Monday, 5 October 2009

#ipres09: Are You Ready? Assessing Whether Organizations are Prepared for Digital Preservation.

Planets (mainly Tesella) did an online survey targetd at libraries adn archives in europe and then opened it up to 2000 others. Got 206 responses (70% european), 1/3 libraries, 1/4 archvies. Roles - 15% DP, 16% preservation in general, 22% in curation, 16% in IT, rest other.

Being a DP survey the majority said they were aware of DP issues. 1/6 haven't really thought that much about it and 1/2 don't have a DP policy. Interesting stat, if you have a DP policy in place your are 3 times more likely to have a budget in place. However the majority of those budgets are project budgets and not institutional budgets to actively perform DP in the organisation.

Also in the survey people are having to preserve all sorts of resources including databases.

Do people have control over the formats they can accept. National archives - Yes, National Archives (No). Others are pretty balanced between yes and no.

Amount of content: most say that they have less than 100Tb of content to preserve but people see it expanding to much larger quantities [when it won't be any more scary to preserve than it is now, we'll soon have 1Tb memory keys - heard it here first].

85% of people are trying to solve the problem and are looking to use plug-and-play components as people don't want to replace their current systems.

Most important thing in preservation is being able to maintain authenticity [possible european stance]. Emulation is less important. In the middle of the importance graph was the the importance of using metadata standards, but no one can decide what standards to use.

[Good survey, probably worth looking up and answering it yourself, especially if you are involved in a DP project! How do the aims of your project align with the view of the wider community?]

#iPres09: An Emergent Micro-Services Approach to Digital Curation Infrastructure.

More stuff, smaller budget, more technology [good start]. We can gain though with digital tech through redundancy, meaning (through context), utility (through service) and value through use [totally agree with the last point esp. wrt OA publishing].

Projects imperatives: Do more with less, focus on the content, not the systems in which the content is managed [agree, focus on the data, not the software which people care less about]. This leads to the goal of the presentation which is micro-services, small services which provide maximum gain when they can be looped together, replaced, re-written etc.

There are 12 currently in 4 layers - Storage, Charecterisation/Inventory, Service (index, search, migration), Value (Usage) - [Good slide this] "LOCKSS, Lots of description keeps stuff meaningful, Lots of services keeps stuff useful, Lots of uses keeps stuff valuable".

Now describing some of the technologies which are being used. Simple restful api's to storage [however he hasn't mentioned the high level software they are using, based upon the first slide in the presentation said to use proven technology]. Emphasizing that storage has moved on (as it always will) and you can gain a lot of benefit though specialist products.

Storage is the main phase they have done and they have a few other mirco-services done. [Like the aim of it all however there are already lots of tools to provide each it is just the keeping them apart which is hard]

#iPres09: e-Infrastructure and digital preservation: challenges and outlook

e-infrastructure: Starts by defining infrastructure (see wikipedia) and e-infrastructure specific to a collection of European digital repositories. So basically we are looking at opportunities to build and supply services which are applicable to these repositories.

Background: EU is supplying lots of support for this and in germany they are researching national approaches, identifying activities and assign tasks to "expert" institutions. By introducing the current fields of project he is outlining that there is still a significant mismatch between the scale of the problem and the amount of effort being expended. From this he outlines that there is a significant lack of common approaches to solving problems. [I don't think this will ever go away, unless there is a mandate, and even then not everyone will want to sign up].

[Lots of argument] Funding is focused on many individual projects and thus doubles up the the argument that there are no commons. This led leads to a slide about interoperability and standards and the lack of them. [Which again, i don't think will ever go away and I think that we should be appreciative that people tend to pick XML to encode their data in, this makes it interoperable right].

[This is a start of project presentation, I don't seem to see that much output. They have some simple models as diagrams, again though at this stage it is hard to see how they are not just another project which will come up with (another) set of standards which no one will then want to adopt.]

Giving a set of examples now where they are going to re-use and extend existing software/projects. The goals are good, in terms of concrete steps for global infrastructure for registries, data formats, software deposits and risk management. [Just not sure how achievable all this is based upon the fact it has been the aim of many projects already]