Hitchcock, Steve and Tarrant, David
Characterising and Preserving Digital Repositories: File Format Profiles
Digital and institutional repositories are changing, and rapidly growing repositories targetting new types of digital content, including data and teaching materials, from science to the arts, now complement the established research papers repository. For the first time we have been able to compare and contrast these different repository types using tools designed to assist digital preservation analysis by identifying file formats and producing profiles of the distribution of formats in each repository. Imagine that such repositories were to coalesce into a single, coordinated institutional repository. We do not have such broad repositories today. The JISC KeepIt Project worked with four exemplars, including one of each of type of repository: research papers, science data, arts, and education and teaching. All these exemplars either are, or plan to become, institutional in scope even though limited to a specified type of content. Thus, combined, the exemplars might represent the institutional repository of the future. It is worth bearing in mind how the combined format profiles might look, and the consequent implications for preservation, when contemplating the prospect.
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