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IFLA Berlin 2003 Digital Preservation – An Introduction to ERPANET. Seamus Ross (HATII, University of Glasgow). erpa nodes.

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Seamus ross hatii university of glasgow

IFLA Berlin 2003

Digital Preservation –

An Introduction to ERPANET

Seamus Ross (HATII, University of Glasgow)

Seamus ross hatii university of glasgow


ERPANET works to enhance the preservation of cultural and scientific digital objects through raising awareness, providing access to experience, sharing policies and strategies, improving practices, and stimulating research.






The project nodes
The Project Nodes

  • The Humanities Advanced Technology and Information Institute (HATII)

  • Schweizerisches Bundesarchiv

  • Nationaal Archief van Nederland

  • Institute for Archival and Library Science(Università degli Studi di Urbino)

ERPANET--Seamus Ross (IFLA 2003)

Erpa staff

Directors: One in each node

Editors: One in each node.

Coordinator: Based in Glasgow

Advisory Committee: to ratify and ensure consistency of direction

ERPANET--Seamus Ross (IFLA 2003)

Advisory committee
Advisory Committee

ERPANET--Seamus Ross (IFLA 2003)

Organisations need help
Organisations Need Help

  • Off-the-shelf policy statements

  • Business cases & strategies

  • Digestible guidance on technologies and their preservation implications

  • Improved models (reference, costs, standards, functional requirements)

  • Simple Guidelines on digital survival

  • Guidance on creating data repositories

  • IPR support and guidance

ERPANET--Seamus Ross (IFLA 2003)

Objectives thematic workshops seminars
OBJECTIVESThematic Workshops & Seminars

  • Exploring core topics with experts and specialised institutions

  • Increasing the level of awareness within the communities of digital information providers, practitioners, experts and preservers

  • Developing basic recommandations in the areas subject to detailed analysis

  • Providing documentation of new research directions and results

  • Provide skills development opportunities to the community

ERPANET--Seamus Ross (IFLA 2003)

Workshops content 2002 2003

  • Workshops & Seminars, June 2002 – June 2003

    • Digitisation, Conservation and Quality Control(Toledo, 23-25 June 2002)

    • XML for digital preservation (Urbino, 9-11 October 2002)

    • Introduction to the OAIS Model (Copenhagen, November 2002)

    • Preservation Policy and Procedures (Fontainebleau, January 2003)

    • Long term preservation of databases (Bern, April 2003)

    • Preserving the Web, (Kerkira, May 2003)

ERPANET--Seamus Ross (IFLA 2003)

Workshops seminars

  • Workshops & Seminars, August 2003 – January 2004

    • Getting What You Want, Knowing What You Have, and Keeping What you Need: Metadata in Digital Preservation, (Marburg, September 2003)

    • ERPANET ‘DSpace’ Installation Workshop, (Glasgow, September 2003)

    • Digital repositories: audit and certification, (Rome, November 2003)

    • Preservation of Scientific Data Sets (Lisbon, December 2003)

ERPANET--Seamus Ross (IFLA 2003)

Benefits of workshops seminars
BENEFITS of Workshops & Seminars

  • Creation of authoritative sources of information that can be applied to a variety of circumstances

  • Promotion of a forum for information and preservation professionals that can be extended into their own and other communities

  • Exchange of experiences, both in the case of success and in the case of failures and problems

ERPANET--Seamus Ross (IFLA 2003)

Information building objectives
Information Building: Objectives

  • Identify and evaluate information resources

  • Review and appraise projects (EU, NSF and others)

  • Monitor new ICT industry

  • Bulletins and up-dating services

  • Develop and promote digital preservation charter

ERPANET--Seamus Ross (IFLA 2003)

Criteria for information
Criteria for Information








ERPANET--Seamus Ross (IFLA 2003)

Content development instruments
Content Development Instruments

Literature Evaluation Mechanisms


Case Study Instrument

Case Study Report

Evaluation of erpaEvents

Workshop Reports

Confidentiality Agreements

ERPANET--Seamus Ross (IFLA 2003)

Current situation
Current situation

  • Digital Preservation Charter (several versions)

    • Acquire support for the Digital Preservation Charter

  • First set of commentaries available (200+)

  • Identification of key documents/projects ongoing

ERPANET--Seamus Ross (IFLA 2003)

What benefits of value
What benefits of value?

  • Commentaries on relevant multilingual sources

  • Through the commentaries acquiring better insight in areas

  • A model for identifying actors and responsibilities (in Charter)

  • Identification potential research issues

ERPANET--Seamus Ross (IFLA 2003)

Erpa advisory

  • Provides the Community with access to answers to digital preservation expertise

  • Building a Resource of Authoritative Answers to Digital Preservation Questions

    • a database of frequently asked questions with answers

  • Making accessible examples of best practice


ERPANET--Seamus Ross (IFLA 2003)

Erpa commentaries

  • Authoritative online information services on Digital Preservation

    • Analytic Reviews of published and online literature

      • including assessment of 100 journals

    • Assessment of technical guidelines and relevant standards

    • Projects reviewed

ERPANET--Seamus Ross (IFLA 2003)

Erpa charter

  • Better management of risk

  • Common Framework for benchmarking digital access and preservationpractice

  • Platform for sharing knowledge (e.g. practices, methodologies, typologies, eval. Criteria)

  • Mechanism for measuring competitive advantage.

  • Unlocking e-value of intellectual capital

  • Achieve synergy and avoid redundancy

  • Optimise the quality and quantity of interactions between players in the digital object chain (DOC)

ERPANET--Seamus Ross (IFLA 2003)

Case studies and tools
Case Studies and Tools

  • Develop best practice case studies

  • Develop reference models (DOC)

  • Suite of tools, guidelines and instruments

  • Develop other services

    • erpaAdvisory

    • Web-based delivery of information, tools, etc.

    • Bulletin Board and lists

ERPANET--Seamus Ross (IFLA 2003)

Erpa tools

  • Year 1 Tools

    • Policy Building Framework

    • Costing Digital Preservation Strategies

    • Digital Object Risk Management Methods

    • Selecting Technologies

ERPANET--Seamus Ross (IFLA 2003)

Erpa studies

  • Case studies in public and private sectors

  • Geographical spread and organisation size

  • Outcomes:

    • Vertical View: reviews of how different sectors approach digital preservation

    • Horizontal View: looking across a range of topics what are best practices across domains.

ERPANET--Seamus Ross (IFLA 2003)

The problem
The Problem

  • Planning stage progressed slowly

  • More Complex than we imagined

  • Labour intensive

  • Difficulties obtaining successful targets

    • at the mercy of companies who pull out

  • Lower throughput than we imagined

  • Lower quality results than we imagined

ERPANET--Seamus Ross (IFLA 2003)

Seamus ross hatii university of glasgow


Researching what?

  • Assessment of the Sectoral Exposure

  • Sectoral Awareness and Investment

  • Policy Building Strategies

  • Risk Perception & Management

  • Mechanisms for Compliance & Audit

  • Cost-Benefit Rationalisation

  • Technologies

ERPANET--Seamus Ross (IFLA 2003)

Erpa studies1

Basic results

  • Illustrate methodologies and practices

  • Provide a basis for establishing practical guidelines

  • Increase awareness

  • Stimulate sharing of information and experiences

ERPANET--Seamus Ross (IFLA 2003)

The instrument 1
The Instrument (1)

  • Administrative Section

  • Perception and Awareness of Digital Preservation

  • Understanding How Digital Preservation Affects Your Organisation

  • Actions Taken: Policies, Strategies, Standards and Practices Developed

  • Monitoring of Actions

  • Future Requirements

ERPANET--Seamus Ross (IFLA 2003)

The instrument 2
The Instrument (2)

‘Actions taken’ subsections

  • Policies, Strategies, and Standards

  • Selection of Digital Information for Preservation

  • Preservation of Digital Information

  • Storage of Digital Information

  • Access to Digital Information

  • Digital Preservation Costs

ERPANET--Seamus Ross (IFLA 2003)

Erpa studies2

Research by Questionnaire

10 companies per case study

3 people in each company

  • Business Manager

  • IT Manager

  • Archivist

ERPANET--Seamus Ross (IFLA 2003)

Erpa studies3

Questionnaire split into:

  • perception and awareness of digital preservation;

  • understanding how digital preservation affects the organisation;

  • actions taken;

  • monitoring of actions; and

  • future requirements.

ERPANET--Seamus Ross (IFLA 2003)

Erpa studies4

Transition to Focus Case Studies in 2003-4

ERPANET--Seamus Ross (IFLA 2003)

Erpa studies5


Types of data (very different)

Increasing amount of info

Awareness of issues (varying)

No authoritative sources of info

ERPANET--Seamus Ross (IFLA 2003)

Quality assurance

Content Editor






Second Content Editor

Local Director

Coordinator & Principal Director



Quality Assurance

Quality ensures the success of ERPANET

ERPANET--Seamus Ross (IFLA 2003)

Participation procedures
Participation Procedures

Consortium Agreement

Participant Protocol

  • Partner

  • Participant

  • Registered user

  • Non-registered user

ERPANET--Seamus Ross (IFLA 2003)

Access rights
Access Rights






ERPANET--Seamus Ross (IFLA 2003)

New services erpaeprints
New Services -- ERPAePrints

  • Ensuring long term accessibility to digital preservation literature, both gray and published

  • Creating a single point of accessibility

  • Better profiling the literature

ERPANET--Seamus Ross (IFLA 2003)

Seamus ross hatii university of glasgow

For our products, information and registration: /

ERPANET--Seamus Ross (IFLA 2003)