Bit Preservation: A Solved Problem?. Rosenthal, D. S. H. In International Journal of Digital Curation, volume 5, pages 134–148, London, England, United Kingdom, June, 2010. Digital Curation Centre.
Bit Preservation: A Solved Problem? [link]Paper  doi  abstract   bibtex   
For years, discussions of digital preservation have routinely featured comments such as "bit preservation is a solved problem; the real issues are...". Indeed, current digital storage technologies are not just astoundingly cheap and capacious, they are astonishingly reliable. Unfortunately, these attributes drive a kind of "Parkinson’s Law" of storage, in which demands continually push beyond the capabilities of systems implementable at an affordable price. This paper is in four parts: • Claims, reviewing a typical claim of storage system reliability, showing that it provides no useful information for bit preservation purposes. • Theory, proposing "bit half-life" as an initial measure of bit preservation performance, expressing bit preservation requirements in terms of it, and showing that the requirements being placed on bit preservation systems are so onerous that the experiments required to prove that a solution exists are not feasible. • Practice, reviewing recent research into how well actual storage systems preserve bits, showing that they fail to meet the requirements by many orders of magnitude. • Policy, suggesting ways of dealing with this unfortunate situation.
@inproceedings{rosenthal_bit_2010,
	address = {London, England, United Kingdom},
	title = {Bit {Preservation}: {A} {Solved} {Problem}?},
	volume = {5},
	copyright = {CC BY 4.0},
	shorttitle = {Bit {Preservation}},
	url = {http://www.ijdc.net/article/view/151},
	doi = {10.2218/ijdc.v5i1.148},
	abstract = {For years, discussions of digital preservation have routinely featured comments such as "bit preservation is a solved problem; the real issues are...". Indeed, current digital storage technologies are not just astoundingly cheap and capacious, they are astonishingly reliable. Unfortunately, these attributes drive a kind of "Parkinson’s Law" of storage, in which demands continually push beyond the capabilities of systems implementable at an affordable price.

This paper is in four parts:
• Claims, reviewing a typical claim of storage system reliability, showing that it provides no useful information for bit preservation purposes.
• Theory, proposing "bit half-life" as an initial measure of bit preservation performance, expressing bit preservation requirements in terms of it, and showing that the requirements being placed on bit preservation systems are so onerous that the experiments required to prove that a solution exists are not feasible.
• Practice, reviewing recent research into how well actual storage systems preserve bits, showing that they fail to meet the requirements by many orders of magnitude.
• Policy, suggesting ways of dealing with this unfortunate situation.},
	language = {en},
	urldate = {2018-07-09},
	booktitle = {International {Journal} of {Digital} {Curation}},
	publisher = {Digital Curation Centre},
	author = {Rosenthal, David S. H.},
	month = jun,
	year = {2010},
	pages = {134--148},
	file = {}
}

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