[Taxacom] [iczn-list] Archiving - the professional view?

iczn-em iczn-em at nhm.ac.uk
Tue Nov 16 16:18:40 CST 2010

I have been following this discussion with interest as it has touched on a
number of important points for the big issues facing the ICZN at the moment.
Indeed, it strikes me that the complexity of these issues and their
solutions, and the resulting ferocity of the discussions, might provide some
of the readers an idea why the ICZN is extending the time for deliberating
on decisions that affect the future of taxonomy (and why the ICBN is nervous
about the upcoming public vote on e-only pubs).

I would like to request two things of you as informed taxonomist readers and
contributors to these threads:

1) Please find the professional archivists who can comment on our issues of
extremely long term, stable and accessible storage (for what is often
copyrighted information). Ask them to provide a short, readable but
technically informative contribution to the BZN (Bulletin of Zoological
Nomenclature). I have done that to some extent but the input has not been as
extensive as I would like. Please ask them to read the previous
contributions on e-only publication in the BZN:
http://iczn.org/content/availability-electronic-publication (archivists'
contributions in part III and IV, esp. contribution (5) by Adam Farquhar
Head of Digital Library Technology, British Library)

2) Please provide me with 3-5 short, sharp questions that I can post to
professional archivists. In the name of getting the bottom line on the
state-of-the-art in e-only archiving I subscribe to several records
management listservers and occasionally attend their meetings. It might be
useful to compile a survey of their views on their solutions to our needs.
To date, it has almost exclusively been taxonomists reporting on their
understanding of archiving technology strengths and weaknesses.

Finally, an archiving post came along today that might be of interest, as it
gives you the idea that all of these points are still in active discussion
in the archiving literature as well:
>PDF/A: A Viable Addition to the Preservation Toolkit
>PDF/A, the archival version of the PDF file format, is an
International Standards Organization (ISO) vetted, open source tool
that can be added to the librarian's and archivist's preservation
toolkit. This article describes the format itself, the lessons learned
as the authors investigated the tools readily available for creating
PDF/A files and the design of the pilot to test implementation of the
use of the format in The Ohio State University's repository, the
Knowledge Bank. Further, we identify issues in conversion of diverse
original formats; strategies for time-saving batch conversion; and
considerations in deciding whether to attempt full or partial
compliance with the standard.
Source: http://www.dlib.org/dlib/november10/noonan/11noonan.html

Thanks for all the good discussion,

PS and off the record - if any one notices the missing 'ff's in their PDF of
the BZN comment and makes jokes about FFS, I'd say its a cheap shot!

Dr Ellinor Michel

Executive Secretary
International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature
Natural History Museum, London SW7 5BD
+44 (0)207-942-5653
iczn-em at nhm.ac.uk


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