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  Preservation Procedure Policy: Decide on Ingest activities
Related Guidance Policy Bitpreservation
Definition/ Description In the process of ingesting digital objects into the repository in order to perform bit preservation a number of ingest activities will have to be performed to ensure that the digital material will meet the requirements set by the organisation.
For bit preservation there is a minimal set of measures that should be developed. The organisation needs to:
  • ensure that the digital objects are free of viruses by  examining  the objects before ingest,
  • ensure that the collection and the objects are complete
  • identify, characterise and validate formats.

    Knowing which file formats are in the repository is a cornerstone in digital preservation, as many of the identified risks are related to file formats. There are a variety of tools available to check the file format of digital objects, albeit with different success. The minimal level, but not trustworthy, is identifying file formats based on the file extension and this can be extended with analysis with more trustworthy tools (see Further Reading) Identification could be extended with characterization and validation of the file format, which will give a more complete picture of the content of the repository.
Why To be able to ensure the integrity of the digital material in the repository it is important that the digital material at time of ingest meets the requirements of the organization and that the organization will have knowledge of what kind of materials are actually ingested.
Risks Not performing a minimal set of ingest activities may endanger the integrity of the digital material in the repository. Not knowing the file formats might lead to a risk that certain files will no longer be accessible with contemporary tools or tools that are in use by the Designated Community. It also hinders identifying risks connected to the file formats stored.
Life cycle stage Create or Receive, Description & Representation Information
Technology Manager: responsible for ensuring the proper systems for bit preservation
Operational Manager/Information Operator/System Architect/Technology Operator/Solution Provider : responsible for administrating systems and performing bit preservation
Cross Reference Functional preservation
Organisation – Risk management
Access?  Authencity?
Examples British Library: “Ingest valid legacy digital content into our long term repository…” Source: digitalpreservation/strategy/BL_DigitalPreservationStrategy_2013-16-external.pdf
Control Policy  
For collection x:
  • file format MUST be <defined format>
  • file format MUST be automatically verified_ _
Questions to foster discussions
  • Does your organisation’s preservation policy describe the various ingest activities and are these activities part of standard ingest procedures?
  • Does your organisation plan to have an ingest process in which file formats of the preserved objects are identified, eventually checked and reported?
  • Does your organisation plan to check for viruses before ingesting digital material into the repository?
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