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Assessing the Durability of Formats in a Digital Preservation Environment: the INFORM Methodology: 

Assessing the Durability of Formats in a Digital Preservation Environment: the INFORM Methodology Andreas Stanescu Software Architect Digital Collections and Preservation Services

Introducing INFORM method: 

Introducing INFORM method INFORM methodology - (INvestigation of FOrmats based on Risk Management) Why it is necessary What it does and how it works How it is used for preservation planning

In the beginning…: 

In the beginning… Digital longevity - media and formats Too many digital formats Many are obsolete Save our cultural heritage Today’s decisions affect future uses

First steps: 

First steps Measure first, act later Poor decisions are costly Assess the quality of the digital format Understand significant properties Other systems and methods

Measurement systems: 

Measurement systems Measurement process Units of measurement Measure distance, weight, worth Transform into different scales Communicate results

INFORM measurement system: 

INFORM measurement system Measures threats to preservation Defines process and units Digital format specifications Dependencies Software and hardware dependencies Associated organizations

How it works: 

How it works Identify subject areas Experts’ judgment Probability of risk Impact of risk Reviewers’ expertise and justification

Measurement results: 

Measurement results All experts’ opinions are collated As good as the group of experts Scalable Reusable Different reporting methods

Using the results: 

Using the results Method is descriptive, not prescriptive Suggest 3 action zones: watch, plan, act Individual archivists’ aversion to risk High risk or impact, immediate action Monitor trends

Use the INFORM method: 

Use the INFORM method Forecast and prioritize immediate needs Content creation and publication Content acquisition and collection building Preservation plans Migration strategies

Next steps: 

Next steps Get involved by testing the method in your archive Collaborate your assessment results Test it for any digital formats




Conclusion Unique, practical way to measure preservation viability Creates a foundation for communication Enhances success rates Builds a history of analysis over time Scalable and reusable Control costs and forecast needs

For more information: 

For more information Contact me: Introduction in D-Lib Magazine, November issue Full report in Emerald Journals

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