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PREMIS: A standard for saving your important data

by Canto  |  April 9, 2021

3 min. read
Data technology connected in dots.

Whenever there is an attempt to preserve a wide variety of resources, metadata about this process becomes extremely valuable. The name given to this process is PREMIS.

PREMIS is a metadata governance standard that helps with the management, preservation and archiving of digital files and metadata. It’s a defender of information. Let’s look closer at what it is and how it protects data.

What is PREMIS?

PREMIS stands for Preservation Metadata Implementation Strategies. It’s an initiative that helps combat evolving digital storage systems that increase the risk of lost information. The PREMIS model concerns itself with resources, people, actions and rights, as these elements all are important to preservation.

An illustration of preservation metadata requirements.

Because PREMIS is a method or process designed to capture data concerning preserving digital objects, it’s important to know more about this data it’s structured around: preservation metadata.

What is preservation metadata?

Preservation metadata is any and all data or information which a safe storage system uses to maintain and enhance all digital preservation efforts. Preservation deals with the ever-changing landscape of variables such as language and the meaning of words, so that these resources are always understood.

A data server.

Simply put, PREMIS is a process that helps define all forms of preservation metadata.

Now let’s break down why it’s such an important process to understand.

Why PREMIS matters

PREMIS, a process to help maintain preservation data, is beneficial in a world where technological advancements happen often and software becomes outdated quickly.

Data moving through space.

PREMIS is considered the international standard for data preservation and long-term usability of digital resources. It makes sure that ownership of an object isn’t lost as technology evolves. PREMIS libraries store potentially outdated files and ensure if needed in the future they’re accessible. PREMIS has established a standard of preservation despite evolving digital technology.

PREMIS Data Dictionary for improved archiving

The PREMIS Data Dictionary is a comprehensive and practical resource for archiving systems. It supports the authenticity of digital objects and helps establish ownership when archiving. Searchable files and an emphasis on data storage are two additional perks.

If you are looking for a standard of preservation, use the PREMIS Data Dictionary as a guiding resource in saving digital data.

A hand selecting a digital folder.

PREMIS helps protect intellectual property

Intellectual property is a safeguard of creative ideas and creations. With PREMIS, the access and usage of preserved digital objects are protected. PREMIS secures both the functionality and rights of a piece of data.

Key Functions of PREMIS:

  • Offers additional security, copyright and intellectual ownership
  • Keeps items accessible and applicable throughout ongoing changes to technology
  • Confirms creation information of a document or file
  • Keeps record of people or organizations who may influence the file

Whenever a file is created there is information associated with it. This information is often the metadata, data that describes a file, image or digital asset among many other things. It could be song titles on an album, geotagging associated with an image or more complex information such as coding or encryption.

An illustration demonstrating intellectual properties.

PREMIS ensures your digital objects don’t go out of date and information isn’t lost. Imagine creating a Microsoft Word document and losing the author’s name, date and file type because of a lack of accessibility. PREMIS removes any concern about losing vital information that establishes ownership and gives context.

How PREMIS can work for you

PREMIS was formed around the idea that losing creative assets, metadata and important files was increasing in regularity due to technological advancements. PREMIS focuses on critical pieces of information like ownership, date and originality, and works to make sure files aren’t compromised as operating systems and products develop.

Final thoughts

PREMIS is an invaluable record keeping process for future generations and an added layer of intellectual property protection. Strive to understand its continuing purpose throughout technological evolution.