Metadata Provenance and Vulnerability

Timothy Robert Hart, Denise de Vries

Abstract


The preservation of digital objects has become an urgent task in recent years as it has been realised that digital media have a short life span. The pace of technological change makes accessing these media more and more difficult. Digital preservation is accomplished by two main methods, migration and emulation. Migration has been proven to be a lossy method for many types of digital objects. Emulation is much more complex; however, it allows preserved digital objects to be rendered in their original format, which is especially important for complex types such as those made up of multiple dynamic files. Both methods rely on good metadata in order to maintain change history or construct an accurate representation of the required system environment. In this paper, we present our findings that show the vulnerability of metadata and how easily they can be lost and corrupted by everyday use. Furthermore, this paper aspires to raise awareness and to emphasise the necessity of caution and expertise when handling digital data by highlighting the importance of provenance metadata.

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References


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.6017/ital.v36i4.10146

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