What is Digital Preservation and How Does it Work? |


    What is digital preservation?

    Digital preservation is that “disciplined” process that allows documents to be stored in digital format, enabling, in the cases provided for by law, the destruction of the paper original or not to proceed with its printing. It serves to guarantee the authenticity, integrity, reliability, readability and retrievability of documents.

    How does digital preservation work?

    “Digital preservation” therefore means “replacing paper documents with the same document in digital format” whose legal validity of form, content and time is witnessed with a digital signature and a time stamp.

    The preservation process automatically includes:

    · the digital signature, i.e. the electronic signature that is applied to computer documents, just as the traditional (handwritten) signature is applied to paper documents;

    · the time stamp, i.e. a succession of characters representing a date and/or time to ascertain the actual occurrence of an activity/event.

    The combination of the digital signature with the time stamp makes it possible to maintain the immodifiability, authenticity, retrievability, legal value, security, legibility and integrity of stored documents unchanged over time.

    What’s the difference between archiving and preservation?

    Document archiving refers to the storage of a document (digital from origin or scanned) on a suitable medium (e.g. Document System, CD). Digital preservation refers to the replacement of paper-based preservation with digital preservation even for documents that were originally paper-based. The preservation process is therefore subsequent to any archiving, in fact only after the digital preservation procedure is it possible to get rid of the hard copy.

    Why digital preservation is important?

    The benefits of adopting a digital preservation system are various:

    · Speed in retrieving documents and information

    · Greater control of document processes

    · Saved space for document archiving

    · Saved time for productive activities

    · Less impact on the Organization caused by inspection visits by the competent bodies

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