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INFORM Risk Assessment Methdology


A key issue of digital preservation is the extinction of data formats or their operating environments.  In a large repository many data formats are represented, but how does the curator/operator know the viability of the objects in the repository? How does an individual institution become "expert" in the variety of data formats extant in its collection and possibly replicated in other collections?

To address these questions, the INFORM Risk Assessment Methodology project in Phase II of NDIIPP built an online collaborative environment for risk assessment of data formats using INFORM, a distributed process for assessing risk associated with the usage of particular data formats.

The project had 3 main areas of activity:
  1. Software development. The INFORM methodology was implemented as a software application.
    • See the INFORM tool (Note: A login and password are required.)
  2. Research protocol development. A research protocol was designed, followed by a community-building of experts to apply the methodology.
  3. Data-gathering and analysis. Data from participants was collected, analyzed and reviewed.

Besides a software release and data analysis, key project deliverables also included a community-built information resource for data format risk and increased community involvement in digital preservation.