The NDSA Interest and Working Groups produce reports, survey outcomes, and articles based off of their interests and work. The majority of these are made available on the NDSA OSF Repository .
New publications are announced on the NDSA Blog, while links to a few of the NDSA’s main products such as the Levels of Digital Preservation and the NDSA Agenda are provided below.
Levels of Digital Preservation
- 2019 Levels of Digital Preservation Working Group
- 2019 Levels of Digital Preservation Publications (OSF Repository )
- Previously called the National Agenda, the NDSA Agenda integrates the persepctive of dozens of experts and hundreds of institutions to provide funders and executive decision‐makers insight into emerging technological trends, gaps in digital stewardship capacity, and key areas for funding, research and development to ensure that today’s valuable digital content remains accessible and comprehensible in the future, supporting a thriving economy, a robust democracy, and a rich cultural heritage.
- 2020 NDSA Agenda Publication (OSF Repository )
- The NDSA Agenda Working Group page provides background information on the work over the years and links to all available previous versions.
The NDSA Staffing Survey is designed to gain insight into current staffing realities for digital preservation programs, and was substantially redesigned in 2021 based on feedback from previous surveys and changes in the field over the past decade.
Completed by 269 individuals, the report documents the survey responses related to the following areas of focus: 1) Background Information, 2) Digital Preservation Activities and Planning, 3) Digital Preservation Organization and Staffing, 4) Staffing Qualifications and Training, and 5) Final Thoughts about Digital Preservation Staffing and Organization.
Several key points emerged from the 2021 survey and the report provides additional analysis and further detail around the following:
- Perceptions of digital preservation seemed to shift according to respondents’ roles within their organizations. Respondents’ answers to questions relating to a range of questions including digital preservation priority, policy, organization, skill sets, staffing levels, and more often reflected their reported role within digital preservation at their organization.
- Survey respondents overwhelmingly perceived digital preservation at their organizations as understaffed. A majority of respondents reported that they did not feel like their organization had the staffing in place to manage the content for which they are responsible.
- Generalized longitudinal trends can be seen over the last ten years. Data comparison across the 2012, 2017, and 2021 surveys allows for the observation of some general trends, including around how well digital preservation is implemented at organizations. Across the last ten years that the survey has been conducted, dissatisfaction rates around the organization and implementation of digital preservation rose from just over one-third of respondents in 2012 to nearly half in 2017 and 2021.
Good Migrations: A Checklist for Migrating Your Digital Preservation Infrastructure
- A checklist (PDF) written by the NDSA Good Migrations Working Group that provides guidance for practitioners migrating all or components of their infrastructure.
2019 Storage Infrastructure Survey Report
- A report (PDF) written by the Storage Survey Working Group provides a third look over time at the storage infrastructure being used across 89 institutions.
2017 Fixity Survey Report
- A report (PDF, 977 KB) written by the Fixity Working Group that addresses the “… clear need for use-case driven examples of best practices for fixity in particular system designs and configurations established to meet particular preservation requirements” raised in the 2015 NDSA National Agenda.
“Checking Your Digital Content: What is Fixity, and When Should I be Checking It?
- A report (PDF, 150 KB) written by a joint action team of the Infrastructure and Standards and Practices Working Groups that addresses the need for guidance on fixity and audit and repair strategies as a core goal of digital preservation. This document aims to help stewards answer these questions in a way that makes sense for their organization based on their needs and resources.
“Geospatial Data Stewardship: Key Online Resources”
- A report (PDF) of the Geospatial Content Team that lists online resources that highlight key concepts and practices supporting the preservation and stewardship of digital geospatial data and information. The resources offer a starting point to methods, tools and approaches across the information lifecycle to assist in understanding current best practices in the stewardship of geospatial data. These resources will be regularly updated online at the “Geospatial Data Stewardship: Key Online Resources” web page.
“The Benefits and Risks of the PDF/A-3 File Format for Archival Institutions”
- A report (pdf) created by the Standards and Practices Working 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.
Web Archiving Surveys
This report (PDF, 1.4 MB) on the results of the 2017 survey of U.S. organizations engaged in web archiving or in the process of planning a web archive was published in October 2018. The goal of the survey was to better understand the landscape of web archiving activities in the United States, including identifying the organizations or individuals involved, the types of web content being preserved, the tools and services being used, and the types of access being provided. A list of the survey questions is available here (PDF, 442 KB).
The report (PDF, 761 KB) on the results of the Winter 2016 survey of U.S. organizations engaged in web archiving or in the process of planning a web archive was published in Spring 2017. The goal of the survey was to better understand the landscape of web archiving activities in the United States, including identifying the organizations or individuals involved, the types of web content being preserved, the tools and services being used, and the types of access being provided. A list of the survey questions is available here (PDF, 136 KB).
The report (PDF, 442 KB) on the results of the Fall 2011 survey of U.S. organizations engaged in web archiving or in the process of planning a web archive was published in Fall 2013. The goal of the survey was to better understand the landscape of web archiving activities in the United States, including identifying the organizations or individuals involved, the types of web content being preserved, the tools and services being used, and the types of access being provided. A list of the survey questions is available here (PDF, 272 KB).
A report (PDF, 1010 KB) on the results of the Fall 2013 survey of U.S. organizations engaged in web archiving or in the process of planning a web archive was published in Fall 2014. While this survey documents the current state of U.S. web archiving initiatives, comparison with the results of the 2011-2012 survey enables an analysis of emerging trends. This report therefore describes the current state of the field, tracks the evolution of the field over the last few years, and forecasts future activities and developments. A list of the survey questions is available here (PDF, 196 KB).
Issues in the Appraisal and Selection of Geospatial Data
- A report (PDF, 554 KB) of the Geospatial Content Team of the Content Working Group considering both appraisal and selection activities as they effect decisions defining geospatial content of enduring value to the nation.
Staffing for Effective Digital Preservation
A 2017 report (PDF, 1.9 MB) created by Staffing Survey Working Group, sharing what the group learned by surveying 133 institutions, including information on organization type and size, information on how organizations view their digital preservation organization and staffing situation, and ideas about staffing qualifications and training needs. The report also compares the survey results to the results of the 2012 Staffing Survey.
A 2013 report (PDF, 1.8 MB) created by the Standards and Practices Working 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. The poster (PDF, 1.2 MB) describing this survey won second place at iPRES 2012 More information in a 12/16/13 blog post on the Signal.
- The NDSA Infrastructure Working Group conducted a 2011 survey of member institutions on their institutions’ current long-term archival storage for digital materials and projected storage needs for the future. The information from this survey was shared though a series of blog posts and an article and was published in D-Lib article in the May/June 2013 edition, “NDSA Storage Report: Reflections on National Digital Stewardship Alliance Member Approaches to Preservation Storage Technologies.” Early analysis of the survey is available here.