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What are the best examples of file format action plans?

+3 votes
1,417 views

The  2014 National Agenda for Digital Stewardship says organizations should be developing and sharing file format action plans. What are the best examples of plans to model these on? What features make for a good file format action plan?

asked Jun 25, 2014 by tjowens (2,350 points)
Would a PLATO preservation plan count?
Sure! As long as you think it's a good example of one :)

4 Answers

+3 votes
A tip from the British Library's presentation at iPres2014: be mindful that reusing the file format guidelines of other bodies without consideration of the underlying evidence/organisational requirements can have an unintended consequence of entrenching bad practices.
answered Nov 13, 2014 by bernieh (550 points)
I'd second this. I'm actually a little skeptical of the concept of file format action plans in general as they imply a focus on formats rather than content.
I assume that content will be what you will want to migrate between formats and if that is the case then you should consider that different content may require different preservation strategies despite having been stored in files that have the same format. E.g. a 100 page report with multiple languages, diagrams, embedded spreadsheets etc in a .doc word 97-2003 file may require or be suited to a quite different migration approach to a 1 page letter or memo in a .doc word 97-2003 file.
We are also looking to make our own File Format Action plan. We are looking to develop the plan based off of rules for preserving content as each format can have different elements of risk. Having a single solution for a file type can be dangerous.
+2 votes

Florida Digital Archvies has some nice ones.  http://fclaweb.fcla.edu/node/795

My own contribution is located on the internal Library of Congress OIS wiki.  Right in the middle.  Probably have to blow some dust off it however.  

 

 

 

answered Oct 1, 2014 by leegnilsson (180 points)
+2 votes

The Archivematica team did quite a bit of research towards building up its default 'format policies', which is the term we use for file format action plans. You can find all the detailed analysis, references, testing and results on the public wiki: https://www.archivematica.org/wiki/Format_policies. In particular, there was a focus on identifying significant characteristics/properties of formats and testing based on retention of the most essential ones.

~Courtney Mumma, MAS/MLIS, Artefactual Systems, Inc.

answered Nov 14, 2014 by Courtney Mumma (260 points)
edited Dec 22, 2014 by anjackson
0 votes
Bentley Historical Library published a plan worth looking at for reference.

http://deepblue.lib.umich.edu/bitstream/handle/2027.42/96438/BHL_FormatConversionStrategies_20130214.pdf
answered Dec 22, 2014 by thorsted (560 points)
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