When you’ve identified a source that’s of interest and relevance to your research, you should subject it to critical evaluation. As you review it, ask yourself why the work was needed, what its analysis was, and how the author interpreted the results. Most importantly, what’s your interpretation of the results?
Feedback provides information and advice. It’s offered in a variety of settings, such as part of your supervision, during presentations at conferences, while teaching, or when working as part of a team. Whatever the environment, feedback is a highly productive way of developing yourself and your skills.
The archival field lacks people with the expertise needed to extend the digital preservation agenda. Formal training opportunities for digital preservation are still rare, so much is learned on the job. New archivists may be uncertain as to where to acquire specific skills, and seasoned archivists need to broaden their knowledge or expand their roles professionally.
The Information Age spawns questions for the future. How will we ensure long-term access to information, growing exponentially every day? How will we migrate data as technology moves from one medium to the next? Who determines what’s saved, and what criteria will be used to make those decisions? Most importantly, what is the cost of preservation? Who will pay for it?
The challenge that many archival repositories face is assimilating digital preservation activities into everyday workflows. In my past positions, preservation of digital assets was an afterthought—if thought about at all. As a consultant, I’ve found that planning for long-term digital preservation is still unclear in most digital initiatives. Awareness about digital preservation is growing, though work and education are still needed.