In the Scape project, policies for digital preservation play an important role. The sub project Planning and Watch is especially interested in integrating institutional policies into automated watch and automated planning. But most of the preservation policies are formulated on a very high and often strategic level. They are too general to be used in automated processes. A literature investigation and studying existing policies led to a three level distinction of preservation policies:
High level policies or guidance policies, defined as “written statement […] that describes the approach to be taken by the repository for the preservation of objects accessioned into the repository” (according to RAC).Example: “The organisation will ensure that the preserved material is authentic”
Preservation Procedure Policies, working definition “a translation of the high level policies into a strategies describing in which ways the goals and intentions of the high level policies will be achieved”. Example: “Authenticity will be achieved by integrity checking and provenance trails.” “Integrity checking will be performed by taking and comparing checksums”
Control Policies Working definition: “a translation of the preservation procedure policies into actual situations whereby the characteristics of the digital materials, actions and tools [etc.] are incorporated“. Example: after each preservation action a checksum control will be performed according to method X and creating metadata Y about the result.
The aim of this work package is to create a catalogue of policy elements, that will play a role in digital preservation and will be used in the automated watch and planning activities. The scenarios of the Scape project are an interesting area to test the catalogue.
The catalogue should also show how the lower level policies are related to the higher level and as such, will support organizations to create their own set of policies.