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  Preservation Procedure Policy: Keep track of versions when performing migration
Related Guidance Policy
Functional preservation
Definition/ Description The organisation needs to decide whether to preserve or dispose of originals when digital material has been migrated. This decision should be part of the digital preservation policy for the organisation. The choice of preserving or disposing depends on a number of factors, i.e. the organisational and technological factors already defined.

The decision of preserving or disposing of intermediate or previous versions after a migration can be influenced by factors such as cost, storage capacity, and resources to administer the digital material etc.
Also the question of the demands from the Designated Community should be taken into account. For instance does the Designated Community demand access to both originals and migration copies to be able to verify the authenticity of the material or do they trust that the organisation has performed a migration which is true to the original material?
The organisation should formulate a policy for access and version control to be able to provide the Designated Community with the best possible access opportunities and to keep the authenticity of the material viable.
Why There will always be a risk of errors occurring during preservation actions such as migration. Therefore it is important that the organisation at least is clear about the decision made on disposing or keeping originals after a migration and keeps track of the different versions to be able to proof the authenticity of the material.
Risks Future users can suspect that the organisation has willingly or unwillingly disposed of valuable digital material and the organisation may lose its trustworthiness and the material would lose its authenticity.
Life cycle stage Preservation Planning, Ingest, Preservation Action, Access, Use and Reuse
Stakeholder Depositor: should be able to rely upon the integrity of the digital material
Consumer: should be able to rely upon the integrity of the digital material
Management: defines policies for versioning
Technology Management/System Architect: develop systems to support versioning requests
Cross Reference Authenticity
Trustworthy Digital Repository
Examples “(…)establish procedures to meet archival requirements pertaining to the provenance, chain of custody, authenticity, and integrity (bit-level and content) of institutional records and assets.” Source: Cornell University Library, [
Control Policy
  • All preservation events MUST be recorded
  • Information on preservation events SHOULD use the PREMIS schema
  • Information on preservation event MUST include date undertaken
Questions to foster discussions
  • Has your organisation decided whether to keep or dispose of intermediate versions after migration?
  • Does your organisation have a plan for securing integrity of the digital material?
  • Does your organisation know if the Designated Community needs access to both originals and migration copies to be able to trust the digital material?Mentioning important articles related to this element
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