Friday, February 15, 2008

Digital Preservation Matters - 15 February 2008

How can we be sure we'll remember our digital past? Chris Gaylord. The Christian Science Monitor. February 14, 2008.

The same things that make digital so easy are the same things that make preservation difficult. “Losing personal files can be upsetting. But failing to protect academic, government, or corporate data could erase irreplaceable pieces of history.” The problems include the media and the formats. "It's the great challenge of the Informa­tion Age." Methods include emulation, writing programs to run the original programs on new equipment, and migration, updating the file without changing the content. Some are working on access models to pay for the preservation. There are several ways to address saving data, but you must know your needs and choose carefully.

Roundup of commentary on Harvard OA policy. Gavin Baker. Open Access News. February 13, 2008.

The Faculty of Arts and Sciences at Harvard adopted a Self-Archiving Mandate. The objective is to provide Open Access to its own scholarly output by saving the articles to its institutional repository. This has also mandated that the university be able to exercise the copyright for those articles. “In legal terms, the permission granted by each Faculty member is a nonexclusive, irrevocable, paid-up, worldwide license to exercise any and all rights under copyright relating to each of his or her scholarly articles, in any medium, and to authorize others to do the same, provided that the articles are not sold for a profit.” The Provost has said: “The goal of university research is the creation, dissemination, and preservation of knowledge….”

Supporting Digital Preservation & Asset Management in Institutions. Maureen Pennock. JISC. January 2008. [pdf]

This is a summary and reference list of various projects, models, workbooks, and resources, dealing with digital preservation and asset management. Some notes from the projects:

  • Automated tools are still not capable of assigning a value to digital assets, a vital step in determining where preservation resources are best spent.
  • Preservation is one part of the life cycle of the information; stages include creation, accession, ingest, metadata, storage and technical storage systems, access, and re-use
  • Metadata collection from depositors must be as simple as possible, and that automatically captured or generated metadata is the key to both information retrieval and information services.
  • An assessment of formats in the institutional repository is the first step to develop and implement a preservation action and a technology watch service.
  • Preservation and digital asset management is, in every case, wholly reliant upon one thing: money.
  • Preservation should not be considered as an end in itself: it should be considered within the life cycle of digital object management.

New Sharp 250mW Blu-ray Laser enables 6x faster Recording. Press release. February 14, 2008.

The company has introduced new components that will allow faster recording of blu-ray discs. The units will be available later this year.

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