During the Planets project Paul Wheatley and I created the Planets Functional Model http://www.planets-project.eu/docs/reports/Planets_PP7-D6_EvaluationOfPPWithinOAIS.pdf . We identified in this model the functions that were related to the (OAIS) Preservation Planning activity, inspired by the experience gathered in the various Planets work packages. Central in the Planets model is the Preservation Watch Function. In this function we combined several areas that an organization should monitor in order to get an overview of risks and constrains that might influence its collection, and, when a risk is identified, require action. In OAIS the monitoring of the Designated Community and the Technical Environment are explicitly mentioned, but in our view there is more to take into account and we also included Organization ( changes in your own organization like budget cuts or changing policies) Producer (content deliverers that will offer you innovative materials) Administration (your stored material might contain a virus) and finally Knowledge Base, used here as an umbrella term for a variety of key information which will inform preservation processes (Pronom, finalization of an ISO standard like PDF-A2). These are all developments that need to be “watched”. Based on the outcomes of this watch activity an organization might decide to tackle the risk and make a plan on how to mitigate this risk.
Although much of the preservation watch activity in organizations is currently done manually (people reading blogs, subscribing to newsletters, attending conferences and browsing the internet), several areas that an organization need to monitor might benefit from an automated watch functionality.
The SCAPE project will develop an Automated Watch model to cope with this, as part of the Planning and Watch Subproject. It will be interesting to see whether the Planets Functional model will be viable, or whether crucial areas are missing. And I’m very curious how your organization is doing the “preservation watch activity”. Will in the end an Automated Watch function do (part of) your job?