Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Digital preservation is a mature concept, but we need to pitch it better

Digital preservation is a mature concept, but we need to pitch it better. Dave Gerrard. Digital Preservation at Oxford and Cambridge.  6 December, 2016.
     The OAIS standard can be confusing for newcomers to the field, and one of the potentially confusing areas is the Administrative area. It looks "like a place where much of the hard-to-model, human stuff had been separated from the technical, tool-based parts." The diagram is busier and more information-packed than other areas, and thus could use more modeling. The standard may be easier to use if there were other documents focusing on the ‘technical’ and ‘human’ aspects.

Communication, particularly an explanation to funders, about the importance of digital preservation is vital. It will help to have an 'elevator pitch' to explain simply what digital preservation is. The post suggests "Digital Preservation means sourcing computer-based material that is worthy of preservation, getting that material under control, and then maintaining the usefulness of that material, forever." [Some of these words may be easily misunderstood.]

The "OAIS standard is confusing" "but it has reached a level of maturity: it’s clear how much deep thought and expertise underpins it."  The digital preservation community is ready to take their ideas to a wider audience: "we perhaps just need to pitch them a little better".

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