Friday, July 25, 2008

Economics and Engineering for Preserving Digital Content

Below is the abstract on an ERPAePRINT entitled "Economics and Engineering for Preserving Digital Content." The 23-page document is available for free.
Progress towards practical long-term preservation seems to be stalled. Preservationists cannot afford specially developed technology, but must exploit what is created for the marketplace. Economic and technical facts suggest that most preservation work should be shifted from repository institutions to information producers and consumers.

Prior publications describe solutions for all known conceptual challenges of preserving a single digital object, but do not deal with software development or scaling to large collections. Much of the document handling software needed is available. It has, however, not yet been selected, adapted, integrated, or deployed for digital preservation. The daily tools of both information producers and information consumers can be extended to embed preservation packaging without much burdening these users.

We describe a practical strategy for detailed design and implementation. Document handling is intrinsically complicated because of human sensitivity to communication nuances. Our engineering section therefore starts by discussing how project managers can master the many pertinent details.
I have not yet had a chance to read the article, but the graphics have peaked by interest!

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