With the research described in this report, ERPANET sets out to identify the current state of digital preservation in the respective sector from a variety of perspectives. The topics explored include objective relevance and subjective awareness of digital preservation, cooperation, current practice, costs, and audit. The publishing sector is becoming increasingly aware of the importance and value of digital information and of the problems and challenges that lie in preserving it and providing access to it over time. The amount of information produced, received, and managed in digital form increases daily in the publishing sector, and radically affects the main business functions and processes. Most of the seven organisations that participated in this study understand that the main issues affecting them must be resolved in concert with other publishers and organisations that have a stake in the sector. Controls need to be put in place for the creation, management, and preservation of valuable information, and should be developed with other publishers and business partners. This sort of activity is only becoming visible and much still remains to be addressed. A fuller knowledge within the sector of the demands and challenges of preserving digital information has to be fostered before action can be taken. Certain larger organisations have begun to consider the loss of valuable digital assets a serious risk and are working to find solutions to the problems of cost, standards, establishing responsibility for action. Problems are also raised by proposed technical solutions such as format change, degradation of hardware and software, and quality and completeness. The remaining, smaller organisations, wary of high costs and untested potential solutions, prefer to wait and see what develops in the sector, especially the products of the developing partnerships with major libraries. The organisations involved in this study present a range of examples of understanding and activity, highlighting the work that has been done, and work that remains to be addressed.
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