Paul Wheatley

Paul Wheatley

Last updated on 10 February 2017

Roughly weekly/monthly news and opinions from the Digital Preservation Coalition’s Head of Research and Practice, Paul Wheatley. Opinions are the opinions of Paul and those featured. Not the DPC. They’re just opinions, ok? Just because the blog has moved to the official DPC website does not mean this isn't just a load of opinions. Back issues are here.

Excellent blog post on developing a thorough approach to quality assessment and the important role of sample based manual checking to support automated analysis:

A backup only really exists if you've tried to recover it, as Gitlab found in a multiple facepalm moment prompting one wag to declare February 1st as Check your backups day:


Excellent new documentation for veraPDF:

Never mind digital dark age, strategies are now appearing to head off the digital dumb age:

While I'm on the subject, and I'm a little worried that the alternative facts era is going to end up with it's own section every week:

This has the reek of censorship about it. Despite my dislike of the Daily Hate Mail, I had a lot of sympathy for the comments arguing against a blanket ban. Why not just use *good* references, that more often than not, won't be found in the Mail anyway?

And on the practical front, cos there's always some way of chipping in and just doing it:

More UN action at the DPC. Looking forward to working with the MICT

The latest release in the BL's series of file format assessments provides a take on eBook formats:

And related work from across the pond:

Part 2 of an in depth trial of cloud storage for preservation from Lee Hibberd:

Interesting piece looking at how software is referenced, based around the tool directory:

And on the related issue of software reproducability here's a somewhat pessimistic piece:

It's wrap up time, and here's a final thought from the Jackson:


#1 David Underdown 2017-02-09 15:58
"This has the reek of censorship about it. Despite my dislike of the Daily Hate Mail...Why not just use *good* references, that more often than not, won't be found in the Mail anyway"

That's exactly what is being done, saying that most of the time the Daily Mail won't reach the criteria set out under Wikipedia:Relia ble Sources. There may be times when the DM coverage becomes part of the story in which case it's perfectly relevant to cite it, but in general it's unlikely that the DM will be only the only newspaper mentioning something, even if there's no other source.
#2 Paul Wheatley 2017-02-23 10:36
The crucial distinction is between assessing individual sources or deciding an entire news outlet is "unreliable". A blanket ban on *anything* in the DM looks politically motivated and opens up Wikipedia to accusations of impartiality (or as some would no doubt put it: "fake news"). It also sets a dangerous precedent...
#3 David Underdown 2017-02-23 11:22
A key distinction is that it's not actually "Wikipedia" as an organisation that's banned it, but that individual editors have reached consensus that in general DM is unlikely to be a reliable source. See Wikimedia blog post yesterday for more on the process
#4 Paul Wheatley 2017-02-23 13:30
I understand that distinction - that's what Wikipedia is all about as a site. But the page you reference and the discussion here provide both some support and plenty of contradictions to what you're saying
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