Standards and Practices Interest Group

Standards and Practices Interest Group Co-Chairs: Felicity Dykas, University of Missouri Libraries - dykasf [at] missouri [dot] edu; Aaron Collie, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis - aaron [dot] collie [at] stls [dot] frb[dot] org

Take me to the Standards and Practices Interest Group Listserv! If you are already a member of this Interest Group, you can always access the listserv (including its archives) at that link. To join this Interest Group, please contact the coordinators.

The Standards and Practices Interest Group works to facilitate a broad understanding of the role and benefit of standards in digital preservation and how to use them effectively to ensure durable and usable collections.

In addition, the Interest Group seeks to identify, promote and widely disseminate practices found to be effective for selecting, organizing, describing, managing, preserving and serving digital content, in collaboration with other individuals and organizations where appropriate.

Smaller working groups frequently emerge from the Standards and Practices Interest Group. Current activities include:

  • Conducting a survey to identify biggest challenges related to preserving video and creating action plans to address the survey results
  • Initiating an Email Preservation Interest Group to discuss issues, projects and workflows to preserve email
  • Hosting a Digital/Software-Based Art discussion with leading experts in the field
  • Continuing a project to improve Wikipedia’s coverage of digital preservation in general, but particularly in these areas:
    • Digital preservation terms, concepts, theories, strategies and history
    • Standards, best practices and common methods for:
      • Packaging, transferring or modeling digital content
      • Preserving the usability of digital content long-term
      • Encoding and wrapping digital content using file formats, compression schemes, etc.
      • Describing digital content using metadata
    • Preservation repository architecture, operations and policies
    • Certifying the trustworthiness of preservation repositories
    • Related large-scale initiatives

Who’s Minding the (Data) Store? Results of the NDSA Digital Preservation Staffing Survey (PDF). Poster from iPres2012.

Report: “The Benefits and Risks of the PDF/A-3 File Format for Archival Institutions”

A report (pdf) created by the Standards and Practices Interest Group that takes a measured look at the costs and benefits of the widespread use of the PDF/A-3 format, especially as it effects content arriving in collecting institutions. It provides background on the technical development of the specification, identifies specific scenarios under which the format might be used and suggests policy prescriptions for collecting institutions to consider. More information in a 2/20/14 blog post on the Signal.

Report: “Staffing for Effective Digital Preservation”

A report (pdf) created by the Standards and Practices Interest Group, sharing what the group learned by surveying 85 institutions with a mandate to preserve digital content about how they staffed and organized their preservation functions. More information in a 12/16/13 blog post on the Signal.