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Chapter 3. Building a Baseline

The summary results represent the first-ever compilation of data about the status of institutional relationships, activities, concerns, and priorities related to the preservation of government information in digital form at the state and territorial level in the United States. This baseline data may inform the development of performance expectations in states or even possibly the development of performance standards. As this point however, they simply provide information about the current state of affairs – a baseline – against which future state government digital information preservation efforts may be compared. They can be used to inform strategy development, business cases and priority setting for states and other interested organizations alike. The results from the open and closed ended questions asked in the survey are presented in order of their inclusion in the survey (See Table 13).

Table 13.
State government digital information survey topics
Question format
Section 1.
Responding Unit(s)
State and organization including which units were represented in the survey
Open-ended and multiple choice
Section 2.
Institutional Roles and Responsibilities
Identification of which units, if any, have authority over digital preservation related standards and provide services to Executive, Legislative, and Judicial Agencies
Closed-ended with some open-ended for explanation
Section 3.
State Government Digital Information Preservation Activities
Description of recent or ongoing efforts to preserve state government digital information in the respondents’ state
Section 4.
Training Needs for Digital Preservation Related Activities
Identification of existing training available or basic or advanced training needed for specific capabilities
Closed-ended with some open-ended for explanation
Section 5.
State Government Digital Information Currently At-Risk
Examples of state government information that is at-risk or is no longer accessible in the respondents’ state
Section 6.
Enterprise Architecture
Awareness of and involvement in the respondents’ state Enterprise Architecture efforts
Open-ended and multiple choice
Section 7.
Additional Thoughts or Comments
Opportunity for respondents to comment on the survey itself or provide any additional information related to their digital preservation efforts
Open ended

The discussion in each section includes tables and graphs that show the number of responses given for the closed-ended questions and related tables that characterize many of the key points or themes from the open-ended questions. For a detailed discussion of the survey process, including the survey itself and respondent demographics, see Appendices B, C, and F.