The 2008 Open Repositories conference (OR08) started yesterday in Southampton. I promised Chris I'd make a blog post whilst I was there but this fell through when my laptop started playing up. Now that I'm back (and preparing to go to Wigan to speak at a different event tomorrow), I wanted to make a quick post about the session on sustainability.
There were two speakers in this session: Warwick Cathro from the National Library of Australia, and Libby Bishop from the Universities of Essex and Liverpool (yes, she works for both). Warwick gave a fascinating overview of theAustralian Digital Library Service framework, which sets out twenty nine services involved in managing and building digital libraries and repositories. He went into more detail on a number of them, including preservation and in particular the function of obsolescence notification. The Automated Obsolescence Notification System (AONS) that was established by ASPR a few years ago will play a key part in the preservation service. The AONS toolkit includes add-ons for different repository software to build format profiles and the intention is that this will eventually link in to file format registries such as PRONOM and the GDFR to function as part of a migration service (I think). It appears complimentary to the web-based format profiling service that PRESERV established in conjunction with PRONOM - the PRONOM-ROAR service for e-print repositories. Warwick noted however that file format registries need more work before they can comprehensively provide this level of funcitonality though, particularly in providing more structured file format data.
Libby Bishop introduced the Timescapes project and gave a comprehensive overview of the way the research data is collected and used. The project uses a disaggregated preservation service, essentially using the LUDOS repository at Leeds (previously from the MIDESS project) alongside data services provided by the UK Data Archive at the University of Essex. Libby had a lot of say and I'm interested to know more about the level of preservation service that is provided by the UKDA but didn't manage to ask whilst I was there yesterday.
There is another sustainabilty session running today at OR08.