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PREservation FORMAts for culture information/e-archives (PREFORMA)
Start date: Jan 1, 2014, End date: Dec 31, 2017 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Description Research Procurement for Digital PreservationMemory institutions are handling an increasing number of transfers of electronic documents and other media content for long term preservation. Preservation models are often inspired by ISO 14721:2003, known as “the OAIS model”, where transfers and preservation are built on information packages containing both data and metadata. Data are normally stored in specific file formats for documents, images, sound, video etc. that are produced by software from different vendors. Therefore, even if the transferred files are in standard formats, the implementation of standards cannot be guaranteed. The software implementing standards for the production of the electronic files is not in control neither of the institutions that produce them nor of the memory institutions. Conformance tests of transfers are carried out, but are not totally reliable. This poses problems in long-term preservation. Data objects meant for preservation, passing through an uncontrolled generative process, can jeopardise the whole preservation exercise.PREFORMA will research critical factors in the quality of standard implementation and develop a suite of innovative tools to assess standards compliance of collections to be archived and to correct non-compliance. The tools should provide a reference implementation for the most common file format standards. The tools should be innovative and provide a reference implementation of the most common file format standards for the assessment of the collections to be archived and for the correction of the collections. Media types covered are text documents, images, and audio-visual records.PREFORMA will target a wide digital preservation community, by providing specifications and feedback to developers, standardisation bodies and memory institutions. The project will make use of joint pre-commercial-procurement to involve industrial suppliers, thus matching the memory institutions' professional knowledge and the suppliers' skills in development and promotion of products. The joint procurement will help PREFORMA to build a sustainable network of common interest, where the public procurers can remain in contact and cooperate beyond the EU-funding period. Results will be broadly disseminated during the projects life time and summarised at a final conference.
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