Digital Preservation


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Votes: 46

The government of Canada should developing and publicize a clear policy on

the preservation of digital material.

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Submitted by Anonymous on May 02, 2016 - 8:48 PM

I forgot to note that this idea was among the top recommendations of Mary Francoli in her Independent Reporting Mechanism (IRM) Progress Report, which she worded as "Develop and publicize a clear policy on the preservation of digital material" [1]. Open North's feedback to the draft 2014-16 action plan included a proposed commitment to "Complete public consultations with citizens, civil society and the private sector on how to ensure that open data of continuing value remains accessible and usable and continues to be collected" [2]. The “Retention Guidelines for Common Administrative Records of the Government of Canada” [2] are relevant to this proposal. I am unsure to what extent they already respond to the needs expressed in this proposal. 1. 2. 3.…

Submitted by Patrick Connolly on April 15, 2016 - 10:46 PM

A different sort of approach here might involve government support of a project like IPFS: IPFS is a storage layer aspiring to become a critical part of internet infrastructure. It basically stores and finds data via a random-looking ID, that is derived directly from the contents of the file. This is in contrast to the current way of finding things, which involves storing named (ie labelled) files on specific servers. The benefit of IPFS's approach is that anyone can store the data and serve it. Since any version of -- for example -- a specific PDF file would the exact same label, anyone with the file could send it in response to a request. So instead of someone looking for "some-file.pdf", their computer would look for the random-looking (but NOT random) ID of the file, something like "f5dd819a2018b2283e80bbf3b14c74b7e0f1bc48017e764364908a8584c7d846". That ID is derived directly from the contents of the file itself. Changing even the smallest thing (like the "last modified date" of the file), would completely change the ID. So long-story-short, as long as at least one person in Canada was interested in a file, they would have it in a Dropbox-like folder in their computer and could serve it to anyone else interested in having it. When IPFS gets up to speed, it's expected that some organizations (akin to the Internet Archive) will likely step up to warehouse lots of important information, like they currently do on the web. But the nice part of IPFS is that it allows anyone to contribute to the warehousing of data, just by keeping it on their own computer in a specific shareable place, preventing it from being lost.

Submitted by James McKinney on April 12, 2016 - 1:41 PM

With respect to this idea, we should explore whether the Government of Canada Web Archive, operated by Library and Archives Canada, is already sufficient or whether its operations ought to be expanded to meet citizens' and civil society's expectations for digital preservation. Of course, that first requires establishing what those expectations are. If we can add more detail here, that'd be a good start.

Submitted by James McKinney on April 12, 2016 - 2:54 PM

If this idea is developed into a commitment, I recommend consulting with library associations, such as: The Canadian Association of Research Libraries The Canadian Federation of Library Associations (once it's operational) The provincial associations in BC, AB, MB, ON, QC, NS

Submitted by Jérémie D. Dro… on April 08, 2016 - 1:45 AM

I just "Voted Up" your idea. I wrote a comment on the idea entitled Meaningful Dialogue (Enabling Citizens), it addresses your idea regarding Digital Preservation, including preservation and public use on an indeterminate basis of the contents contained within this Digital Open Government Consultation Process.