"(3) FORMAT MIGRATION
The Library shares with the University, the responsibility of
guaranteeing that ETDs will be available to researchers both inside
and outside of the academic community. To keep ETDs reader-friendly and to
retain full access will mean migrating the current file
formats to new, standard formats not yet known."
Without having a paper copy Purdue will have to make such a guarantee
with no way of knowing the cost in dollars and time that it will entail.
Reflecting on the history of library funding, how can we make such a
guarantee? Not only will we see new standards as yet unknown
that will replace .tif, .wav, .mpeg, .jpg, .gif, .pdf and other
current formats, but we will see breakdown of the current storage
media analogous to the deterioration of acid-based papers. At
best, the lifespan of a CD/DVD is 35 years. I, personally, doubt that
we will be using CD/DVD in ten years. So not only will the T/Ds need be
migrated to new software, but to new storage media as well.
Will we then become dependent on a commercial company (possibly a
monopolistic one with monopolistic pricing schemes) just so we can access
our own T/Ds? Will we be in some group of libraries needing to pay
constantly higher costs to migrate each generation of T/D storage?
"This will be done through the cooperative efforts of the library (who
maintains the submission software, the database of ETDs, and the secure
archive) and University computing expertise."
I would like to address Security and other issues in a different post.
"Formats recommended for ETDs that may need to be converted to new
standards in the future:"
This could be a very high price to pay.
Librarian Assistant V
Special Collections, Archives, and Thesis Deposit