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ERPANET is very pleased to present its first suite of guidance tools. These guidance tools enable institutions to approach their digital preservation challenges proactively. We would like to hear comments on the tools efficacy, and encourage users to send feedback to us at

Ingest Strategies

September 2004

Increasing quantities of information are presented as digital objects. Storing these objects is no simple matter as it is being found that storing digital objects to ensure access and authenticity is far more complex than for their paper counterparts. Correspondingly, there is a growing need to understand the scope, perspectives and factors of ingest of digital objects into storage areas. This guidance document is intended to introduce ingest and its role in the development of a digital repository system. The appendix contains a companion guide and checklist when defining and/or selecting an ingest strategy, presenting a survey of the factors required for consideration.

Download Ingest Strategies.

Costing Orientation

September 2003

Cost is one of the main criteria for people responsible for digital preservation when it comes to funding sustainable preservation infrastructure and related activities, and hence there is a need for understanding the scope, the different perspectives, and essential factors of inherent costs. These costs have to be assessed against the values of digital objects and the benefits of their preservation or the risks of losing them. This cost orientation tool will help to think through the costing issues involved in digital preservation. This survey of cost factors does not provide costing information. There is still a lack of sound costing information to build upon.

Download Costing Orientation.

Selecting Technologies

September 2003

Success in preserving digital objects is in many ways dependant on what technologies are chosen, as technologies become obsolete in comparatively short time spans. This erpaTool will outline in the first part the role of technologies in the digital preservation area and show how to approach the technology issue. This will be followed by an explanation of the prerequisites which must be available before one begins the decision process. Then, it will briefly describe all the essential factors that need to be taken into consideration when selecting and evaluating technologies for preservation of digital objects.

Download Selecting Technologies.

This tool examines policies in use or in project for preserving and maintaining digital materials and ensuring their availability for current and future use; in particular, it dwells upon some specific aspects such as costs, requirements, roles, responsibilities, monitoring and review. The primary aims of a policy are to provide guidance and authorization on the preservation of digital materials and to ensure the authenticity, reliability and long-term accessibility of them. Moreover, a policy should explain how digital preservation can serve major needs of an institution and state some principles and rules on specific aspects which then lay the basis of implementation. This tool sets out to identify and describe the reasons that have induced an institution to develop its policy for digital preservation, the advantages of having it, the definite areas that are included in it, the most important problems discussed and other specific and relevant aspects, as those above-mentioned.

Download Digital Preservation Policy.

Risk Management

September 2003

The main aim in understanding and communicating risk is to identify and impose priorities, and take appropriate actions to minimize risks. The uncertainty of digital preservation in the constantly evolving technological environment means that there is an ever-present risk that digital assets will be orphaned when formats and technology becomes obsolete. Digital preservation is still an immature process from both an economic as well as a technical standpoint, and the lack of sufficient experience and evidence can be problematic. This tool is designed be used to: highlight what digital resources are at risk in an organisation; highlight the risks to these digital resources; highlight the risks to organisations posed by threats to digital resources; categorise and prioritise risk in order to manage it; enable communication within the organisation about areas of risk; and stimulate risk management strategy development.

Download Risk Management.