Re: What exactly is the digital preservation problem?

From: David Goodman <dgoodman_at_PRINCETON.EDU>
Date: Tue, 8 Jan 2002 14:56:49 -0500

The statement in the report,
> Preservation of the gray literature, including preprints, technical
> reports, experimental documentation, and even email communications, is an > important issue. Historians are very interested in preservation of this > material, but physicists are often not. Authors may even not want this > sort of thing archived, if asked. There was almost uniform
> consensus that we want all peer reviewed material to be archived
> permanently. But then who decides on whether we preserve the rest?

is very different from Eberhard Hilf's statement that:
> all active scientists in the meeting 'Long Term Archiving of Documents
> in Physics' ( did emphasize that e.g. not all
> prime scientific papers are worthwile to be archived on the long run,
> (many of them 'marginal content')
especially since Dr. Hilf chose to use Einstein's journal articles as
his example of material that need not be preserved in its original form.

The first statement makes sense. At one extreme, I hope we all realize
that a basic obligation of a researcher is the preservation of one's
original notebooks and data. At the other extreme, although I suppose
all my e-mails might be preserved somewhere, I am not necessarily happy
about it. Where postings and preliminary versions fall in this spectrum
is an open question, and my own views on this are not fixed. Continually
increasing storage capacity makes it much easier to save than to sort
out what needn't be saved, but retrieval capability has not yet reached
quite the same level.

"Arthur P. Smith" wrote:

> A report on the November conference is now also available - see the
> first link at:

> Arthur (

David Goodman
Biology Librarian
and Digital Resources Researcher
Princeton University Library
Princeton, NJ 08544-0001
phone: 609-258-3235
fax: 609-258-2627
Received on Tue Jan 08 2002 - 20:11:44 GMT

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.0 : Fri Dec 10 2010 - 19:46:22 GMT