Digital Preservation: PADI and Padiforum-L to Cease Operation

Established in 1997, the National Library of Australia's PADI subject gateway, which has over 3,000 resources on more than 60 topics, will be shut down at the end of this year.

Here's an excerpt from the announcement:

As is to be expected with any portal to Web based documents maintenance of web links becomes progressively more demanding over time. Websites are redesigned, migrated to new platforms, URL’s are changed, projects and their websites cease, so called persistent identifiers are not, and even when web documents or pages are archived in a web archive, questions arise as to which version of an archived page to link to (which date or even which archive as copies may be held in multiple web archives with different levels of completeness). The current structure of PADI requires the Library to commit around 0.5 of a fulltime staff member to locate, describe and enter links to new information sources and to maintain links to existing resources. Although originally conceived as a cooperative contribution model, increasingly the burden of adding material to PADI has fallen to the NLA as input from elsewhere has almost ceased.

The information-seeking and information-providing mechanisms of a community also change over time. After reviewing the gateway service the Library has concluded that the existing website, database and list no longer meet the current needs and that the Library’s resources are best invested elsewhere. While there may be more efficient ways of building a service like PADI today, using Web 2.0 tools, the Library is unable to make the investment in converting the existing service.

Reluctantly—because we still find PADI useful ourselves—we believe we cannot sustain PADI, and have decided to cease maintaining it.

A copy of the website has been archived in PANDORA, Australia’s Web Archive. The existing live website will remain available until the end of 2010; however no new resources have been added since the start of July 2010 and the existing links will not be actively managed. The archives of the padiforum-l list will continue to be available, however no new postings will be accepted from 30 September 2010.

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