Preservation Health Check: Monitoring Threats to Digital Repository Content

OCLC have published a report presenting the preliminary findings of its Phase 1 investigation of preservation monitoring as part of the Preservation Health Check (PHC) Project.

In collaboration with the Open Planets Foundation and the Bibliothèque Nationale de France, the project aims to evaluate the usefulness of the preservation metadata created and maintained by operational repositories for assessing basic preservation properties.

Written by Wouter KoolBrian Lavoie and Titia van der Werf, the report suggests that there is an opportunity to use PREMIS preservation metadata as an evidence base to support a threat assessment exercise based on the Simple Property-Oriented Threat (SPOT) model.     

Key highlights:

  • There is a need for digital preservation repositories to perform periodic "health checks" as a routine part of preservation activities
  • Preservation Health Check activities serve the day-to-day planning and operations of digital repositories
  • A certain level of predictability and harmonization is necessary for threat assessment applications that rely on automated data evaluation
  • Analysis reveals a variety of gaps in current preservation metadata coverage, which might be filled by other metadata schema
  • Findings suggest an opportunity to use PREMIS preservation metadata as an evidence base to support a threat assessment exercise
  • The results of preservation actions (PREMIS Events) represent a crucial part of the information needed for assessment—whether this information is under the direct control of the repository itself, or whether it is created and maintained by parties external to the repository.
  • The flexibility of the PREMIS standard allows for a large diversity in implementations and leaves much room for encoding relevant metadata in other formats and schemas—all of which impedes the implementation of a threat assessment logic that generalizes over many repositories. 

This report will be of interest to digital repository managers, digital preservation practitioners, and PREMIS implementers.

Phase 2 of the Preservation Health Check Pilot will extend the logic diagrams to other SPOT properties developed in Phase 1 and test them against a data set of "real-world" preservation metadata provided by the Bibliothèque Nationale de France.

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Download the report:

8.5×11" format (.pdf: 307K/20pp.)

A4 format (.pdf: 302K/20pp.)



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