¶ Maintenance & Archiving

The following information is intended to assist instructors who want to maintain or archive student work.

Due to constant changes in technology, digital projects, whether they are online or stored in a digital file format, are subject to loss and obsolescence. There are steps you can take to help maintain them, meaning keeping a project live and fully functional, and there are steps that can be taken to archive them, meaning capturing a version of a project that preserves the information but not necessarily its interactive component. Taking the following steps will help with project maintenance:

  • To reduce obsolescence, save projects and media incorporated into projects using file formats that are open, non-proprietary, and widely available. (See "Recommended File Formats")

  • When it is not possible to export a file, take a screenshot, e.g., if a cloud-based data visualization tool will not allow you to download the visualization as an image file, take a screenshot of it instead.

  • If the project is online, periodically view it to make sure it is still viewable and that nothing needs to be updated, e.g., if it is Wordpress, the platform version or a plugin might need to be updated by simply clicking “update.”

  • To prevent media loss, upload media so that it “lives” in a project or in a permanent repository linked to the project.

  • When linking to media, choose media from more reliable repositories like the Internet Archive and Wikicommons as opposed to YouTube or an image found on a random webpage.

  • To reduce “link rot” or “dead links, link to source less likely to be taken down or moved, e.g., sources in the Internet Archive, Wikipedia, and museum digital collections. Also, periodically check for dead links using a free link checker tool (Search “link checker” in a web browser, and multiple tool options will come up.)

For more information, talk to the BCDS Group, which can help you create a maintenance or preservation plan.

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