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Rethinking digital preservation: definitions, models, and requirements

Thomas C. Wilson (University Libraries, The University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, Alabama, USA)

Digital Library Perspectives

ISSN: 2059-5816

Article publication date: 8 May 2017




This paper aims to clarify a mechanism for determining the robustness of digital preservation options given that the field has matured and contains a number of alternatives.


By examining the component activities of digital preservation, the open archival information system (OAIS) reference model and the trustworthy repository certification process, this paper outlines a possible new model for evaluating the caliber of any particular digital preservation mechanism.


This paper offers a more ordered and prescriptive model for evaluating digital preservation efforts.

Research limitations/implications

As a review of the OAIS reference model is underway, this paper seeks to contribute to that ongoing discussion to address several issues lacking in the current model and its effect on the certification process.


This paper identifies weaknesses in current practices and offers a model for addressing them.



The author would like to acknowledge Jody DeRidder, The University of Alabama, and Aaron Trehub, Auburn University, for their review and comment on drafts of this article.


Wilson, T.C. (2017), "Rethinking digital preservation: definitions, models, and requirements", Digital Library Perspectives, Vol. 33 No. 2, pp. 128-136.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Thomas C. Wilson

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