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Digital Preservation Policy & Strategy: Where Do I Start?

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As publishers, libraries and museums increasingly create, collect, and depend upon digital data and collections, preservation policies and strategies are more important than ever. Digital preservation policies should be designed in such a way that they will actually be used and referred to and they should align with overall digital strategy. This presentation will present a simple framework for getting started (or re-started) on digital preservation in your organization.

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Digital Preservation Policy & Strategy: Where Do I Start?

  1. 1. Athenaeum2l Christine Madsen & Megan Hurst @mccarthymadsen @MHzUX www.athenaeum21.com December 7 2016 | NISO & NFAIS Virtual Conference Digital Preservation Policy & Strategy: Where Do I Start?
  2. 2. www.athenaeum21.com © Athenaeum21 Athenaeum21: Who We Are 2 Megan Hurst, MLIS, MFA Co- Founder, Chief Experience Officer & Head of US Operations @MHzUX Christine Madsen, MLIS, DPhil Co-Founder, Chief Innovation Officer & Head of UK Operations @mccarthymadsen Expertise • Web & SaaS Product Development & Management • Agile Software Development • Optimization for Multi-Channel Publishing (web, mobile, audio, video, print) • Assessment of Digital Services • User Experience Research & Design Work Experience MIDIOR Consulting, Harvard, EBSCO, Athenaeum21 Expertise • Information Management Systems • Data Management Strategy • Data Preservation • Process Design & Management • Information Conversion (Physical to Digital) Work Experience UCSD, Harvard, Oxford, Bodleian, Athenaeum21
  3. 3. Our Philosophy High-quality data and information is fundamental to human agency, citizenship, scholarship, research, enterprise, and government. Human use and access to data and information determines its value. Data and information are valuable assets, and should be managed as such. 3
  4. 4. www.athenaeum21.com © Athenaeum21 Contents 4 Digital Preservation Policy & Strategy 1. Why 2. What 3. How
  5. 5. Why Digital Preservation? 5
  6. 6. www.athenaeum21.com © Athenaeum21 LOTS of Data 6 1.Increasing quantity 2.Increasing variety 3.Increasing pressure to preserve
  7. 7. How do you make these decisions? 8
  8. 8. www.athenaeum21.com © Athenaeum21 Rules vs. Framework 9 NOT about giving you the rules to decide what to keep vs. what to toss ABOUT providing a framework for understanding what decisions to make
  9. 9. www.athenaeum21.com © Athenaeum21 10 The answers about what “to keep” and what “to toss” differ for each institution However, The PRINCIPLES of how to make these decisions are the same. First Principles
  10. 10. www.athenaeum21.com © Athenaeum21 11 “we just need a digital repository” Or “we should take an emulation approach rather than a migration approach” Common Traps
  11. 11. www.athenaeum21.com © Athenaeum21 Saving time and money 12 • Think about your strategy and policies • Start with a basic plan • What do you want to do? • What is the mission of your organization? • What are its goals?
  12. 12. www.athenaeum21.com © Athenaeum21 13 “a plan of action designed to achieve a long-term or overall aim” So, in order to create a strategy, you need to know what your aim is Strategy First
  13. 13. www.athenaeum21.com © Athenaeum21 14 a digital preservation strategy is about supporting your institution in its goals and mission through the preservation of digital data and artefacts. So, what are the mission and goals of your organization? Basic Premise
  14. 14. www.athenaeum21.com © Athenaeum21 15 a clear connection between the goals of your organization and the digital preservation activities in which you are engaging So, then what is a policy? Strategy
  15. 15. www.athenaeum21.com © Athenaeum21 16 A policy is there to help staff adhere to and/or contribute to the strategyPolicy
  16. 16. www.athenaeum21.com © Athenaeum21 A Policy Should Provide: 17 • The people on the ground with the answers to ‘should I keep this? Or toss it?’ • A cost-effective way for people to make decisions. • The CONFIDENCE to make decisions on their own without having to check with a bunch of people. • Some clarity for end-users about why you are making certain decisions
  17. 17. www.athenaeum21.com © Athenaeum21 18 • Break the work into bite-sized pieces • Stay focused on defining the problem BEFORE deciding on a solution Why the separation ?
  18. 18. www.athenaeum21.com © Athenaeum21 Taxonomy of Topics (From LoC Review - 2013) 19 Access and Use Accessioning and Ingest Audit Bibliography Collaboration Content Scope Glossary/Terminology Mandates Metadata or Documentation Policy/Strategy Review Preservation Model/ Strategy Preservation Planning Rights and Restriction Management Roles and Responsibilities Security Management Selection/Appraisal Staff Training/Education Storage, Duplication, and Backup Sustainability Planning http://blogs.loc.gov/thesignal/2013/08/analysis-of-current-digital-preservation-policies-archives-libraries-and-museums/
  19. 19. www.athenaeum21.com © Athenaeum21 20 tackles too much at once conflates three different things makes the task overwhelming has the wrong people making the decisions at the wrong level The Problem
  20. 20. Solution: Break the task into three parts
  21. 21. www.athenaeum21.com © Athenaeum21 22 Collaboration Content Scope Mandates Policy/Strategy Review Sustainability Planning 1 Strategy
  22. 22. www.athenaeum21.com © Athenaeum21 23 Access and Use Metadata or Documentation Preservation Model/ Strategy Preservation Planning Rights and Restriction Management Selection/Appraisal Staff Training/Education 2 Policy
  23. 23. www.athenaeum21.com © Athenaeum21 24 Accessioning and Ingest Audit Roles and Responsibilities Security Management Storage, Duplication, and Backup 3 Operations
  24. 24. www.athenaeum21.com © Athenaeum21 25 Strategy = senior leadership Policy = managers - the people who have contact with your user base Operations = techies - the people on the ground People
  25. 25. www.athenaeum21.com © Athenaeum21 26 Strategy = revise every 10 years Policy = every 3-5 years Operations = review annually and revise as needed Shelf Life
  26. 26. www.athenaeum21.com © Athenaeum21 3 Essential Things 27 • Technology -- most people focus here and people want a shiny solution, even if it is expensive. But the technology should be the end-point, not the beginning. • Organizational support -- people have to believe this is critical to the mission and goals of an organization and that is why a strategy that makes that connection explicitly is important. • Resources -- and those resources need to be both human and financial
  27. 27. www.athenaeum21.com © Athenaeum21 Human & Financial Resources 28 • You need a team of committed people at all three of these levels → strategy, policy, and operations • You need a budget • And advocacy at all levels
  28. 28. www.athenaeum21.com © Athenaeum21 3 part approach to digital preservation 29 Strategy Policy Digital Preservation Operations Tech- nologyPeople
  29. 29. A Good Strategic Approach Can Make things MORE Preservable (in addition to reinforcing organisational mission & strategy)
  30. 30. www.athenaeum21.com © Athenaeum21 31 “if we start collecting digital research data to preserve, do we also need to start preserving the software that was used to create and manipulate the dataset?” Common Questions
  31. 31. www.athenaeum21.com © Athenaeum21 32 “What are the significant properties of any given object?” And how do they fit with what we are trying to achieve? Are the methods new? Or are just the research outputs important? Better Question
  32. 32. www.athenaeum21.com © Athenaeum21 33 Is yours an organization that collects the raw materials of research? Do you have as part of your mission to preserve the process of scholarship (archives, manuscripts, etc.) or do you only collect the outputs? If the latter, why would you start now? Better Question
  33. 33. www.athenaeum21.com © Athenaeum21 Engaging with Researchers 34 • Engage in a conversation about the significant properties of their digital outputs • And help them understand how separating the data from the interface can have a significant impact on the preservability of their research data.
  34. 34. Content Interface SCENE I. DUKE ORSINO's palace. Enter DUKE ORSINO, CURIO, and other Lords; Musicians attending DUKE ORSINO If music be the food of love, play on; Give me excess of it, that, surfeiting, The appetite may sicken, and so die. That strain again! it had a dying fall: O, it came o'er my ear like the sweet sound, That breathes upon a bank of violets, Stealing and giving odour! Enough; no more: 'Tis not so sweet now as it was before. O spirit of love! how quick and fresh art thou, That, notwithstanding thy capacity Receiveth as the sea, nought enters there, Of what validity and pitch soe'er, But falls into abatement and low price, Even in a minute: so full of shapes is fancy That it alone is high fantastical.
  35. 35. www.athenaeum21.com © Athenaeum21
  36. 36. www.athenaeum21.com © Athenaeum21 37
  37. 37. Content Interface SCENE I. DUKE ORSINO's palace. Enter DUKE ORSINO, CURIO, and other Lords; Musicians attending DUKE ORSINO If music be the food of love, play on; Give me excess of it, that, surfeiting, The appetite may sicken, and so die. That strain again! it had a dying fall: O, it came o'er my ear like the sweet sound, That breathes upon a bank of violets, Stealing and giving odour! Enough; no more: 'Tis not so sweet now as it was before. O spirit of love! how quick and fresh art thou, That, notwithstanding thy capacity Receiveth as the sea, nought enters there, Of what validity and pitch soe'er, But falls into abatement and low price, Even in a minute: so full of shapes is fancy That it alone is high fantastical.
  38. 38. www.athenaeum21.com © Athenaeum21 39 What is important or unique? Is it really the software? Can it be designed in such a way to separate them easily? Software becomes out of date in 12-24 months Data should last! Software vs Data
  39. 39. www.athenaeum21.com © Athenaeum21 40 Wherever possible - separate the data from the interface And use your strategy / policy / operations documents to frame these conversation on a daily basis. Strategy Policy Operations
  40. 40. www.athenaeum21.com © Athenaeum21 Thank You! Athenaeum2l www.athenaeum21.com Christine Madsen (UK) madsen@athenaeum21.com @mccarthymadsen Megan Hurst (US) hurst@athenaeum21.com @MHzUX

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