People often confuse short-term protections with lasting preservation. Backups, system redundancies, and byte-level replication are all helpful but don’t guarantee reliable preservation well into the future. True digital preservation ensures four key factors over the very long term:
The intellectual content of the item must remain usable with changing technology.
We monitor our content for any threats of mediating technologies becoming obsolescent and take appropriate actions to make sure that the content remains usable.
The content needs to be an authentic replica of the original, and its provenance must be verifiable.
We maintain an audit trail of the content we get and what we do with it. If we transform the content, then Portico keeps the original file, the new file we created, and all related information.
The content must have logical bibliographic metadata so that it can be found through time.
All content preserved in Portico is accompanied by detailed metadata to ensure that it can always be found.
The content must be available for use.
Triggered titles in Portico are available for research and pedagogical use to all students, staff, and faculty of participants in the corresponding service.
To meet these goals, we have defined and follow exacting standards and processes for content management and maintenance and replication of the archive. We conduct checks and third-party archive certifications to guarantee quality and security and maintain a delivery system and services to provide easy access to publishers and libraries. And, while the archive is “dark” (i.e., under restricted user access), publishers and libraries are provided with audit privileges that allow them to review preserved content and its status.