Digital Preservation as an Albatross

Currall, J., McKinney, P. and Johnson, C. (2006) Digital Preservation as an Albatross. Archiving 2006, Ottawa, ON, Canada, 23-26 May 2006.

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Abstract

‘Digital Preservation’ as a concept is an albatross. The complex and somewhat arcane nature of the practice has kept it from being embraced by those that perhaps need it most. Changes in terminology, misunderstandings of meanings and a lack of direct business planning have brought about a state of affairs that has the digital preservation community fighting the problem of technological obsolescence without sustained support from organisations that supposedly need it most. Organisations care about ensuring their continued existence and profitability. Investment is only undertaken after reflection on business cases. In creating a business case most people focus primarily on cost, but there must be a counter-veiling focus on value. There is no point in making an investment unless it has worth to the investor. A good business case will display a strong understanding of the value of information objects that organisations create. Information professionals must ensure that their desire to ensure longevity of information is tied coherently and explicitly to that of the organisation’s future and detail why the digital materials are of value to it. Exploring value in this way allows engagement with senior management as it wraps the need for action in the terminology of their strategic vision and allows for a strong and successful business case to be made.

Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Currall, Dr James and Johnson, Ms Claire
Authors: Currall, J., McKinney, P., and Johnson, C.
College/School:College of Arts > School of Humanities > Information Studies
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2006 The Authors

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