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Exploration of Adoption of Preservation Metadata in
Cultural Heritage Institutions: Case of PREMIS
Daniel Gelaw Alemneh
University of North Texas
Information Technology Services
Denton, Texas-76201, USA
The challenges of long-term access issues are multifaceted,
often requires a mixture of approaches. Considering the
critical role of metadata in any successful digital
preservation strategy, the Preservation Metadata
Implementation Strategies (PREMIS) has been extremely
influential on providing a "core" set of metadata elements
that support the digital preservation process. However,
there is no evidence, in the form of previous research, as to
what factors explain and predict the level of adoption of
PREMIS. This paper attempts to identify factors that affect
the adoption of PREMIS in cultural heritage institutions.
The study employed a web-based survey to collect data
from 123 participants in 20 country as well as a semi-
structured, follow-up telephone interview with a smaller
sample of the survey respondents. Roger's diffusion of
innovation theory was used as a theoretical framework. The
main constructs considered for the study were relative
advantage, compatibility, complexity, trialability,
observability, and institution readiness. The analysis
showed that all six factors influence the adoption of
PREMIS in varying degrees. Results of a regression
analysis also showed a statistically significant relationship.
The R square value for the model was .528, which means
that 52.8% of the variance in PREMIS adoption was
explained by a combination of the six factors. This research
just barely begins to show the many layers of the complex
problem of digital preservation. This study has important
implications for future research on preservation metadata
and provides recommendations for researchers and
stakeholders engaged in digital preservation and metadata
standards development efforts.
Digital preservation, PREMIS, Preservation metadata,
Diffusion of innovations, Adoption of innovations.
This is the space reserved for copyright notices.
ASIST2010, October 22-27, 2010, Pittsburgh, PA, USA.
Copyright notice continues right here.
Samantha Kelly Hastings
Director and Professor, School of Library &
Information Science, University of South Carolina,
Columbia, SC 29208, USA
hastingqs@ sc. edu
Today the entire information landscape has changed and
continues to change at a breathtaking pace. Digital
technologies are shaping creation, management, access, and
preservation of information in ways that are so profound
that traditional methods may no longer be effective. The
main technical problems of digital preservation relate to
inadequate media longevity, rapid hardware obsolescence,
and dependencies on particular software products. In
addition to technological issues, responsible and viable
preservation planning for digital materials need to address
various issues, such as policy, economic, and organizational
Different communities are developing and implementing
various digital preservation methods at different rates.
Considering the complex set of digital preservation
challenges, many researchers (Besser, 2002; Day, 2006;
Hedstrom, 2003; and Lavoie, 2008) agree that there are no
effective preservation methods or tools that work for all
communities or types of resources. There is a fundamental
need to know more about digital preservation in general.
However, most agree that metadata plays a significant role
in any preservation activities. There is an overwhelming
consensus among experts that PREMIS provides required
standards and best practices for the use of metadata in
support of long-term preservation (Day, 2006; and Lavoie,
2008). Although PREMIS is becoming more popular
among cultural heritage institutions, there is no evidence
that explains and predicts the level of adoption
The purpose of this exploratory research is to identify
factors that affect adoption of preservation metadata,
specifically PREMIS, in cultural heritage institutions
(libraries, archive, museums, and other repositories) using
the theoretical framework provided by the diffusion of
innovations theory. Bradford and Florin (2003) and
Buonanno et al. (2005) say that understanding adoption of
innovation in any given situation requires identification and
analysis of factors that may facilitate the adoption and those
that may operate as barriers to adoption. The diffusion of
innovations theory provides a model for conceptualizing the
acceptance of PREMIS in a cultural heritage community.
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Alemneh, Daniel Gelaw & Hastings, Samantha Kelly. Exploration of Adoption of Preservation Metadata in Cultural Heritage Institutions, paper, 2010; [Silver Spring, Maryland]. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc29321/m1/1/: accessed January 22, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .