Control policy formulation


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The presentation was given as part of a SCAPE Training event on ‘Effective Evidence-Based Preservation Planning’ in Aarhus, Denmark, 13-14 November 2013.

Catherine Jones, Science and Technology Facilities Council, presented the concept of control policies and what is needed to produce machine understandable control policies.

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Control policy formulation

  1. 1. Control Policy formulation The why and how Catherine Jones Science and Technology Facilities Council SCAPE Training Statsbiblioteket, Aarhus, 13-14 November 2013
  2. 2. Format of this session • 11:15 – 11:40 Presentation on creating control policies • 11:40 – 12:25 Practical Exercise (small groups) • 12:25 - 12:45 Discussion about the practical exercise and the topic of policy in general 2
  3. 3. What is digital preservation policy about? • 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. 4. The role of policy in planning and watch 4
  5. 5. SCAPE Policy Levels - recap Guidance Preservation Procedure Control High level More detailed level Specific, measurable objectives General objectives General approaches Applies to specific collections or formats Applies to all parts of the organisation and collections Written in natural language to be read by a human being In two forms: natural language and machine readable form (RDF) Written in natural language to be read by a human being 5
  6. 6. Why two forms of control policies? • Natural language policy needed for humans and may (should) already exist – in procedures/collection management policy/implicit understanding etc. • Need machine understandable form to use automated tools 6
  7. 7. What is special about SCAPE machine understandable control policies? • Related to a specific set of circumstances – the collection of digital objects; the people who will use them and a purpose. Known as a preservation case • Need to be specific so that they can be measured or assessed. • File format must be TIFF • There must be 3 copies of each object • Not all control policies may be machine actionable • There must be 3 members of staff who have qualification X 7
  8. 8. SCAPE Control Policy model links a particular content set (collection) with a particular user community (specific requirements) with specific measurable objectives which can be tested automatically 8
  9. 9. Some examples 15
  10. 10. What do you need to create machine understandable control policies? • Some written policy – either at the Preservation Procedure level, or at the more detailed control level. • An understanding of the goals of preservation • Knowledge of the collection and who uses it & manages it & any procedures in place. • Some appreciation of what topics you are likely to need Planning & Watch activities for 16
  11. 11. Creating Control policy statements Stage 1: Whole policy activities Stage 2: Policy statements within the whole policy Stage 3: Review and rationalise 17
  12. 12. Creating Control policy statements Stage 1: Whole policy activities These are activities considering the policy as a whole 1. Identify the content set the policy addresses • What type of material is being preserved in this case? 2. Identify the user communities/roles required by the policy • Who will be using the material or interacting with the material? 3. Map policy statements to high level concepts. • In general what type of activities are the statements referring to? 18
  13. 13. Creating Control policy statements Stage 2: Policy statements within the whole policy For each statement or section in the policy undertake: 1. Clarification of implicit meaning • Are there hidden meanings/context that needs to be stated explicitly? 2. Identification of control policy preservation case • What issue is the statement addressing? 3. Identification of objectives • What are the measureable statements which embody the policy statement? 4. Generate control statements • Use of a tool or knowledge of RDF to create machine understandable statements 19
  14. 14. Creating Control policy statements Stage 3: Review & Rationalise For preservation cases and associated objectives review: 1. Are there any objectives which are in every preservation case? • These are candidates for organisation related objectives 2. Do some of the preservation cases overlap/are the same? • You need to consider whether fewer but broader preservation cases or multiple specific ones is the most appropriate. This depends on what you intend to use them for, and what overheads there are in maintaining the optimal number 20
  15. 15. Worked Example Using raw data will 2011 LET in well-defined formats for which of means “3.1.1 Allthe contentsetbe curatedCalibration and a user community the domainof specific researchers reading the data will be made available by the Facility” i. The file reader MUST be available to the designated user community Express some of the implicit information and rewrite to: Goals/Objectives: Using the contentset be of an approved format for the community of ISIS data 1. File format must 2011 LET Calibration and a user contentset • “All data curated will be in well-defined formats” managers format should have documentation 2. The file • “Approved well-defined formats will be able to be read” 3. Any instrument specific schema should be documented i. File format MUST be NeXus • “The reader will be supplied by at least the ISIS Facility” 4. There should be at least one piece of software which can read the files Also need to express what “curated” means ii. The file format MUST haveavailable from the organisation holding the data 5. This file reader should be documentation iii. Any instrument specific be able to be useddocumented 6. This file reader should schema MUST be by the designated user iv. Nexus File reader software available > 1 community 7. The file format should be located at STFC v. NeXus file reader MUSTbe able to be validated 8. Fixity checks should be able to be vi. The file format MUSTbe undertakenvalidated vii. Fixity checks MUST be able to be undertaken 21
  16. 16. 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 • Natural language policy defines statements of acceptable states; machine understandable control level asks measureable questions • Implicit information understood by human audience which needs explicitly expressing for computers • Written policy is at a fairly abstract level and practicalities may be addressed in implementation plan/job procedure document or one-off project plan 22
  17. 17. Next – a practical exercise • You should have: • The example scenario • Sheets with possible attributes and measures • Control Policy worksheets • In pairs or small groups try converting the scenario into control policy statements 23