Vicky Reich, director of the LOCKSS programme at Stanford University Libraries, and Randy Kiefer, executive director of the CLOCKSS archive, explain why preserving digital content is a challenge that needs to be tackled, especially as this content becomes more dynamic.
Here is one exchange from the interview:
What are the challenges with preservation?
Vicky Reich: The web as a publishing platform enables many things never envisaged in the print world. The web started with a document model, then evolved to include dynamic elements, such as advertisements and embedded videos. But first with AJAX and now with HTML5, the web is becoming a networked operating system inside the browser. It is no longer enough to parse content collected from the web to find the links and follow them; the content must be executed to discover the web resources from which it is composed. Some of these resources are web services, such as Google Maps. Preserving executable content and the services on which it depends is a major challenge that the LOCKSS programme is working to address.
Randy Kiefer: The biggest challenge is not just getting people to step up to their stewardship, but also getting people to understand how to play in that ecosystem. Getting publishers to understand is pretty straightforward. For libraries, the challenge is a bit more difficult because there are no interactive transactions like capturing content, just the building of long-term protection. Preservation is a very good thing and it is good when people participate in more than one initiative. It makes us all more relevant to the market. Different preservation initiatives come together and share ideas so that content will still be accessible in 50 years’ time when there is no internet and something has replaced it.
Read the Complete Interview