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Project Prism. Virtual Remote Control: Preservation Risk Management for Web Resources Nancy Y. McGovern, ECURE 2002. The Project. Project Prism. Part of a 4-year NSF-funded project supported by the Digital Libraries Initiative, Phase 2 (Grant No. IIS-9905955, the Prism Project)

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project prism

Project Prism

Virtual Remote Control:

Preservation Risk Management for Web Resources

Nancy Y. McGovern, ECURE 2002

the project
The Project

Project Prism

  • Part of a 4-year NSF-funded project
    • supported by the Digital Libraries Initiative, Phase 2 (Grant No. IIS-9905955, the Prism Project)
  • An umbrella project that includes
    • Digital Libraries research team (Computer Science)
    • Human Computer Interface (HCI)
    • Cornell University Library (CUL)
  • For updates:
the team
The Team

Project Prism

Anne R. Kenney

Nancy Y. McGovern

Peter Botticelli

Richard Entlich

William R. Kehoe

Carl Lagoze

Sandra Payette

preservation risk management
Preservation Risk Management

Project Prism

  • Increased reliance by research libraries on Web resources not owned or controlled
  • Need to monitor and evaluate resources
  • Identify risks to resources and appropriate responses
  • Technology introduces new threats, enables new solutions
the research agenda
The Research Agenda

Project Prism

see, "Preservation Risk Management for Web Resources: Virtual Remote Control in Cornell's Project Prism,"

by Anne R. Kenney, Nancy Y. McGovern, Peter Botticelli, Richard Entlich, Carl Lagoze, and Sandra Payette

in DLib Magazine, January 2002

the approach
The Approach

Project Prism

  • Process
  • Identification
  • Analysis
  • Appraisal
  • Strategy
  • Detection
  • Response

Project Prism

Adapt the Risk Management Model stages:


Project Prism

Establish boundary; Characterize content:

example: parse the URL


Project Prism

Define risks associated with:

  • A Web page:
    • as a stand-alone object, ignoring its hyperlinks
    • in local context, considering the internal and external links
  • A Web site:
    • as a semantically coherent set of linked Web pages
    • as an entity in a broader technical and organizational context
contextual layers
Contextual Layers

Project Prism

page level monitoring
Formatting: TIDY

Standards compliance

Document structure


HTTP headers

HTML headers





Out-link structure

In-link structure




Page provenance

URL parsing

Log analysis

Page-level Monitoring

Project Prism

site level monitoring
Site-level Monitoring

Project Prism

  • Graph analysis
  • Static site analysis and Longitudinal study
  • Aggregate page analyses
  • Site maintenance indicators
    • Backup and archiving policies and procedures
    • Hardware and software environment
    • Network configuration and maintenance

Project Prism

Enable portfolio management:

Hypothetical appraisal of a Web resource:

Scope: highly relevant

Value: high value, not essential; numerous links to page

Relationship: secondary archives; informal agreement

Maintenance: key indicators of good management

Redundancy: captured by more than one archive

Risk response: very responsive to risk notifications

Capture: complex structure; cyclical updates; formats

Size: medium-sized; 3-level crawl


Project Prism

Develop an organization-specific program:


Project Prism

Monitor change; initiate response:

Track indicators of management practices:

- markup language: version, formatting, compliance

- HTTP: status codes, header content

- changes: content, location

- links: internal, external, volatility

- server: security, version, upgrades, responsiveness

detection cont
Detection (cont.)

Project Prism

Monitor change; initiate response:

Identify potential risks

- probable occurrence

- frequency of occurrence

- degree of impact

Correlate to program-define response levels

Identify appropriate risk/response scenario(s)


Project Prism

Develop a toolkit:

Inventory and evaluate existing tools

Assess functionality for Prism stages

Adopt/adapt existing tools

Develop new tools

Apply to appropriate contextual layers

Integrate tools into customizable toolkit

types of tools
Types of Tools

Project Prism

  • link analyzers
  • log analyzers
  • Web crawlers
  • Web visualization programs
  • Web site management utilities
future directions
Future Directions

Project Prism

  • Preservation Risk Management Program:
    • Develop program using Prism framework
    • Provide organizational scenarios
  • Toolkit:
    • Complete inventory of tools
    • Build toolkit demonstrator
  • Applications:
    • Develop presentation techniques for stored resources
    • Enable risk/response scenario development