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ICSTI Digital Preservation Workshop

I have attended to the ICSTI Digital Preservation Workshop together with
Howard Thursday and Friday last week. I was there from Thursday
afternoon until the end.

I am sure Howard will write a full report but I think that presenting my
opinion could be of interest.




ICSTI Digital Preservation Workshop

Paris February 14-15th 2002

K.Hunter  presented the point of view of STM members. Editors believe
they are responsible for their archives towards authors and the
scientific community. They agree about standards and agree about the
Yale project (long term archives independent from formats, neither a
mirror or a backup). Editors disagree about the idea to make public
their archives after a six months delay.  They are afraid about possible
confusion between storage of archives and their use.

Then L. Carpenter (UKOLN, UK) presented the recent development in
metadata. She explained the difference between OAI (Open Archive
Initiative) which wants to establish standards for interoperability
between various archives formats and OAIS (Open Archival Information
System) which is interested in the problem of establishing long term
archives. Consult http://www.openarchives.org and http://www.oaforum.org

J. Steenbakkers from the National Library, NL, presented their projects.
They work together with UK and IBM Research. http://www.kb.nl/dea/. The
problem of long term archives is not solved.

N. Paskin from the DOI foundation explained what a Digital Object
Identifier is and what is its use: unique access to information,
presentation, link to storage location...

B. Heterick from JSTOR presented the achievements of this organization
in putting on the Web a number of scientific journals. JSTOR not only
stores the contents but also the presentation (including adds!) by
scanning pages from journals. 1300 libraries, 150 editors have now
joined the organization which is now self supporting

A. Abid from UNESCO presented the "¨Preserving our Culturage Heritage"
program to show that the questions are the same.

The next day, Barry Mahon (chair ICSU) made a review of the first day.
The question was "How do we cooperate with the future?".

The questions are the same as before:
  + standards  and metadata
  + access for less developed countries
  + Economical model for preservation (costs and who pays for?)
  + obsolescence of techniques
  + intellectual property and copyrights
  + implication of governments and private industry

Remarks from the floor are also always the same: some want to preserve
anything, others see this as unrealistic due to technical and financial

N. Beagrie from JISC, UK, (Join Information System Committee) presented
a review on different archives and projects:
JISC: http://www.jisc.ac.uk/dner/preservation/digitalarchives.html

CEDRS: http://www.leeds.ac.uk/cedrs for distributed archives
Mellen: http://www.dglib.org/preserve/ejp.htm (common project with
Elsevier and Yale).
Camileon: http://www.si.umich.edu/CAMILEON (hardware emulation)
http://www.oclc.org/research/pmwg/  for metadata preservation
http://www.rlg.org/longterm/attribs/wg.html for attributes for archives.

In the future one of the main problems is the amount of data, research
of information and management.

G. Hodge from ICSTI animated a discussion about standardization
activities emphasizing about the fact that standardization must be used
from the beginning of the life cycle of archives....
D. Woodyard from BL, UK, spoke of preservation: for meta data:
http://www.nla.gov.au/pade/topics/32.html , OAIS:

S. Morris from ALPSP (Association of Learned Professional Societies
Publishers) spoke of the different problems around creating, maintaining
and preserving archives. One of the main problems is that librarians are
responsible for classifying the documents, the editors producing
documents without any responsibility about how data are classified.

B. Smith from European Commission spoke of the "Cultural Heritage

In the afternoon B. Mahon made a review of morning presentations and
started an open discussion about what to do. The feeling was that the
community should be more involved in the various committees which
establish standards and that no new should be created!  ICSU members and
bodies should be more involved to advocate for the problem of archives.

I was personally rather disappointed by this seminar which presented
nothing really new. The problems are still the same and no real action
is going on. Committees discuss a lot but my opinion is nowadays
standards are no more established by committees but by the market. I was
astonished to see that companies such as Oracle or Ascential which are
already  in the business were not participating. It seems to me that
most represent ants are too much librarians and not enough technical
people. For instance, it is quite easy to declare as the majority did
that everything should be preserved, without being interested neither in
the feasibility nor in the economical problems.

It was OK for me to participate since I am living in Paris but IUCr
should be grateful  to Howard who came especially from Geneva. Hopefully
the weather was great this week-end and I hope he enjoyed his days in
   Prof. Yves Epelboin, Laboratoire de Minéralogie-Cristallographie
   Université P.M. Curie, case 115, 75252 Paris Cedex 05, France
   Phone: +33 (0)1 4427 5211  Fax: +33 (0)1 4427 3785
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