DPC

Recordings of video game play uploaded to online platforms

   Endangered large

Recordings of game playing and e-sports that show how games are experienced and played, especially multi-user online games and tournaments.

Group: Gaming

Trend: Improving

Consensus Decision

Added to List: 2017

Last update: 2018

Previous category: Critically Endangered

Imminence of Action

Action is recommended within three years, detailed assessment within one year.

Significance of Loss

The loss of tools, data or services within this group would impact on people and sectors around the world.

Effort to Preserve

It would require a major effort to prevent losses in this group, possibly requiring the development of new preservation tools or techniques.

Examples

Material uploaded to Amazon Twitch, game channels on YouTube and other playback services

‘Critically Endangered’ in the Presence of Aggravating Conditions

Controversies around intellectual property rights; lack of offline backup; changing business model of providers; limited recognition of cultural and historic value of game play; over dependence on goodwill subsidy of ad-hoc community; lack of preservation know-how at service providers; dependency on bespoke hardware or interfaces.

‘Vulnerable’ in the Presence of Good Practice

Offline backup; managed intellectual property rights; players and audiences invested in data

2019 Review

This is a subset of an entry made in 2017 for ‘Gaming’ which the Jury has decided to split into four more discrete entries. It has overlaps with an entry on Consumer Social Media except this category specifically draws attention to gaming and e-sports. It is a subset of both. By including as a separate entry,the Jury encourages greater consideration of the cultural and historic value which such recordings are likely to acquire as well as the technical and economic challenges to preservation. It also notes that this entry is categorised as a lower risk than the entry in 2017: but this is a function of splitting that entry into components.

Additional Jury Comments

Vulnerable is an appropriate classification. The content is not particularly distinctive in technical terms but there are aggravating circumstances, namely an almost complete reliance on commercial third parties (Google/YouTube and Amazon/Twitch) for the infrastructure around video capture and hosting. Copyright claims on video content by publishers such as Nintendo - while less prevalent now than a few years ago - also complicate things. The significance of loss here is high because recordings, including commentary, and onscreen interactions with other players, seem likely to be the best way of preserving the experience of playing certain games at certain times. We are familiar with the challenges of preserving video, but we need to think about how established approaches will work in the context of the aggravating circumstances outlined above. There is a degree of urgency associated with working out how (legally and technically) preserving the materials that they hold may be preserved.

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Records of Quasi Non-Governmental Agencies

   Endangered large

Records from agencies at arms-length to government whether locally, nationally or internationally. They may be required to maintain archives for the purposes of transparency, sometimes for extended periods, and sometimes in diverse and complicated forms. But because they are at arm’s length to government but the ’QuaNGO’ or ‘ALEO’ (Arms-Length Executive Organization) may lack the capacity to meet complex digital preservation requirements that arise, nor be able to deposit in the government archive.

Group: Public Records

Trend: no change

Consensus Decision

Added to List: 2019

Last update: 2019

Previous category: 2019

Imminence of Action

Action is recommended within three years, detailed assessment within one year.

Significance of Loss

The loss of tools, data or services within this group would impact on many people and sectors.

Effort to Preserve

It would require a major effort to prevent losses in this group, possibly requiring the development of new preservation tools or techniques.

Examples

Records of non-executive state or national agencies; museum or leisure trusts; industry or public regulators; public audit services; public-good funding and investment agencies; autonomous and semi-autonomous public agencies; sovereign wealth funds; public/private partnerships; publicly owned companies.

‘Critically Endangered’ in the Presence of Aggravating Conditions

Lack of preservation infrastructure; conflation of backup with preservation; loss of authenticity or integrity; Long-lived business processes; poor storage; churn of staff; significant volumes or diversity of data; poorly developed digitization specifications; ill-informed records management; poorly developed migration or normalizations specifications; longstanding protocols or procedures that apply unsuitable paper processes to digital materials; encryption; political instability; lack of sustained funding.

Vulnerable in the Presence of Good Practice

Well managed data infrastructure; preservation enabled at the point of creation; carefully managed authenticity; use of persistent identifiers; finding aids; well managed records management processes; application of records management standards; recognition of preservation requirements at highest levels; strategic investment in digital preservation; preservation roadmap; participation in digital preservation community.

2019 Review

This is a new entry which the Jury introduced in 2019 based on an earlier larger entry for ‘Records of long duration from Local Government or Other Government Agencies’. The split is intended to allow greater concentration on the challenges that these different types of agency face.

Additional Jury Comments

Although the split draws attention to the different pressures faced by QuaNGO’s it could be further subdivided into legally required public records and additional information that may enrich our digital preservation of society. The classification assumes that the roles and requirement for records management is clearly defined, but if this is not the case or there is inadequate resource to match the requirement, then the risk goes up.

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Published research data appended to journal articles

   Endangered large

Closed research data sets produced and documented in accordance with good practice and simply appended to a journal article or transferred to a repository which does not have sufficient subject-matter expertise or funding commitment to ensure reliable or ongoing preservation for the long term.

Group: Research Outputs

Trend: New Entry

Consensus Decision

Added to List: 2019

Last update: 2019

Previous category: New Entry

Imminence of Action

Action is recommended within five years, detailed assessment within three years.

Significance of Loss

The loss of tools, data or services within this group would impact on people and sectors around the world.

Effort to Preserve

It would require a small effort to prevent losses in this group, such as the deployment of proven preservation tools or techniques.

Examples

Data sets added to papers in repositories that are designed primarily for papers; electronic journals offering data sets without obvious preservation capacity; institutional repositories servicing highly complex scientific data sets with insufficient subject-matter expertise.

‘Critically Endangered’ in the Presence of Aggravating Conditions

Unstable funding or revenues; poorly designed migration or normalization processes; poorly formed ingest and quality assurance procedures; rapid churn of staff; incoherent patterns of subject matter; lack of domain knowledge; no or very small numbers of users; weak or absent collecting policy; deposit to ensure minimal compliance with funder mandate; limited or dysfunctional data management planning.

‘Vulnerable’ in the Presence of Good Practice

Clear preservation planning; repository development roadmap; ability to transfer collections or share metadata with subject repositories or portals; strong user base; demonstrable re-use of data; clear collecting policy; data management planning early in data lifecycle.

2019 Review

Research data has been an entry in the BitList since 2017 so the Jury this year has tried to spell out the different complexities that arise in the preservation of research outputs more generally. This entry draws attention to services which take upon themselves commitments to preserve research data, but which may not be able to deliver those promises through lack of capability.

Additional Jury Comments

Research data is complex and has specific requirements for documentation which may only be known to subject matter experts. However well intended, it is risky for institutions to attempt to replicate that level of expertise across all the domains within the institution, and it can be hard for smaller publishers to make commitments to sustain data in the long term.

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Semi-Published Research Data

   Endangered large

Data sets produced in the course of research and shared informally between researchers such as by posting to a website or portal but without preservation capability or commitment. Typically the data remains in the hands of the researchers who have the job of maintaining it.

Group: Research Outputs

Trend: New Entry

Consensus Decision

Added to List: 2019

Last update: New Entry

Previous category: New Entry

Imminence of Action

Action is recommended within five years, detailed assessment within three years.

Significance of Loss

The loss of tools, data or services within this group would impact on people and sectors around the world.

Effort to Preserve

It would require a major effort to prevent losses in this group, such as the development of new preservation tools or techniques.

Examples

Departmental webservers; project wikis; GitHub repositories

‘Critically Endangered’ in the Presence of Aggravating Conditions

Originating researcher no longer active or changed research focus; staff on temporary contracts; dependence on single student or staff member; weak or fluid institutional commitment to subject matter; weak institutional commitment to data sharing; complicated or contested intellectual property; encryption; limited or dysfunctional data management planning.

Vulnerable in the Presence of Good Practice

Data in preparation for transfer to specialist repository; robust data management planning; documented and managed professionally;

2019 Review

Research data has been an entry in the BitList since 2017 so the Jury this year has tried to spell out the different complexities that arise in the preservation of research outputs more generally. This entry represents ‘self-help’ data sharing which is to be encouraged as a means to facilitate open science but shouldn’t be confused with long-term preservation.

Additional Jury Comments

Research data is complex and has specific requirements for documentation which may only be known to subject matter experts. However, data creators are not necessarily well placed to sustain data in the long term.

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Video files

   Endangered large

Video files in any format containing moving picture and sound recordings

Group: Sound and Vision

Trend: New Entry

Consensus Decision

Added to List: 2019

Last update: 2019

Previous category: New Entry

Imminence of Action

Action is recommended within five years, detailed assessment within three years.

Significance of Loss

The loss of tools, data or services within this group would impact on people and sectors around the world.

Effort to Preserve

It would require a small effort to prevent losses in this group, such as the deployment of proven preservation tools or techniques.

Examples

WAV; MP3; MP4

‘Critically Endangered’ in the Presence of Aggravating Conditions

Lack of replication; encryption; digital rights management; proliferation of file formats; weak or non-existent technical documentation; lack of preservation capability or commitment; poorly managed or digitisation processes or QA.

Vulnerable in the Presence of Good Practice

Effective replication; normalization of file formats; strong technical documentation; preservation pathway; good descriptive cataloguing; trusted repository.

2019 Review

This is a new entry submitted through the open nomination process. There are connections between this entry and others relating to social media but has been included as its own entry because the Jury wanted to emphasize the issues of video preservation that pertain to offline recording, whether from broadcast, film industry, institutional and private collections too.

Additional Jury Comments

There are simply too many formats and too many standards, but the FFMPEG project and its related tools have significantly mitigated the technical risk to most video files. This enables a practitioners to transform the vast majority of file formats to safer preservation formats while retaining significant properties. However, technical risk is only one of the factors. There needs to be institutional engagement with audio-visual data as a priority. The issue then becomes one of identifying the organizations responsible and, constrained by the cost to store video data, making effective selection decisions.

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Adobe Flash animations and interactive applets

   Critically Endangered small

Animations, games, and other interactive applets created with Macromedia Adobe Flash, along with their accompanying websites. These are primarily .swf files, but they can also include networked collections of .swf files and external assets, as well as the web pages where they are displayed.

Group: Web

Trend: New Entry

Consensus Decision

Added to List: New Entry

Last update: New Entry

Previous category: New Entry

Imminence of Action

Action is recommended within 12 months detailed assessment is now a priority

Significance of Loss

The loss of tools, data or services within this group would impact on people and sectors around the world.

Effort to Preserve

It would require a major effort to prevent losses in this group, such as the development of new preservation tools or techniques.

Examples

Flash based games; Flash cartoons; Flash interactives

‘Practically Extinct’ in the Presence of Aggravating Conditions

Dependence on older (unpatched) versions of Flash Player; lack of migration pathway to HTML5 or cognate technology; lack of capacity or motivation to export; execution in older browsers.

‘Endangered’ in the Presence of Good Practice

Migration plan initiated; supported in multiple browsers; security vetted

2019 Review

This is a new entry received from the Open submission process and reviewed by the Jury.  Flash animations and applets was a mainstay of interactive web design from the late 1990’s. Flash anmimation and interactives are created using tools supplied by the Adobe of the same name.  Although Flash enables the development of sophisticated interaction at low cost over the web, it has had a chequered history in terms of browser support and has been plagued by security concerns.  It is due to be retired by December 2020 and publishers are being encouraged to migrate to alternative formats. 

Additional Jury Comments

Flash represents a significant amount of the creativity of websites in the early 2000’s including net-based art and cartoons.

Extinction is imminent for flash viewers: web archives will need to consider if it is possible to preserve interaction in newer browsers, or rely on a much more highly selective WebRecorder approach.

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Born Digital Images Held Offline on Portable Storage Devices

 

 Critically Endangered small

Digital images with no analogue equivalent stored offline on portable storage devices or on hard disks, especially where there is no refreshment plan or no replication.

Group: Portable Media

Trend: No change

Consensus Decision

Added to List: 2019

Last update: 2018

Previously: Critically Endangered

Imminence of Action

Action is recommended within three years, assessment in twelve months.

Significance of Loss

The loss of tools, data or services within this group would impact on many people and sectors.

Effort to Preserve

It would require a major effort to prevent losses in this group, such as the development of new preservation tools or techniques.

Examples

Offline photo collections on CD or DVD

‘Practically Extinct’ in the Presence of Aggravating Conditions

dependence on obsolete or proprietary formats or processes; no replication; no archival function;

lack of preservation capacity; lack of skills; single points of failure; lack of clear stewardship or sense of ownership old or obsolete media; lack of refreshment plan; lack or loss of documentation; overabundance; primary storage is camera or phone

‘Endangered’ in the Presence of Good Practice

Refreshment pathway; routine error checking; replication; resource scaled to size of collection; preservation responsibility understood;

2019 Review

This entry was originally submitted in 2017 and remains on the list though with relationships to a number of other entries, especially in relation to different kinds of portable media.

Additional Jury Comments

Highly dependent on who is looking after the offline media but more difficult over time. There is a lack of granularity in the definition of media so only generic advice is possible such as "make sure you're moving your data to new forms of storage every 5 -10 years". It would be possible to split into different storage media (maybe 100 items long).

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Community generated content in arts and heritage

   Critically Endangered small

Digital materials produced and shared in the by ad-hoc community art and heritage projects, typically through digitization, where the creation of digital materials was a significant purpose of the initiative.

Group: Community Archives

Trend: New Entry

Consensus Decision

Added to List: 2019

Last update: 2019

Previous category: New Entry

Imminence of Action

Action is recommended within 12 months, detailed assessment is now a priority

Significance of Loss

The loss of tools, data or services within this group would impact on people and sectors around the world.

Effort to Preserve

It would require a major effort to prevent losses in this group, such as the development of new preservation tools or techniques.

Examples

Locally organised programmes associated with public remembrance and celebration such as World War One centennial commemorations; City of Culture; Olympic Games; World Cup

‘Practically Extinct’ in the Presence of Aggravating Conditions

Poor documentation; lack of replication; lack of continuity funding; lack of residual mechanism. dependence on small number of volunteers, lack of preservation mandate; lack of preservation thinking at the outset; failure of digital legacy planning; conflation of backup with preservation; conflation of access and preservation; inaccessible to web archiving

‘Endangered’ in the Presence of Good Practice

Residual archive with residual funding able to receive and support collections; strict adherence to digitization guidelines; quality assurance; active user community; intellectual property managed to enable preservation.

2019 Review

The jury created this entry in 2019 as a subset of ‘Community Archives and Community-Generated Content’ which has been split into two to provide greater specificity in recommendations.

Additional Jury Comments

Local archives address these collections on an ad hoc basis.

This entry has a high ‘star quality’ because it provides cultural insights into parts of society not addressed by collecting policies with a focus on the famous.

Difficult to state whether national or international impact since it largely depends on the content and how widely it is used. I think this also depends on the identity group represented by the community group such as events around Black History Month.

Loss seems likely because of the precarity of the funding streams, of lack thereof, for these projects. Once digitisation has been carried out, many projects do not know what to do with them or have the means to make them accessible. Often a lack of understanding of copyright is barrier to sharing.

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Correspondence and records of research

 

 Critically Endangered small

Correspondence and other records which describe the configuration and delivery of research but which are ancillary to the core research outputs, including reviews, drafts and correspondence between researchers.

Group:  Research Outputs

Trend: New Entry

Consensus Decision

Added to List: 2019

Last update: 2019

Previous category: New Entry

Imminence of Action

Action is recommended within three years, assessment in twelve months.

Significance of Loss

The loss of tools, data or services within this group would impact on many people and sectors.

Effort to Preserve

Loss seems likely: by the time tools or techniques have been developed the material will likely have been lost.

Examples

Email boxes of senior academics; social media posts; personal spaces on institutional networks

‘Practically Extinct’ in the Presence of Aggravating Conditions

Originating researcher no longer active or changed research focus; staff on temporary contracts; dependence on single student or staff member; weak or fluid institutional commitment to subject matter; weak institutional commitment to data sharing; complicated or contested intellectual property; encryption

‘Endangered’ in the Presence of Good Practice

Recognition of value of correspondence; integration with CRIS; routine use of EDRMS; documented and managed professionally; separation of personal and corporate identies

2019 Review

Research data has been an entry in the BitList since 2017 so the Jury this year has tried to spell out the different complexities that arise in the preservation of research outputs more generally.  This entry represents archives behind research which is available from previous generations of researchers in physical form but which are now electronic.

Additional Jury Comments

In ideal circumstance, correspondence should be stored in EDRMS systems separately from research data and subject to different retention schedules i.e. 10-20 years.  There may be challenges connecting the EDRMs holdings to the research data and vice versa.

Advocacy and research re the scale of the problem may be required to encourage academics to use EDRMs for example for correspondence and integration with CRIS. Simplified tools and workflows to move data from CRIS to Repository to Preservation systems

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Data posted to defunct or little-used social media platforms

   Critically Endangered small

Older or less widely used social media platforms to which content has been uploaded but for which no guarantees have been made about the longterm

Group:  Social Media

Trend: New Entry

Consensus Decision

Added to List: 2017

Last update: 2017

Previous category: Of Concern

Imminence of Action

Action is recommended within three years, assessment in twelve months.

Significance of Loss

The loss of tools, data or services within this group would impact on many people and sectors.

Effort to Preserve

Loss seems likely: by the time tools or techniques have been developed the material will likely have been lost.

Examples

BeBo, MySpace, Google Buzz and others

‘Practically Extinct’ in the Presence of Aggravating Conditions

Closure of platform; lack of offline equivalent; lack of export functionality; no preservation undertaking from service provider; unstable business plan from service provider.

‘Endangered’ in the Presence of Good Practice

Offline Replication; clear notice periods and alerts; committed ongoing maintenance of service

2019 Review

The judges have revived this entry from initial submission in 2017 that they were not able to assess at that time. It emphasizes the different threats faced by social media users.  Because these services are older, the need to act is more urgent than for others.

Additional Jury Comments

It is to be hoped that some of these have been archived via traditional web archiving and so the remnants of these sites can be found in bits and pieces in various web archives, but it may be too late to save some of the content that is likely already be lost. If some of this is still available there may be hope in trying to preserve but it may be difficult if the platforms aren't willing to share data or work with preservationists. ArchiveTeam has stepped in here too. There is undoubtedly a story here which could be used as a call for arms to raise awareness about the preservation of current social media platforms too

Need to decouple the content from the platform. Critically endangered if the availability of the content is based on non-public access therefore the best you can ever do is sample some content from people who are willing to provide access.

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