Digital Preservation deals with a wide range of methods to make sure that relevant knowledge and cultural artifacts currently available in digital form will be available in the far future in a way, such that they can be accessed and understood in a way sufficiently close to today’s practice. Among the wide range of issues and system development, ISL has a particular interest in:
(a) The description and management of Digital Provenance, in order to understand the scientific and cultural meaning of digital artifacts and data sets and to take adequate measures to ensure that in the future. This work is centered around the development of a rich, generic model for Digital Provenance metadata in culture and science that allows for encapsulating the technical diversity in lower levels of detail and in categorical descriptions of employed tools and devices.
(b) The development of tools for the preservation of various forms of curated information (ontologies in RDF/OWL, semi-structured XML files but also relational databases) which at the same time will help their producers to /improve curation practices and processes. Curated information systems exist in the context of all modern scientific practices pose a particular challenge to provenance description with their extremely fine granularity of data item inheritance between systems and versions.
(c) The theory of identity of digital items seen as equivalence classes of objects with common features relevant for a particular use.
(d) Methods to assess the significance of digital assets for preservation by managing heterogeneous sources of information (a combination of criteria drawn from user behavior, expert opinion, statistics and semantic relationships).