[AIG] Significant properties pointers

Veenendaal, Remco van Remco.van.Veenendaal at nationaalarchief.nl
Tue Mar 21 11:59:15 GMT 2017


Dear AIG,

Please find below some pointers to research done in the area of significant properties.

At NANETH, we're collecting and studying the results of this research. A lot of work has been done on determining significant properties for specific types of information. Our approach is to create a shortlist from this longlist of available significant properties. The properties on the shortlist are definite candidates for checking, e.g. before and after migration. The shortlist is derived from the longlist by looking at properties that appear as significant in multiple research projects. (When research reuses properties from previous research, it is an indication of the value of those properties.) We're working on a document based on this work, but it is a draft and in Dutch. A quick and dirty automatic translation did more harm than good, so you'll have to wait a bit for the English version.

Digital Preservation Testbed (2000 - 2003)
"The Digital Preservation Testbed was founded by the National Archives and the Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations. It was established in October 2000 to research different methods of digital preservation over the long term. The Digital Preservation Testbed is part of the ICTU, a government initiative which houses different research projects concerned w ith varying aspects of E-government."
http://en.nationaalarchief.nl/kennisbank/auteur/digital-preservation-testbed
One of the deliverables was a document about preserving spreadsheets, including the relevant significant properties:
http://www.nationaalarchief.nl/sites/default/files/docs/kennisbank/volatility-permanence-spreadsh-en.pdf
Other information types investigated were text documents, e-mail and databases.

InSpect (2007 - 2009)
"significant properties are those aspects of the digital object which must be preserved over time in order for the digital object to remain accessible and meaningful."
https://web.archive.org/web/20160520082501/http://www.significantproperties.org.uk/<https://web.archive.org/web/20160520082501/http:/www.significantproperties.org.uk/>
One of the deliverables was a framework for determining significant properties:
https://web.archive.org/web/20160520083956/http://www.significantproperties.org.uk/inspect-framework.html<https://web.archive.org/web/20160520083956/http:/www.significantproperties.org.uk/inspect-framework.html>
Among the information types investigated were audio, structured tekst, raster images, and e-mail.
InSpect used a subdivision of significant properties similar to the Testbed and other projects: content, context, rendering, structure and behaviour.
1.1.1              PLANETS (2006 - 2010)
In the European Preservation and Long-term Access through NETworked Services (PLANETS) the properties of digital objects were investigated. The Digital Properties Working Group created three documents:
-      http://www.planets-project.eu/docs/reports/Planets_PC3-D23A_TheConceptOfSignificantProperties.pdf
-      http://www.planets-project.eu/docs/reports/Planets_PC3-D23B(DOPWGreport).pdf
-      http://www.planets-project.eu/docs/reports/Planets_PC3-D23C_OntoloogyPropertiesDigitalPreservation.pdf

SCAPE (2011 - 2014)
SCAPE did not directly investigate significant properties, but touches on the subject. E.g. in the http://wiki.opf-labs.org/display/SP/Catalogue+of+Preservation+Policy+Elements there are ten relevant subjects for preservation policies. One of these subjects deals with the original object, and advises to describe the original object's significant properties.
SCAPE also reuses the definition of significant properties from the InSpect project: "The characteristics of an Information Object that must be maintained over time to ensure its continued access, use, and meaning, and its capacity to be accepted as evidence of what it purports to record."

OAIS
OAIS (2012) uses the term "Transformation Information Properties", and "An Information Property the preservation of the value of which is regarded as being necessary but not sufficient to verify that any Non-Reversible Transformation has adequately preserved information content."  Although useful, we feel that these TIP's are mostly about technical properties of digital objects, whereas non-technical properties can also have an impact, such as usability issues, legal context and functional preservation.

E-depot
Preservica's Registry, based on PRONOM, has a list of (9) "property groups" and (86) "properties". These are not all significant properties, but they are properties that can be used for establishing the beforementioned long list.
Properties for spreadsheets (i.e. Microsoft Excel 2007 onwards) are Modified By, Revision, Version, Company, Modified, Creation Date, Title, Creator, Subject, and Language. These properties can be extracted by the integrated OOXML Validator.

Regards,

Remco van Veenendaal
Adviseur Preservation

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Nationaal Archief
Prins Willem-Alexanderhof 20 | Den Haag
Postbus 90520 | 2509 LM | Den Haag
........................................................................
M 06 29451951
Remco.van.Veenendaal at nationaalarchief.nl<mailto:Remco.van.Veenendaal at nationaalarchief.nl>
http://www.nationaalarchief.nl<http://www.nationaalarchief.nl/>
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