New OhioERC Guideline: Blockchain Basics

As a technology, blockchain, or distributed ledgers, have been around for over a decade, but it is only recently that blockchain uses beyond cryptocurrencies have been contemplated.  Now, however, Ohio state and local governments are taking an interest in blockchain and how the technology might be leveraged within the public sector.  Legislators are proposing changes to the law to allow for the use of blockchain, and technology companies are rapidly getting into the game.  In this fast-paced move toward the adoption of blockchain technology, records managers and archivists cannot afford to not be a part of the crucial conversations because they don’t understand the technology.

The OhioERC Blockchain subcommittee is working toward a number of guidelines to demystify blockchain technology.  We are happy to release our first document, Blockchain Basics!  It is intended to be a high-level description of the most common blockchain concepts and terminology.  The guideline does not attempt to argue for or against the use of blockchain, as there are many variables that come into play. 

Stay tuned over the next year as the subcommittee releases additional guides that:

  • Provide basic level of understanding of blockchain to records managers
  • Outline the advantages, disadvantages, and how those change with public versus private blockchains
  • Outline the role records managers and archivists should play in blockchain projects
  • Who should be at the table during blockchain projects and what should their role(s) entail
  • Use cases for types of records that could benefit from blockchain and types that might be better suited in a different format
  • Identify potential legal implications

Sincerely,

Pari Swift, OhioERC Blockchain Subcommittee Chair

NDSA has released Levels of Digital Preservation v2.0

Of interest to our Ohio electronic records community, the National Digital Stewardship Alliance (NDSA) has released Levels of Digital Preservation v2.0!

Originally minted in 2013 (original Matrix at NDSA’s OSF site), the Levels of Digital Preservation provide a matrix by which to assess and guide one’s digital preservation program from a technological point of view. In early 2018, the NDSA sent out a call to the larger digital preservation community asking for interest in updating the Levels of Preservation.  Response was high – 125 individuals responded from across North America and beyond! NDSA then convened the Levels of Preservation Working group, which divided up into subgroups to tackle the many areas the community wanted to see addressed in a Levels Reboot. These subgroups included:

  • Revisions: charged with updating the Levels Matrix, including the normalization of language across the functional areas and levels.
  • Implementation: surveyed the community to see how the Levels had been used in the past and what people did and did not liked about its structure and content.  This information (survey results at NDSA’s OSF site) was one of the sources used to assist with the revisions.  This subgroup collaborated with the Revisions subgroup on an implementation guide Using the Levels of Digital Preservation: an overview for V2.0.
  • Assessment: explored how the Levels had been used to assess digital preservation efforts (report at NDSA’s OSF site), and have developed an Assessment Tool based on the updated Levels Matrix. 
  • Curatorial: charged with identifying and crafting the basis of a series of discussion and decision points around how collections materials can be mapped to the Levels and other elements within an organizations’ preservation strategy.  

The next steps will be to create a subgroup to address the development of strategy and additional materials to support the Levels of Digital Preservation v2.0 educational and advocacy efforts. Please contact Bradley Daigle at ndsa.digipres [at] gmail [dot] com if you are interested in working on this or being added to the Levels of Preservation Google Group.

What is Information Governance? New OhioERC Guideline Page Available

Information Governance, also promoted as “the principles”, is an information management framework developed by ARMA International that has generated much discussion over the last several years. Some frequent questions include, “How is IG different from traditional records management?”, “What is it?”, and “Is IG something worth considering for our agency?”. With these questions in mind, the OhioERC has developed a new resource page with information and links to assist our constituents in Ohio public agencies. To learn more about IG and its potential applications, see our new IG page here.