Preservation Watch: suggested change in OAIS review

preservation-watchAs a late Christmas present I submitted a change for the OAIS review  by suggesting to introduce the term Preservation Watch into the standard as part of the Preservation Planning module.

During the European project Planets (2007-2011) where we investigated the Preservation Planning functional entity, we had a feeling that the monitoring functionality in OAIS should be extended to other areas. In the standard the monitoring is very much focused on monitoring the Designated Community (of course, these are the people that will use your archive) and the Technology changes. Well it is generally accepted that the rapid changes in technology are seen as a threat to our collected digital files. But there are more threats, that should be monitored systematically and so need to be part of a Preservation Planning function. Changes in your organisation (budget cuts, staff cuts, a merge with another organisation), changes in the environment you’re operating in: political changes for example. The election of Donald Trump was one of the reasons Brewster Kahle of Internet Archive decided to have an extra copy of their archive outside the US.

After the Planets project was finished, the concept of Preservation Watch is taken up by the digital preservation community, for example in the SCAPE project and in various papers and presentations. This justifies for me the concept to be introduced into the OAIS standard. But it will be up to the community to better define this concept and to describe for example the relationship with risk management. This could be done in the next 5 years, so that after a soft introduction in 2017,  a more profound description of the concept of Preservation Watch can be part of OAIS 2022. Let’s wait and see what the CCSDS people think of it.

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