2006-12-13Buch DOI: 10.18452/1524
Criteria for Trusted Digital Long-Term Preservation Repositories
Version 1 (Request for Public Comment)
Digital information has become an indispensable part of our cultural and scientific heritage. Scientific findings, historical documents and cultural achievements are increasingly being presented in electronic form, and in many cases exclusively so. However, despite the irrefutable benefits offered by digital content, there are a number of associated disadvantages. Users must invest a great deal of technical effort in order to access such information. Underlying technology continues to undergo development at an exceptionally fast pace and the rapid obsolescence of access technologies combined with at times imperceptible physical decay of storage media themselves represents a serious threat to preservation of the information content, both contemporaneously and in the long term. These circumstances have provoked questions of information trustworthiness. Information producers and consumers wish to identify the memory organisations that are capable of ensuring the authenticity, integrity, confidentiality and availability of digital information. Confronted with the inexorable flood of digital objects, those responsible within the institutions are similarly motivated to establish and communicate their trustworthiness whether it is to fulfil a legal requirement or to simply survive within the market. This is the main focus of the work of the nestor Working Group on Trusted Repositories Certification. It identifies criteria which facilitate the evaluation of digital repository trustworthiness, both at organisational and technical levels. The criteria are defined in close collaboration with a wide range of different memory organisations, information producers, experts and other interested parties. This open approach is the basis for achieving a high degree of universal validity and practical applicability and facilitates broad-based acceptance of the results of any evaluations conducted on the basis of these criteria. The present criteria catalogue for public comment represents an important milestone on the road towards achieving the working group's goals. The memory organisations should be given a well-constructed, coordinated and practical tool for achieving and demonstrating their trustworthiness. However, the intention is also to present the opportunity for repository certification within a standardised national or international process as a formal endorsement of an organisation’s trustworthiness. The document’s current draft also supports active participation in existing international standardisation efforts. This document begins by offering a brief introduction into the problems surrounding the long-term preservation of digital objects. A description of key concepts and principles underpinning the criteria catalogue follows, ensuring understanding and limiting ambiguity. The aims and methods of the working group are then briefly outlined. The criteria catalogue itself follows this introduction, in its full, unabridged form. The document concludes with a compact overview of the catalogue in checklist format, and a glossary.
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