Strategy

DEFINITION: The organization charged with the preservation of permanent electronic government records must proactively mitigate the risks associated with technology obsolescence including plans related to periodic renewal of storage devices, storage media, and adoption of preferred preservation file formats.
 
 Level 0  The Archives/RM unit does not have a plan to address technology obsolescence.
 Level 1  The Archives/RM unite accepts electronic records in their native format on an ad hoc basis with the expectation that new software will become available to support these formats. Organizations must be aware that not all formats they accept in this manner might be accessible over time. "Preservation ready" policies can address which formats are acceptable and which are not.
 Level 2 Level 2a: The Archives/RM unit encourages records producers to retain records of long-term value in preservation-ready file formats. Preservation formats will depend on your environment and capabilities.



Level 2b: The Archives/RM unit proactively and systematically monitors changes in technologies that may impact the digital records collections and the archival repository.
 Level 3 The Archives/RM unit implements the transformation of selected native file formats to preferred/selected preservation file formats in the archival repository.
 Level 4 The Archives/RM unit implements transformation of all electronic records from records producing units to preferred preservation file formats in the archival repository.

 

Resources

Resources associated with the Strategy Framework elements assist with providing background information and useful examples that can be consulted when trying to develop a digital preservation strategy or move forward in the area of strategy development. 

Definition

The organization charged with the preservation of permanent electronic government records must proactively mitigate the risks associated with technology obsolescence including plans related to periodic renewal of storage devices, storage media, and adoption of preferred preservation file formats.

Level 0

The Archives/RM unit does not have a plan to address technology obsolescence.

Move to Level 1: Develop a plan to address technology obsolescence. Work with IT or whomever is in charge of storage media to discuss plans on addressing technology / hardware obsolescence.

Note: Manufacturers of servers and tape drives often provide a warranty for their product for 3-5 years. New products are generally only backwards compatible one generation. Consider the consequences of using unsupported and outdated products.

Jump to Level 2: Develop policies that state which file formats will be accepted and best for preservation purposes.  Monitor changes in technology that may impact digital records.  

[For more information review the Open Standards/Neutral Formats Framework Element for a discussion on "preservation ready" file formats.]

Level 1

The Archives/RM unit accepts electronic records in their native format on an ad hoc basis with the expectation that new software will become available to support these formats.

Note: Organizations must be aware that the formats they accept in this manner might not be accessible over time. Preservation policies can address which formats are acceptable and which are not [See Level 2 below.]

Move to Level 2: Develop policies that state which file formats will be accepted and best for preservation purposes. Monitor changes in technology that may impact digital records.

[Also see Open Standards/Neutral Formats Framework element for suggestions on "preservation ready" file formats.]

Jump to Level 3: Develop plans to migrate select formats to supported preservation file formats. Document each migration plan so the process can be duplicated.

Note: Migrating files into better supported formats assists with long-term preservation efforts. [EX: It might be appropriate to convert Word files into PDF/A.]

*Level 2a 

The Archives/RM unit encourages records producers to retain records of long-term value in preservation-ready file formats.

Note: "Preservation ready" formats will depend on your environment and capabilities.

*Level 2b

The Archives/RM unit proactively and systematically monitors changes in technologies that may impact the digital records collections and the archival repository.

Move to Level 3: Develop plans to migrate select formats to supported preservation file formats. Document each migration plan so the process can be duplicated.

Note: Migrating files into better supported formats assists with long-term preservation efforts.  [EX: It might be appropriate to convert Word files into PDF/A.]

Jump to Level 4: Develop plans to migrate all formats to supported preservation file formats. Document each migration plan so the process can be duplicated.

Level 3

The Archives/RM unit implements the transformation of selected native file formats to preferred/supported preservation file formats in the archival repository.

Move to Level 4: Develop plans to migrate all formats to supported preservation file formats. Document each migration plan so the process can be duplicated.

Level 4

The Archives/RM unit implements transformation of all electronic records from records producing units to preferred preservation file formats in the archival repository.

Note: This will be easier to do if you limit the types of native formats that you accept to a selected set of formats.  If you still accept "everything" you may not have the tools to migrate everything to a preservation format, or a "preservation format" may not exist for the format. (EX: GIS and AutoCAD files may require extra attention.)

Helpful Hints

Resources that you may find helpful when thinking about how to address file format and technology obsolescence are provided below. The complete list of resources related to the framework of strategy can be found here. Note: For scoring purposes, adhering to both Level 2a and 2b is the most important step for this framework element.

File Formats

Technology Obsolescence

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