May 26, 2022

New Journal Article: “Metadata Provenance and Vulnerability”

The following article was recently published in Information Technology and Libraries (ITAL), a (Library and Information Technology Association (LITA) publication.


Metadata Provenance and Vulnerability


Timothy Robert Hart
Flinders University (Australia)

Denise de Vries
Flinders University (Australia)


Information Technology and Libraries (ITAL)
Vol 36, No 4 (2017)
doi: 10.6017/ital.v36i4.10146


The preservation of digital objects has become an urgent task in recent years as it has been realised that digital media have a short life span. The pace of technological change makes accessing these media increasingly difficult. Digital preservation is primarily accomplished by main methods, migration and emulation. Migration has been proven to be a lossy method for many types of digital objects. Emulation is much more complex; however, it allows preserved digital objects to be rendered in their original format, which is especially important for complex types such as those comprising multiple dynamic files. Both methods rely on good metadata to maintain change history or construct an accurate representation of the required system environment.

In this paper, we present our findings that show the vulnerability of metadata and how easily they can be lost and corrupted by everyday use. Furthermore, this paper aspires to raise awareness and to emphasise the necessity of caution and expertise when handling digital data by highlighting the importance of provenance metadata.

Direct to Full Text Article (10 pages; PDF)

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.