A recent U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) workshop discussed the requirements for creating an international digital data preservation standard. "Everybody is doing their own thing to preserve data, but they are not doing it in a common way," says NIST computer scientist Wo Chang. "This is a huge problem."
Chang says an approved standard is still at least two years away and then it will only address a preliminary set of needs. Any new standard will have to work within existing technology and infrastructure because there is so much data already in existence. Chang envisions adding new metadata about the formatting and metadata contained within the data envelope, which would enable users to identify data and determine what is usable.
"One thing that could help adapt data to a common standard for preservation would be to adopt a common workflow for capturing metadata in a systematic way," Chang says.
From Government Computer News
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