Isn't that an exaggeration? My students seem to be able to screen-read my PDF files...
On 1 Aug 2012, at 14:07, Eirini Dafermou <[log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>>
The majority of PDF files are inaccessible to the print-disabled users. Word and Epub on the other hand are compatible with screen-readers. If you could go with a multi-modal way then you could serve the needs of all potential users in an inclusive education environment and enhance preservation.
BTW, has anyone used METS for preservation?
Library and Information Service
Panteion University of Social and Political Sciences
Απο: Paul Wheatley <[log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>>
Προς: [log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>
Στάλθηκε: 3:28 μ.μ. Τετάρτη, 1 Αυγούστου 2012
Θεμα: Re: Policies on depositing MS Word files
Further to the EPUB discussion, I would recommend this analysis of implications for preservation of the format by Johan van der Knijff of the National Library of the Netherlands (blog post links to formal report):
As a more general point, the way to tackle these problems is to share our knowledge of the challenges and the solutions and it's been great to see this happening on this email list. If anyone is interested in doing more, I've recently written up a summary of a number of new community driven or crowd sourced approaches to digital preservation:
From: Repositories discussion list [mailto:[log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>] On Behalf Of Jenny Mitcham
Sent: 01 August 2012 09:44
To: [log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>
Subject: Re: Policies on depositing MS Word files
I too have been watching this discussion with interest. It is really
good to listen to other people's experiences.
I would agree with the general consensus on this list of the benefits
of keeping a copy in it's original format (whatever that may be). PDF
is fine for dissemination but should be used with caution. PDF/a is a
far more attractive option and the hope is it will have a bit more
longevity. In my previous job at the Archaeology Data Service one of
my jobs was to go back to some old pdf files that had been deposited
(for dissemination only - we did have a separate preservation version)
over 10 years ago. These files were in pdf version 1.2 and over the
course of time, our users were beginning to have problems accessing
them. Various error messages were popping up on opening the files,
most of which were to do with missing fonts. These errors were
rendering the files unreadable. I had to go back to the original
preservation versions and create PDF/a files happy in the knowledge
that all fonts would be embedded and that the data within the reports
would be readable for a much longer period of time. :-)
On the subject of Word docx files. I would argue that these are fine
as a preservation format, so long as there is a process of continuous
active management within the digital archive and the opportunity to
convert to another suitable format as time passes (with appropriate
checks to ensure the significant properties of the document are
maintained through subsequent migrations ...that is perhaps the tricky
All the best,
On 31 July 2012 22:04, Simon Pockley <[log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>> wrote:
> This has been a most interesting discussion. One of the challenges we
> regularly encounter at the Australian National Data Service (ANDS) is that
> access to the data embedded in the figures and tables of a paper offered in
> PDF can be severely compromised. Sometimes these figures and tables become
> the only evidence that the data actually existed. While this leads to
> another argument for how and why data should/could be better managed, data
> loss is often an unintended consequence of choosing PDF. I'd be very
> interested in any stories of data loss due to format choice.
> Simon (sent from gmail)
> Simon Pockley PhD
> Research Data Analyst
> Australian National Data Service (ANDS)
> p: +61 3 9902 0549
> f: +61 3 9902 0599
> m: +61 418575525
> e. [log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>
> "The activist is not the man who says the river is dirty.
> The activist is the man who cleans up the river." - Ross Perot
> On Tue, Jul 31, 2012 at 9:02 AM, Paul Wheatley <[log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>>
>> Hanging on to whatever is the closest file to the "original" is usually a
>> sensible principle to follow, if other practicalities allow. As has been
>> pointed out already, derivatives can be lossy. I'm much more concerned about
>> poor format migrations that are not thoroughly quality assured than I am
>> about all out format obsolescence. This can be exacerbated if a repository
>> only accepts certain file formats and effectively pushes the role of
>> preservation manager onto the submitter (who is most likely neither
>> sufficiently experienced nor well enough equipped to do a good format
>> migration and QA job).
>> As regards PDF risks (which has been touched on a little in the
>> discussion) I coincidentally kicked off a question on LIS Stack Exchange
>> which has received some high quality answers which may be of interest:
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: Repositories discussion list
>> [mailto:[log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>] On Behalf Of Ian Stuart
>> Sent: 30 July 2012 09:10
>> To: [log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>
>> Subject: Re: Policies on depositing MS Word files
>> On 27/07/12 15:25, Hugh Glaser wrote:
>> > And hence Word is good, as people have said, although it is important
>> > to specify docx (as you do): but unfortunately it seems people use
>> > Word 2007 or similar format, rather than docx, which seriously
>> > compromises forward compatibility of the data for a transient
>> > backwards compatibility of the software.
>> Whilst acknowledging that forward compatibility of document formats, and
>> the probably superiority of LaTex (and other ASCII-based, open,
>> description-based layout systems.... Scribus anyone?), we do have to
>> remember that the majority of people writing articles are only
>> interested if getting the article (book, monogram, research report,
>> conference report, spreadsheet, whatever) written with as little hassle
>> as possible.
>> MS Word does this: it exists on most computers, and is the system that
>> most people learn first.
>> It may be an unpleasant fact - however we have to accept that most
>> authors do not have a primary interest in the long-term [digital]
>> preservation of their work.... their first thought is not "How can I do
>> this in such a way as to make life easier for my local repository manager"
>> Ian Stuart.
>> Developer: ORI, RJ-Broker, and OpenDepot.org<http://OpenDepot.org>
>> Bibliographics and Multimedia Service Delivery team,
>> The University of Edinburgh.
>> This email was sent via the University of Edinburgh.
>> The University of Edinburgh is a charitable body, registered in
>> Scotland, with registration number SC005336.
Borthwick Institute for Archives
University of York
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