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Digital Preservation and Permanent Access to Scientific Information: The State of the Practice

:: This report comes from The International Council for Scientific and Technical Information (ICSTI) and CENDI, The US Federal Information Managers Group, from 11 federal agencies. A 92-page pdf version is also available.

In 1999, the International Council for Scientific and Technical Information (ICSTI) and CENDI jointly sponsored a report on Digital Electronic Archiving: The State of the Art and Practice (Carroll & Hodge, 1999). ICSTI and CENDI remain interested in digital preservation as they represent large repositories, publishers, and libraries of scientific and technical information. This report is an update to that 1999 report.

This report focuses on operational digital preservation systems specifically in science and technology (S&T). It considers the wide range of digital objects of interest to S&T, including e-journals, technical reports, e-records, project documents, scientific data, etc. The report also discusses archiving based on format types -- text, data, audio, video, etc. It is, of course, international in scope, and as much as possible crosses organizational sectors (academic, government, commercial, etc.).

However, this report does not attempt to provide a comprehensive survey of systems, but rather to highlight selected systems/projects that can help to identify trends, remaining issues and activities that ICSTI, CENDI and other organizations interested in the preservation and permanent access to the record of science can consider when developing their own systems and policies. More than 50 projects and systems were identified from the surveys, from experts, or from the literature. From these, 21 were selected for highlighting in this report. However, references are made to other projects throughout the report as appropriate.

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