Future-proof digital archiving: OpenEdition collaborates with Huma-Num and the CINES

Future-proof archival for OpenEdition’s content has arrived! The result of a collaboration between OpenEdition, Huma-Num and the CINES, this digital archival will preserve OpenEdition Books and OpenEdition Journals’ publications for the long term. Already, more than 2000 publications have been archived at the CINES in this way.

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A partnership for the preservation of OpenEdition data

Long-term preservation is a central concern in the life cycle of research data and allows us to consider the data’s potential reuse by people who were not involved in creating it. In addition, some research data can be considered to have high heritage value and deserves to be preserved as such.

As part of its partnership with the CINES, Huma-Num connects SSH communities and supports them in preservation projects. Huma-Num provides funding, identifies new data formats to be preserved, proposes them to the CINES and participates in the process of integrating these formats into the CINES platform. In this context, since OpenEdition data is expressed as TEI format, Huma-Num conducted a study in collaboration with experts from the TEI community to introduce this format to the CINES. The requirements defined for integrating this format into the CINES have, in turn, enabled all producers using this format to improve the quality of what they produce, in particular their structures and documentation.

The CINES provides technical expertise on formats, performs archival monitoring, and takes responsibility for the long-term preservation of the data entrusted to it on behalf of Huma-Num by anticipating the risks of technological obsolescence through quality assurance procedures and preservation planning and by replicating data at an off-site location to avert any type of disaster.

Archiving OpenEdition content at the CINES ensures the integrity, readability and understanding of publications. On the other hand, this archive is not intended to maintain continuity of access to OpenEdition platforms: other devices are in place, such as data backup at the Centre de Calcul de l’IN2P3/CNRS.

From the point of view of the FAIR (i.e., findable, accessible, interoperable, and reusable) principles of data access, long-term preservation concerns data reuse. The data preparation process requires the use of standards for data and metadata, thereby ensuring future interoperability. A persistent identifier called an archival resource key is generated for each archived packet.

How are OpenEdition contents archived?

OpenEdition selects the resources to be archived and then prepares and sends the archives according to the CINES platform’s specifications. To do this we use an application developed in the OpenEdition information system that includes a management interface for the laboratory team.

For each OpenEdition publication, the following files are archived: the TEI format for all the editorial units of a volume (e.g., chapters and articles), the METS format for the volume description, and also images and PDFs of volumes and editorial units. The archived documents are described using the DublinCore standard.

To be archived at the CINES, the files must be valid. They are tested for compliance at the time of payment. Prior to archiving, OpenEdition makes any corrections on previously published documents, which improves the quality of the platform data by optimizing the TEI structure for the documents, images, and PDF files.

To date, the number of publications to be archived is approximately 10,800 for OpenEdition Books and 15,000 for OpenEdition Journals (issues and annual categories for continuous publication journals).

In April 2020, the release of the OpenEdition application made it possible to send the first publications to the CINES. Since September 2020, the OpenEdition team has implemented a process for archiving all books, starting with those published before September 2019 on OpenEdition Books. More than 2000 books have been archived to date, representing more than 60,000 image files (JPEG or PNG) and more than 28,000 TEI files.

Because the resources to be archived are different for journals, archiving OpenEdition Journals publications will require a new version of the application.

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