'Navigating the PDF/A Standard: A Case Study of Theses' by Anna Oates, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

The PDF/A standard is a component of many institutional repository file format policies. However, the PDF/A standard is a component of many institutional repository file format policies. However, full conformance with the standard is often difficult to achieve for born-digital documents.This paper presents findings from trial migrations/normalization to PDF/A of student papers held inthe Oxford University Research Archive. The study tested multiple PDF/A creation software and format validation tools in use by institutions. It further presents findings from interviews with institutional repository staff currently using the standard within their workflows. With these datasets as its basis, the paper identifies common occurrences of non-conformances with the PDF/A standard and discusses to what extent these non-conformances present preservation risks.

 

'Preserving the past: the challenge of digital archiving within a Scottish Local Authority' by Lorraine Murray, University of Glasgow

Local Authority Archives reside within an environment of legislative obligations, corporate compliance, resource limitations and budgetary cuts. Archivists have a duty of care to their collections regardless of the format of the material contained therein. The statutory requirements of preserving a digital collection 'in perpetuity' is much more challenging than preserving an equivalent analogue counterpart; digital objects often come with greater and more complex preservation risks. This study will focus on the challenges of caring for digital assets and investigate the likelihood of risk to the sustainability and accessibility of them by focusing on one commonly used file format – PDF.

 

'Essay on the record-making and record-keeping issues implicit in Wearables' by Philippa Turner, University of Liverpool

This essay investigates the record-making and record-keeping issues implicit in wearable technology, focusing on activity monitors. Firstly, it examines the potential lack of reliability of the records created by activity monitors. It then addresses issues related to the authenticity, integrity, and usability of the records: the difficulties in delineating ownership, the risk of corruption and/or theft of records during cyber-attack, and the problematics of users accessing records created by the devices. Lastly, it suggests that within the context of human record-making and record-keeping, creating and keeping these records may have positive and negative implications for society's health.


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