Tuesday, May 12, 2015

A Digital Preservation Environment Maturity Matrix for NSLA Libraries

A Digital Preservation Environment Maturity Matrix for NSLA Libraries. Sarah Slade, David Pearson, Libor Coufal. iPres Proceeduings. October 2014.
The National and State Libraries of Australasia (NSLA) established a Digital Preservation Group to understand the state of digital preservation in the various libraries and to determine the core requirements for managing the preservation of digital collections. They listed and described the functional components of an ideal digital preservation environment and created a matrix of the current stage of development against each component for each NSLA library. Related projects by others include the National Digital Stewardship Alliance and BenchmarkDP.

NSLA Digital Preservation Environment Maturity Matrix
  • Underlying Assumptions
    • actively collecting digital material
    • committed to preserving its digital materials for the long term.
    • staff (or vendor) dedicated to the project
    • intends to comply with OAIS
  • Functional Component
An ideal digital preservation environment should contain a mix of policies, processes and resources (including staff and technologies). The OAIS model calls for organizations to:
  • Negotiate for and accept information from information producers.
  • Obtain sufficient control of the information for long-term preservation.
  • Determine the designated user community.
  • Ensure the information is independently understandable to the designated community without the need of special resources.
  • Follow documented preservation policies and procedures.
  • Make the information available to the designated community.
Instead of just listing the functions, they created a set of questions about the OAIS functionality in order to help responders describe their organization's level of digital preservation maturity, and included the OAIS functions:
  • Pre-ingest Activities
  • Ingest
  • Archival Storage
  • Data Management
  • Administration
  • Digital Preservation Planning
  • Access
  • Maturity Model
The Group modified the Capability Maturity Model, using 5 levels:
  1. Initial. Processes are usually ad hoc. Achievement depends on the competence of the people in the organization and not on the use of proven processes. Products and services usually exceed budget and schedule
  2.  Repeatable. Basic digital preservation processes are established.  Digital preservation achievements are repeatable, though not all activities.
  3. Defined. Digital preservation activities are performed and managed according to documented plans. Processes for digital preservation are established and improved over time. 
  4. Managed. Management can effectively control the digital preservation effort, using precise measurements.  Quantitative quality goal for digital preservation processes
  5. Optimising. Organisation focuses on continually improving process performance. The effects of deployed digital preservation process improvements are measured and evaluated against the quantitative process-improvement objectives.   
"NSLA has identified digital preservation as an area of priority. The importance of this area to NSLA libraries is reflected in the creation of the Digital Preservation Group and its support of the Group’s work to date. The results from the Digital Preservation Environment Maturity Matrix reveal that NSLA libraries are on the right path but have some way to go before digital preservation processes are mature, sustainable and fit for purpose. Collaboration on policies, products and infrastructure will continue to address these needs."

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