UK Repositories (JISC, 2006)
    • Institutional repositories (2)
      • Potential shared services identified by Swan & Awre (2006):
        • Resource discovery
        • Building or hosting repositories
        • Advisory services (e.g. on IPR, preservation)
        • Content creation, digitisation
        • Metadata capture and enhancement
        • Name authorities
        • Citation analysis and research assessment
        • Preservation services
    • IRs and preservation (1)
      • Shared services for preservation:
        • Assumption that not all institutions with repositories will be able to manage long-term preservation challenges, e.g.:
          • Lack of local expertise and resources
          • Existing availability of third party services, e.g. provided by subject-based data centres, national libraries
          • Preservation is a logical area for collaboration
    • IRs and preservation (2)
      • Examples:
        • DARE (Digital Academic Repositories) initiative (Netherlands)
          • National Library of the Netherlands (KB) has responsibility for content deposited in participating repositories
        • Repository Bridge project (UK)
          • Demonstration of harvesting e-theses (using OAI-PMH and METS) by the National Library of Wales
    • IRs and preservation (3)
      • Examples (continued):
        • SHERPA DP project (UK) - JISC funded
          • Developed disaggregated framework for outsourcing preservation, based on the OAIS model
          • Explored the packaging and transfer of content (using METS)
    • IRs and preservation (4)
      • Examples (continued):
        • Preserv project (UK) - JISC funded
          • Simple model of modular services, e.g. for:
            • Bit-level preservation
            • Object characterisation and validation (e.g. using registries like PRONOM-DROID)
            • Preservation Planning (risk assessments, technology watch, etc.)
            • Preservation strategies (e.g. migration)
    • IRs and preservation (5) Preserv service provider model (Hichcock, et al ., 2007)
    • IRs and collection development (1)
      • Collection development issues for :
        • Content types
          • Peer-reviewed research outputs, scientific datasets, administrative records, ...
          • Will have different preservation priorities
        • Object types (file formats)
          • Policies will have direct influence on risks (and costs) of long-term preservation, e.g.:
            • Accepting anything vs. defining the specific standards to be used
    • IRs and collection development (2)
        • Ongoing review (and weeding) of collections
          • Withdrawal of content (contentious issue)
          • Superseded or duplicate material
        • Defining preservation service levels
          • Different policies needed for different types of material
    • IRs and collection development (3)
      • Potential areas for collaboration:
        • Ingest workflows
          • Checking conformance with submission rules
          • Automated tools for format characterisation and validation, maybe conversion (normalisation)
          • Metadata enhancement, e.g. consistent forms of name
    • Shared collection development (1)
      • Collection development has been a traditional focus of library co-operation, e.g.:
        • Farmington Plan (1940s)
        • University of London Depository Library
      • The concept of "virtual collections"
        • IFLA Universal Availability of Publications (UAP) core programme
      • Also applies to digital collections
        • OhioLINK
        • California Digital Library
    • Shared collection development (2)
      • Collaborative collection development and digital preservation
        • Potentially reducing unnecessary duplication of effort
        • Enabling co-ordinated decisions to be made about the redundancy and geographical distribution of content
        • Also supporting the application of different preservation strategies to the same class of content
    • Shared collection development (3)
        • Identifying collections at risk and supporting their rescue
      • In order to do these things, it may be useful to have some common understanding of what collection development and appraisal should mean in the digital era
        • The main appraisal activities identified by the InterPARES Appraisal Task Force may be useful here
    • InterPARES appraisal framework (1)
      • 1. Compiling information
        • Identifying the form and contexts of records
        • Identifying the particular components that need preservation
        • Based on solid research (not just collecting it together in a haphazard fashion)
        • This information could become part of the record’s metadata
    • InterPARES appraisal framework (2)
      • 2. Assessing value
        • Judgement based on creator’s needs and societal needs
        • May be context dependent (institution specific)
          • Assessing continuing value
          • Authenticity
          • Determining value
    • InterPARES appraisal framework (3)
      • 3. Determining the feasibility of preservation
        • Determining value is not enough in itself
        • Need also to consider whether the records are able to be preserved as authentic records
        • Takes into account the organisational ability to undertake preservation
        • Gathers technical information
      • 4. Making the appraisal decision
        • Based on value and feasibility
        • All decisions made must be documented
    • InterPARES appraisal framework (4)
      • A generic framework: as developed has a focus on records, but the general principles, broadly interpreted, could be applied to other forms of content, e.g. scientific datasets, Web content
      • Does not presuppose a particular preservation approach
      • Encourages a focus on organisational objectives, object contexts, object value, the technical feasibility of preservation, and the determination of “significant properties”
      • Helps to document the selection process
    • Conclusions
      • The use of a consistent set of principles might help to encourage:
        • More consistency in documenting selection and appraisal decisions across domains, with benefits for collaboration
        • May provide insight into assessing value and preservation feasibility in specific contexts (like Web archives)