1. The writers of this report believe that digital preservation and reformatting will be accepted by libraries and archives when both questions of image quality and questions of longevity are answered. The organizational and technical issues involved in migrating data away from near-obsolescent media (or media whose software drivers, operating system environment or hardware are near obsolescence) or in refreshing data whose media is experiencing deterioration (as indicated by an increase in monitored error rates) are specifically not addressed in this project.

    A project which should be undertaken by the preservation community is to coax drive manufacturers to make available externally to their units the detailed error detection and correction (EDC) information which already exists within them. This could then be used to monitor trends in soft (recoverable) error rates and provide a basis for migration schedules long before hard (unrecoverable) errors begin to occur. In the networking world, the SNMP (Simple Network Monitoring Protocol) standard permits remote monitoring of the error rates and performance of devices like modems and routers for similar reasons.

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