We are pleased to announce that the Digital Preservation Coalition is offering its members a preview of the latest DPC Technology Watch Report ‘Digital Forensics and Preservation’ by Jeremy Leighton John of the British Library. This is the fourth report in the DPC technology watch series to have been commissioned with Charles Beagrie Ltd as series editors.
The report provides a broad overview of digital forensics with pointers to resources and tools that may benefit the preservation of digital cultural heritage. More specifically, the report focuses on the application of digital forensics to the curation of personal digital archives.
‘Digital forensics is associated in many people’s minds primarily with the investigation of crime. However, In recent years, digital forensics has also emerged as an essential source of tools and approaches for facilitating digital preservation, specifically for protecting and investigating evidence from the past,’ explained the author. ‘Institutional repositories and professionals with responsibilities for personal archives can benefit from using forensic tools and technique to address digital authenticity, accountability and accessibility.’
‘Forensic technology makes it possible to identify privacy issues, establish a chain of custody, employ write protection for capture and transfer of data, and detect forgeries. It can extract relevant metadata and content, it enables efficient indexing and searching, and it facilitates the management of access rights.’
Four more reports are in development – on Preservation, Trust and E-Journals; Preserving Computer Aided Design; Web Archiving; and Preservation Metadata.
The series editors have been supported by an Editorial Board drawn from DPC members and peer reviewers who have commented on the text prior to release. The Editorial Board comprises William Kilbride (Chair), Neil Beagrie (Principal Investigator and Managing Editor for the series), Janet Delve (University of Portsmouth), Sarah Higgins (Archives and Records Association), Tim Keefe (Trinity College Dublin), Andrew McHugh (University of Glasgow), and Dave Thompson (Wellcome Library).
The report is currently available as a preview for DPC members only and a login required. It will be available for general public release from the DPC website in Spring 2013.
The shortlist for the Digital Preservation Awards has been announced this month and we are very pleased that the work undertaken by the Keeping Research Data Safe (KRDS) partners in disseminating tools and key learning from the KRDS research projects has been recognised.
The shortlist for an outstanding contribution to teaching and communication in digital preservation in the last 2 years is as follows :
Keeping Research Data Safe has been funded by the Joint Information Systems Committee and the work undertaken by Charles Beagrie Ltd in partnership with 10 UK organisations (the Archaeology Data Service, the University of London Computer Centre, the UK Data Archive, UKOLN/DCC at the University of Bath, and the universities of Cambridge, King’s College London, Oxford, Southampton, and UCL) together with OCLC Research in the USA.
The winners of the Digital Preservation Awards will be announced on 3rd December.
The Digital Preservation Coalition is today publishing online in PDF the latest in its popular Technology Watch Reports ‘Intellectual Property Rights for Digital Preservation’ by Andrew Charlesworth of the University of Bristol. The report was previously available as a preview to DPC members but is now publicly accessible. This is the third report in the DPC technology watch series to have been commissioned with Charles Beagrie Ltd as series editors.
Legal issues, in particular the process of obtaining copyright clearance for preservation and access of archived material, can contribute significantly to the cost and complexity of digital preservation. It is an area where the wider preservation community often needs to make its case with government and other legislators.
‘While a number of legal issues colour contemporary approaches to, and practices of, digital preservation, it is arguable that intellectual property law, represented principally by copyright and its related rights, has been by far the most dominant, and often intractable, influence,’ explained Andrew Charlesworth.
‘It’s essential for those engaging in digital preservation to understand the letter of the law and to be able to identify and implement practical and pragmatic strategies for handling legal risks in the pursuit of preservation objectives. Moreover, those engaging in digital preservation need to advance a coherent and cogent message to rights holders, policymakers and the public with regard to the relationship between intellectual property law and digital preservation. It is in the long-term interests of all stakeholders that modern intellectual property law permits the implementation of effective and efficient mechanisms of digital preservation.’
The series editors have been further supported by an Editorial Board drawn from DPC members and peer reviewers who have commented on the text prior to release. The Editorial Board comprises William Kilbride (Chair), Neil Beagrie (Principal Investigator and Managing Editor for the series), Janet Delve (University of Portsmouth), Sarah Higgins (Archives and Records Association), Tim Keefe (Trinity College Dublin), Andrew McHugh (University of Glasgow), Dave Thompson (Wellcome Library)
Five more reports are in development – on Preservation, Trust and E-Journals; Digital Forensics for Preservation; Preserving Computer Aided Design; Web Archiving; and Preservation Metadata.
You can download and read the whole series of current and past DPC Technology Watch reports in PDF format from the DPC website.
it was a real pleasure to attend the celebration of the DPC’s 10th anniversary this week at the House of Lords and to catch up with many friends and colleagues.
At the event, DPC Chairman Richard Ovenden and Lord MacNally, Minister of State for Justice, celebrated the achievements of the Digital Preservation Coalition over the past ten years, but also highlighted the continuing risk to government, business, educational and cultural organisations and by society at large in failing to address the preservation of digital information. In his speech, Richard Ovenden pointed to the major improvements that have been made in the past ten years but highlighted recent studies which show how major data losses continue to be suffered:
• Websites of MPs Robin Cook, Claire Short no longer live
• Website of Woolworths plc and Welsh Language Board both lost
• After one year, 11% web resources shared through social media will be lost
A briefing from the TIMBUS project illustrates how the challenge of reliable access to data is no longer simply a concern for memory institutions or research centres:
• 94% of companies that suffer major data loss incidents go out of business in 2 years
• The global costs of data centre downtime are estimated at $426bn per annum
• Data creation and consumption is diverse in ways which could not have been imagined a decade ago. Mobile devices have started becoming more ubiquitous than power supply. In 2011 the global ‘on network and off-grid’ population reached at 48million – that is mobile phone users who don’t have access to power at home.
Formally established in July 2001 and endorsed at a House of Lords reception in February 2002, today the DPC proudly boasts just shy of forty established members. The energy and expertise of its staff and Executive Board has facilitated the hosting of well over sixty digital preservation training events; awarded dozens of scholarships via its Leadership Programme; commissioned leading edge Technology Watch Reports; produced fifty ‘What’s New in Digital Preservation?’ news round ups; has advised and lobbied government and other public sector on policy; it is also involved in two European Commission-funded initiatives (APARSEN and TIMBUS) and runs the biannual Digital Preservation Awards.
‘The successes of the Coalition in the last decade have been impressive’, noted Richard Ovenden the current chair, ‘and we have come a long way in addressing the challenge set for us in 2002’. But the question of how to ensure long term value from digital data remains problematic. ‘The need for digital preservation is growing in just the same way as the digital domain: in total size, in sheer complexity and in economic importance. ’
‘The question about preserving authentic digital records is not simply one for archives or libraries, explained William Kilbride of the DPC. ‘An article in the Economist recently reported that patent litigation between technology companies in the US was worth $200bn in 2011 – equivalent to 2% of GDP. ‘This may not make you think about digital preservation, until you realise that the best way to defend a court case is to cite authoritative records of innovation.’
‘In other words, digital preservation has vital role in protecting some of the most dynamic and innovative sectors of the economy.’
‘That’s just one example: health care, civil engineering, pensions, the recording industry, care services, research institutes, legal services and many more sectors need to maintain and exploit accurate and authoritative records over an extended period. No wonder that Gartner recently reported that 15% of companies would soon need to employ a digital archivist.’
In his speech, Richard Ovenden then looked to the next ten years. He observed that data is an asset and that preservation creates new opportunities, but only if organisations are clear about their own plans. He called on organisation to ask five simple questions:
• Do they know which data sets from the last decade are going to be valuable in the next?
• Do they have robust plans for the long-term exploitation to business-critical, high-value data?
• Do they have robust preservation plans to ensure long term access to data?
• How are they going to recruit or train staff with skills in digital preservation needs?
• How can they collaborate more closely to meet the challenge of digital preservation?
You can read the full DPC press release on the event on its website.