Highlights from the OPF 2019 Member Survey

Highlights from the OPF 2019 Member Survey

Back in March, we opened up the 2019 member survey. We were pleased to receive 21 responses from OPF member organisations including libraries, archives, universities, digital preservation vendors, and government institutions. The results revealed some interesting insights into the current state-of-play in digital preservation policy and practice among our members, and in this post, we will run through a few highlights. 

Having run a similar survey in 2014, this year’s results provided an opportunity to gauge development and changing trends across our membership over the past five years. One exciting revelation was the growth in uptake of open source technologies among our members, as well as their level of familiarity with open-source development practices

Use of open source

While 8% of respondents in 2014 reported using no open source technology, 100% of respondents now use some form of open source technology. We discussed this finding at the OPF Annual General Meeting (AGM) in May. Here, we discussed the fact that many commercial digital preservation systems incorporate open source tools, and overall, our members expect to continue to use a mixture of open source and proprietary software moving forward.

On the topic of open source software, we also asked members to indicate which components of the OPF reference toolset they rely upon in their production workflow.

Use of OPF tools in production and for evaluation/testing

In the 2014 survey, only 64% of organisations reported using JHOVE. This result led directly to the OPF’s adoption of the tool, and we were pleased to see that it is now used by over 95% of the respondents, making it the most widely used OPF-supported tool amongst our members. Jpylyzer is used by 71% of our members (up from 43% in 2014) and veraPDF by 57%. These tools are the most widely evaluated/tested. 

We also asked respondents about other open source digital preservation tools they rely on in their work. ImageMagick remains a common tool, with 73% of respondents either using it in production or evaluating it. This is up from the 57% usage reported in the 2014 survey. Nevertheless, both JHOVE and Jpylyzer are used by a larger percentage of survey respondents. DROID remains widely evaluated, and FFMpeg is also commonly evaluated/tested. The most common tools in production are BitCurator, Siegfried and bwFLA.

The survey also included questions on organisational capacity, strategies, collections, workflows, storage and technology, as well specific questions to get feedback on OPF’s member activities. The results will feed into our planning, so keep your eyes peeled for announcements about our upcoming initiatives!

Finally, we asked our members what motivated them to join OPF and what they see as the main benefits now…

Coming soon…OPF Community Survey

Building on the information gathered in the member survey, we will be carrying out a second digital preservation community survey in November. The results of the survey will enable us to assess the current state-of-the-art in digital preservation practices and identify current use of digital preservation tools and approaches across the wider digital preservation community. Both the findings and data from the survey will be published openly; this will enable organisations to benchmark their practice with others, and carry out their own analysis of the results. However, the information in both the findings and data will be fully anonymised so that individual organisations cannot be identified. Find us at iPRES 2019 for more information about the community survey and how to participate, or subscribe to our mailing list to be the first to hear about OPF news and events.

The full member survey analysis, raw data, and guidance notes are now available to OPF members at https://openpreservation.org/knowledge/surveys/member-surveys/ .


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