JISC Beginner's Guide to Digital Preservation

…creating a pragmatic guide to digital preservation for those working on JISC projects

Archive for the 'trainingmaterials' Category

DPC Technology Watch Reports

Posted by Marieke Guy on 15th May 2012

The Digital Preservation Coalition and Charles Beagrie Limited have announced the continuation of their collaboration, producing 3 more Technology Watch Reports.

‘Five new Technology Watch Reports have already been produced – or are in production – and have been enthusiastically received’, said William Kilbride of the DPC. ‘The next three will ensure that the production process continues through 2013 with themes and topics proposed and refined by DPC members to help them with digital preservation.’

The three new reports will be:

  • Web Archiving, Maureen Pennock

  • Preserving Computer Aided Design, Alex Ball (jointly with DCC)
  • Preservation Metadata, Brian Lavoie and Richard Gartner

Two of the reports are completely new, and a third one updates one of the more popular reports that has become dated since it was first published in 2005.

The DPC Technology Watch Report series was established in 2002 and has been one of the Coalition’s most enduring contributions to the wider digital preservation community. They exist to provide authoritative support and foresight to those engaged with digital preservation or having to tackle digital preservation problems for the first time. These publications support members work forces’, they identify disseminate and discuss best practices and they lower the barriers to participation in digital preservation.

‘Each ‘Technology Watch Report’ analyses a particular topic in digital preservation, evaluating workable solutions, and investigating new tools and techniques appropriate for different contexts,’ explained Neil Beagrie, series editor. ‘The reports are written by leaders-in-the-field and are peer-reviewed prior to publication. The intended audience is worldwide, especially in the UK, Europe, Australia New Zealand, USA, Canada.’

‘We expect that these reports will have a wide readership. The audience includes members and non-members of the coalition; staff of commercial and public agencies; repository managers, librarians and archivists charged with managing electronic resources; senior staff and executives of intellectual property organizations in the private and public sectors; those who teach and train information scientists; as well as policy advisors requiring an advanced introduction to specific issues and researchers developing DP solutions.’

Further publicity on each report in the series will be released over the course of the next year and DPC members will be engaged in the process throughout: draft outlines of each reports will be distributed to members for comment, members will be given access to previews before reports are released; and the whole process will be overseen by an editorial board drawn from the DPC.

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Launch of the JISC Beginner’s Guide to Digital Preservation

Posted by Marieke Guy on 19th November 2010

We have now been given the go-ahead for a soft launch of the JISC Beginner’s Guide to Digital Preservation.

Just to reitereate this is the guide that the writing of this blog has documented and contributed to.

It has been written for those working on JISC projects who would like help with preserving their outputs. It is aimed at those who are new to digital preservation but can also serve as a resource for those who have specific requirements or wish to find further resources in certain areas.

The Guide is available at: http://blogs.ukoln.ac.uk/jisc-beg-dig-pres/

The site can be navigated in the following ways:

You can comment on any page on the site, so please do let us know what you think and if there are any resources we’ve missed.

We will promoting the guide over the forthcoming months.

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Making Digital Preservation Fun…

Posted by Marieke Guy on 16th August 2010

…isn’t always that easy but DigitalPreservationEurope(DPE) are having a good go. They have created Team Digital Preservation – a wacky cartoon crew who “embody all aspects of digital preservation“. Digiman leads his team against Blizzard and his band of evil cronies, Team Chaos, who “embody all aspects of threats to digital preservation“.

It’s all good clean fun but still gets over a very clear message – Digital Preservation is good!

DPE have so far uploaded 5 Team Digital Preservation videos to their Wepreserve account and they are getting a good number of hits. The latest is Team Digital Preservation and the Planets Testbed.

Blizzard and his band of evil cronies, Team Chaos, have developed a devastating new weapon. But Never Fear trusty Viewers, tune in now to find out what those wonderful whizz-kids at the top-secret Team Digital Preservation research lab have cooked up to protect Digiman this time!

YouTube Preview Image

All animations are free to use by those wishing to raise awareness and understanding about digital preservation.


Planets (Preservation and Long-term Access through NETworked Services) is a four-year, €15 million project, co-funded by the European Commission under the Information Society Technologies (IST) priority of the 6th framework Programme (IST-033789). The Open Planets Foundation has been established to build on the investment to provide practical solutions and expertise in digital preservation.


DigitalPreservationEurope(DPE) builds on the earlier successful work of ERPANET, facilitates pooling of the complementary expertise that exists across the academic research, cultural, public administration and industry sectors in Europe. It fosters collaboration and synergies between many existing national and international initiatives across the European Research Area. DPE addresses the need to improve coordination, cooperation and consistency in current activities to secure effective preservation of digital materials. DPE’s success will help to secure a shared knowledge base of the processes, synergy of activity, systems and techniques needed for the long-term management of digital material.

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A Guide to Web Preservation

Posted by Marieke Guy on 12th July 2010

Today the JISC Preservation of Web Resources (PoWR) team announced the launch of A Guide to Web Preservation.

I worked on the PoWR project back in 2008. The project organised workshops and produced a handbook that specifically addressed digital preservation issues that were, and still are, relevant to the UK HE/FE web management community. It was a really successful project but later down the line there was felt to be a need for a more accessible, easy-to-use version of the handbook. This new guide does just the trick! I was really pleased to see it being given out as a resource on the DPTP Web Archiving Workshop I attended a few weeks back.

To steal some words from the press release:

This Guide uses similar content to PoWR: The Preservation of Web Resources Handbook but in a way which provides a practical guide to web preservation, particularly for web and records managers. The chapters are set out in a logical sequence and answer the questions which might be raised when web preservation is being seriously considered by an institution. These are:

  • What is preservation?
  • What are web resources?
  • Why do I have to preserve them?
  • What is a web preservation programme?
  • How do I decide what to preserve?
  • How do I capture them?
  • Who should be involved?
  • What approaches should I take?
  • What policies need to be developed?

Each chapter concludes with a set of actions and one chapter lists the tasks which must be carried out, and the timings of these tasks, if an institution is to develop and maintain a web preservation programme. In addition points made in the Guide are illustrated with a number of case studies.

The guide was edited by Susan Farrell who has used her knowledge and expertise in the management of large-scale institutional Web services in writing the document.

The Guide can be downloaded (in PDF format) from the JISC PoWR Web site. The Guide is also hosted on JISCPress service which provides a commenting and annotation capability. It has been published on the Lulu.com print-on-demand service where it can be bought for £2.82 plus postage and packing.

Posted in Archiving, trainingmaterials | 1 Comment »

Creating Open Training Materials

Posted by Marieke Guy on 24th June 2010

Yesterday I attended the Open University annual Learning and Technology conference: Learning in an open world.

I’ve talked more about my general feelings on the day in another blog post (Learning at an Online Conference) but here I want to focus in on the content of one particular session: Creating Open Courses, presented by Tony Hirst of the Open University (you can watch a playback of the session in Elluminate). During my time working on the JISC Beginner’s Guide to Digital Preservation I’ve been thinking quite a bit about what it means to create open training/learning materials and Tony’s approach struck a chord with me.

Tony’s slides are available on Slideshare and embedded below.

Tony’s talk focused around his creation of the T151 course, an OU module on Digital Worlds, part of the Relevant Knowledge programme.

Tony talked about how the OU are making their print content open through services like OpenLearn and their AV material through YouTube and iTunesU. However while this is happening the mode of production is not necessarily open and he explained that it can take several years to produce a course and it can take 5 to 10 academics 18 months to write one.

Tony wanted to move away from this approach and write the T151 course in public and virtually in real time – 10 weeks of content in 20 weeks. He did so by writing blog posts. The course actually took about 15 weeks to write.

Tony made the choice to use WordPress primarily because of the restrictions on what you can embed, in this way it is similar to Moodle (the open source VLE OU and others are familar with). This is an interesting approach. I am leaning heavily towards WordPress for the final delivery of the Beginner’s Guide (primarily due to time restraints and the fact that I already have experience using WordPress). The restrictions are sometimes a hinderance to me rather than a benefit! Another reason he chose WordPress was it “gives you RSS with everything“, agreed, this can be a real bonus.

Tony then wrote blog posts on series of topics according to a curriculum developed with other academics. He used a FreeMind mind map to get his ideas down and then each blog post was made up of 500-1000 words and took 1-4 hours to write. The end result would take students 10 minutes to 1 hour to work through. Within his posts Tony embedded YouTube movies and other external services. The end result was not a single fixed linear narrative but an emergent narratives. He used GraphViz visualisation to show reverse trackbacks where posts reference previous posts.

The blog also contained questions, readings and links to other relevant content. The idea of this was that each area could be populated from a live feed maintained by someone else. Tony felt that the important thing was to allow students to explore and do (e.g use GameMaker to build a game and submit it), share (using Moodle forums) and demonstrate.

Tony wanted to get away from the idea that there’s a single route through the course and that educator is expressing the one true answer. The students were also provided with a Skunkworks area in a wiki and a FreeMind mind map of all the resources in the course. Assessment was given through short questions and a larger question: they had to write a game design document for a game. He was looking for students to have opportunities to surprise.

In the Q&A Tony talked about how he had written the course while trying to do 101 other things at the same time and how a lot of the course chunks he would write for multiple reasons – this seems to be the approach I’m currently taking. Tony concluded by saying that creating the course was a travelogue in part and was his journey through that material.

How good to hear the approach that I’m currently taking (or trying to take) being endorsed!

Tony has written more about his approach on http://blog.ouseful.info and is very vocal on Twitter as @psychemedia.

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