Portico Services & Benefits > Preservation Approach

Preservation Approach

Portico’s approach to digital preservation is comprehensive—combining long-term content management and organizational commitment with a philosophical dedication to addressing the needs of tomorrow’s scholars.

Portico preserves content through a format-based migration strategy. The key points of this strategy are

  • identifying key preservation metadata at the initial point of preservation
  • practical preservation of content, such that content is only migrated at the point where it becomes necessary.

In the case of major natural disaster or business failure, the Portico archive could be moved to new stewardship with ease. And, while the archive is dark, publishers and libraries are provided with audit privileges that allow them to review the status of content.

Digital Preservation
Digital preservation is the series of management policies and activities necessary to ensure the enduring usability, authenticity, discoverability, and accessibility of content over the very long-term. The key goals of digital preservation include:

  • Usability—the intellectual content of the item must remain usable via the delivery mechanism of current technology
  • Authenticity—the provenance of the content must be proven and the content an authentic replica of the original
  • Discoverability—the content must have logical bibliographic metadata so that it can be found by end users through time
  • Accessibility—the content must be available for use to the appropriate community

To meet these goals, we have defined and follow exacting standards and processes for content management and maintenance and replication of the archive; we conduct self-checks and third-party archive certifications to ensure quality and security; and we maintain a delivery system and services to provide access to users in ways that are as easy and integrated with other online resources as they expect.

What Digital Preservation is Not
Providing reliable future access over the long-term requires significant investment and a diversity of methods and systems. Often people confuse important near-term access protections with long-term preservation. Alone, none of the following are sufficient to ensure access to content into the distant future:

  • Backup—content is copied and stored in multiple locations. A well-managed backup system can help to quickly resolve problems with content encountered this week, or next week, or next month, but on its own is insufficient over the long-term.
  • Access System Redundancy—when an entire system is running over two or more computers in two or more data centers. This is an excellent way to ensure that there is little interruption to near-term, ongoing access, but it does not alone guarantee usability, authenticity, or accessibility of the content over the long-term.
  • Byte Replication—a process whereby identical, multiple copies of files, file systems, or websites are created. However, simple byte replication includes no provision to ensure the content is usable when the file formats are no longer current, nor is there any inherent provision to ensure that the content remains discoverable.