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Service Developers Guidelines

Posted on 16th March 2010
This document presents the final version of the Planets Service Wrapping Guidlelines. It is targeted at software developers - within the Planets constortium but also third parties - working in Digital Preservation, who would like to integrate their tools with the Planets software environment, and make use of applications for Preservation Planning, Testing, and Workflow Orchestration and Execution. [PDF, 985KB]

Significance is in the Eye of the Stakeholder
Angela Dappert and Adam Farquhar (British Library)

Posted on 15th October 2009
The concept of significant characteristics has become prominent within the digital preservation community to capture the key goal of preserving the most relevant aspects of the content of a digital object, even at the cost of sacrificing less important ones. However, the term has become over-loaded and very often it remains ill-defined. In this paper, the domain of significant characteristics is analyzed, and a clear terminology is introduced.

The paper was presented at ECDL 2009, Sept. 27 - Oct. 2 in Corfu, Greece, and published in the proceedings from the conference, LNCS, by Springer-Verlag.

In: M. Agosti et al. (Eds.): ECDL 2009, LNCS 5714, pp. 297-308, 2009, © Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2009 [PDF, 160KB]
Custodians of digital content take action when the material that they are responsible for is threatened by, for example, obsolescence or deterioration.
At first glance, ideal preservation actions retain every aspect of the original objects with the highest level of fidelity. Achieving this goal can, however, be costly, infeasible, and sometimes even undesirable. As a result, custodians must focus their attention on preserving the most significant characteristics of the content, even at the cost of sacrificing less important ones. The concept of significant characteristics has become prominent within the digital preservation community to capture this key goal. As is often the case in an emerging field, however, the term has become over-loaded and remains ill-defined. The presentation and paper unpack the meaning that lies behind the phrase, analyze the domain, and introduce clear terminology.

The presentation was delivered at ECDL 2009, Sept. 27 - Oct. 2 in Corfu, Greece. [PDF, 521KB]
This report is part of a three-part final report from the PLANETS Digital Object Properties Working Group. The three companion reports, which can be read in conjunction, are:

• The concept of significant properties. (PLANETS deliverable PC3 – D23A);
• Planets components for the extraction and evaluation of digital object properties (PLANETS deliverable PC3 – D23B); and
• Specification of a Planets-wide Ontology of properties for digital preservation needs. (PLANETS deliverable PC3 – D23C) (this report).
[PDF, 228KB]
In June 2009, Planets carried out a series of 18 face-to-face and telephone interviews with some of the world’s leading IT companies. The interviews explored interviewees’ perceptions of the emerging market-place for digital preservation tools and services. Results confirm engagement is being led by memory institutions and driven primarily by legislation. Elsewhere, however, there is confusion over what digital preservation is and what it entails. Comprehensive policies and long-term budgets to cover preservation of digital collections are not yet the norm. Despite this, there are common expectations about what a digital library system should do; specifically in relation to the type of content it should be able to manage, scalability and the need to comply with international standards. There is perceived high demand for technology to support automation of digital preservation processes and for consultancy, training, awareness-raising and exchange of best practice. [PDF, 50KB]

Systematic Characterisation of Objects in Digital Preservation: The eXtensible Characterisation Languages
Christoph Becker and Andreas Rauber (both Vienna University of Technology, Austria), Volker Heydegger, Jan Schnasse, and Manfred Thaller (all University at Cologne, Germany)

Posted on 21st October 2009
This paper describes the eXtensible Characterisation Languages (XCL) that support the automatic validation of document conversions and the evaluation of migration quality by hierarchically decomposing a document and representing documents from different sources in an abstract XML language. The description language XCDL provides an abstract representation of digital content in XML, while the extraction language XCEL allows an extraction engine to create such an abstract description by mapping file format structures to XCDL concepts.
The article presents the context of the development of these languages and tools and describes the overall concept and features of the languages. Furthermore examples are given and it is shown how the languages can be applied to the evaluation of digital preservation solutions in the context of preservation planning.

In: Journal of Universal Computer Science, vol. 14, no. 18 (2008), 2936-2952, © J.UCS [PDF, 161KB]

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