FDA Preservation Support Levels
KBA-01661-X4H8
Summary

Basic Preservation Support

 

All files archived in the FDA repository in archival information packages (AIPs) receive the following services to ensure that they are preserved exactly as submitted, with demonstrated integrity, viability and authenticity:

 

Onsite and offsite storage

Regular backups

Periodic copying to new storage media (media refreshment)

Periodic fixity checking

Periodic verification that the AIP is complete

Full Preservation Support

 

In addition to the basic services provided for all files archived in the FDA repository, supported file formats receiving receive Full Preservation support services intended to ensure that the information content of the files will remain usable into the indefinite future. The Action Plan for the format defines how the file will be treated. All files receiving Full Preservation will be validated and fully described. In addition, some files may be transformed into other formats.

 

The FDA performs two types of format transformations:

 

Normalization: If a file is in a format considered to be less than optimal for digital preservation a version of the file may be created in a more preservation-worthy format. In general, preferred formats are non-proprietary, well documented, and well understood by FDA staff. Normalized versions may not be equivalent to originals in appearance or functionality. For example, a PDF file will be normalized into a set of page-image TIFFs. In this case the appearance of the content is retained but functionality such as actionable hyperlinks is lost. If normalization is part of the Action Plan for a particular file format, files in that format will be normalized on ingest. The normalized version will not be stored in the AIP, but the entire SIP will be rejected if normalization fails. This ensures that normalization can be done if necessary, but spares the cost of storing normalized versions.

 

Migration: If a file is in a format considered at risk of obsolescence, a version may be created in a format considered to be a reasonable successor to the original format. All effort will be made to retain the appearance and behaviors of the original version, although this can not always be guaranteed. The successor format may be a higher version of the original format (for example, PDF 1.4 might be migrated to PDF 1.6) or it may be another format. If migration is part of the Action Plan for a particular file format, files in that format will be migrated on ingest.

The preservation strategies that will be implemented for any file format are documented in the Action Plan for that file format. Note that the original version of every file is always archived in the repository, regardless of any additional transformations performed on that file.

 

Note the following exceptions to Full file format preservation:

 

We do not intend to provide Full file format preservation for any files fully or partially encrypted.

We do not intend to provide Full file format preservation for any files fully or partially password-protected

We do not intend to provide Full file format preservation for any files fully or partially compressed with a proprietary compression algorithm.

We do not intend to provide Full file format preservation for any files fully or partially encoded with unembedded proprietary fonts.

We do not intend to provide Full file format preservation for any files produced      with Digital Right Management controls.

Additional Documentation
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