LongRec – Records Management over Decades
LongRec – Records Management over Decades
The primary goal of this joint-industry project is the Persistent, Reliable and Trustworthy Long-Term Archival of Digital Documents, with Emphasis on Availability and Use of Documents. The particular problems addressed by the LongRec project typically emerge when document lifetime exceeds 20 years, and LongRec imposes no upper limit on the lifetime. The main objectives for the LongRec partners are a) to enable transition to digital original documents and digital work processes for information that must be available and in use over decades, and b) to explore the potential for commercial products/services in this area.
Case studies addressed by LongRec include documentation for physical objects that are in use for decades (ships, oilrigs, power plants, and others) and documents in public registries. Results may be generalised to other cases, e.g. health information. LongRec goes beyond the "digital preservation" area addressed by libraries and (public) archives in that documents also need to be used (retrieved, updated, verified) subject to constrains related to ownership and authorisations. All parts of a document$(B!G(Bs environment (technology, processes, organisations, roles/people, and ownership) must be expected to undergo several changes during the lifetime of the document. LongRec goes beyond state of the art in "records management" by addressing long-term aspects, and preservation not only of availability and readability, but also of semantic value (meaning, context) and evidential value (trustworthiness).
NR researchers work on the development of the “Preservation of trust and security” of digital original documents that must be trusted over time. This includes confidence in preservation of: Availability (to authorised actors), integrity (correctness), confidentiality (to unauthorised actors), IPR protection (of ownership), and accountability (traceability of actions and events related to the document). These properties are threatened by errors, mistakes and failures, but also by security events (i.e., intentional attacks). NR hosts a PhD fellow in this area specifically the development of theory and methods for the use of evidential value of a record as an index for the degree of trust, and to derive guidelines for preservation of evidential value over time.
Benefit for customers
LongRec provides solutions to overcome limitations regarding the long-term perspective of work processes, both within a company and across company borders, digital processes which are increasingly relying on digital documents. By establishing a scientific knowledge base for handling the long-term perspective, it becomes viable to build products and services for the long-term perspective. By offering trusted, long-term storage services the service provider takes on a great responsibility to provide services for an unknown future. In order to make this a viable business it is essential that LongRec has to be built on sound, scientifically established standards and methods that are also supported by technology, “demonstrating conformity with regulatory or legal constraints.”
Benefit for society
The established theory, mechanisms, and technology will enable companies to trust long-term (several decades) storage of digital original documents, and be able to use and update the documents throughout their lifetime, thus strengthening and promoting the understanding of management of long-term digital documents in the educational system, to the academic research community, and to the society at large.
The exploratory phase focusing on both the obstacles inhibiting the transition to digital work processes and the possibilities and innovation potential that might be exploited after such a transition has been completed. This phase includes case studies for the partners (primarily requirements capture) and establishment of state of the art in related research and in product/service support. Requirements from the partners’ environment have also been collected (legal, compliance etc.). The development of the first draft of strategies and guidelines (processes and organization) and specifications (for technical solutions) as a set of publicly available documents has been started.
Research Council of Norway (BIA-BIP Project 176818/140)