Most criteria for evaluating digital preservation strategies are based on needs and requirements from the archivist's perspective. In the CAMiLEON Project, we wanted to learn what significant properties users consider worth preserving. In this article, we present the results of two experiments that used human subjects to learn about user preferences for different formats of preserved digital objects. We tested subjects' reactions to digital materials that were preserved using three common methods: 1) conversion to a "software-independent" format; 2) migration; and 3) presenting the original bitstream using emulation. The results of this exploratory study suggest directions for further research and help archivists understand how user needs and preferences may inform selection of preservation methods. Further research on the effectiveness of emulation and migration needs to account for the quality of the emulator, the impact of specific approaches to migration on document attributes and behaviors, and numerous aspects of the original computing environment that may affect the user experience. Research on the importance of authenticity should consider how users judge authenticity and the tradeoffs they are willing to make between using the original source and the ease of access and use.
"The Old Version Flickers More": Digital Preservation from the User's Perspective
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Margaret Hedstrom, Christopher Lee, Judith Olson, Clifford Lampe; "The Old Version Flickers More": Digital Preservation from the User's Perspective. The American Archivist 1 January 2006; 69 (1): 159–187. doi: https://doi.org/10.17723/aarc.69.1.1765364485n41800
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