Added on 31 July 2017


PreservingPDF CoverThe Digital Preservation Coalition (DPC) and Charles Beagrie Ltd are pleased to provide DPC members with a preview of the latest in the series of Technology Watch Reports. Preservation with PDF/A by Betsy A. Fanning (AIIM) provides a comprehensive review of the standard and its use, in order to help readers best ensure the integrity of their digital information. The member preview provides an opportunity for readers from member organisations to provide peer feedback and commentary. Please direct any comments to info [at] dpconline [dot] org before public release in the next month.

 

An update to the original Technology Watch Report, Preserving the Data Explosion: Using PDF published in 2008, the report begins with a history of the PDF/A standard and its development, before moving on to an examination of conformance levels, validation methods and considerations to be made when choosing to use PDF/A for long-term preservation. 

“Conformance to the standard is not a simple ‘yes/no’ binary state, in part because there are now four variants of PDF/A,” explains author Betsy Fanning. “One question that is often asked is: ’When should I use PDF/A, and which version should I use?’ This report attempts to answer that question and to provide some guidance about the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats associated with each.”

Preservation with PDF/A examines each of the four variants and lays out the conditions under which it might be beneficial to use PDF/A-3 rather than PDF/A-1, and vice versa, before presenting a range of practical considerations to make the most effective use of the file format.

Neil Beagrie, editor of the Technology Watch Report series on behalf of the DPC, added “the choice of file format is a component of a wider technical and organizational infrastructure which comprises a comprehensive digital preservation solution. This report will make interesting reading for anyone putting together their digital preservation strategy.”

The not-for-profit DPC is an advocate for digital preservation. The coalition ensures its members can continue to deliver resilient long-term access to digital content and services through targeted advocacy work, training and workforce development, research and best practice, and enabling sustainability through partnerships. Its primary objective is raising awareness of the importance of the preservation of digital material and the attendant strategic, cultural and technological issues.

Preservation with PDF/A is the latest in the series of popular DPC Technology Watch Reports which support the coalition’s objectives and provide advice on how to manage high-value and vulnerable digital resources beyond the limits of technological obsolescence.

Download Preservation with PDF/A now.

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