"There are lots of tools out there, from checksum validators to digital forensics suites and wholesale preservation solutions." Instead of wanting the latest tool, ask if this right tool is right for you for this situation? The NDSA project is looking at:
- studying current workflows;
- benchmarking current policies against best practices;
- reviewing and testing potential digital curation applications;
- proposing sustainable workflows that align with current digital curation standards; and
- producing a white paper to sum up current processes and propose next steps.
In order to determine what the right tool, there are some things you need to know:
- know your records: how electronic records are being managed, how archivists are processing them, and what happens with the materials after.
- what do you want the end result to be.
- what tool to use for the task
- Placement: Where does the tool fit into your process?
- Purpose: What does the tool actually do?
- Utility: How easy is the tool to use and does its output make sense?
An interesting comment on the blog post: "Digital preservation systems are precisely that: systems. Systems are a complex set of elements (people, technologies) and the connections between them (policies, procedures). Without all of these pieces, there really isn’t a system. There is just a tool. A hammer isn’t a house, just as a tool isn’t a digital preservation system."