University of Hawaii at Manoa Library

Frequently Asked Questions About eVols

Who can add content to eVols?

Any University of Hawaii at Manoa (UHM) faculty member or researcher can add content to eVols. Content must be added to an existing Community. Learn more about submitting to eVols.

What is a eVols Community?

A eVols Community is an administrative unit at UHM that produces research, has a defined leader, has long-term stability, and can assume responsibility for setting Community policies. Each Community can contain one or more Collections. Communities can also contain Sub-communities, which in turn house Collections. Learn more about the eVols structure.

Departments, Labs, Centers and other UHM units can establish Communities in eVols according the UHM Community & Collection Policies and Guidelines. Each Community must be able to assign a coordinator who can work with eVols staff.

What kind of content can I add to eVols?

eVols accepts all manner of content in a variety of digital formats. Some examples are:

  • Documents, such as articles, preprints, working papers, technical reports, conference papers
  • Books
  • Theses and dissertations
  • Data sets
  • Computer programs
  • Visualizations, simulations, and other models
  • Multimedia publications
  • Bibliographic datasets
  • Images
  • Audio files
  • Video files
  • Learning objects
  • Web pages

How does eVols preserve digital material?

eVols identifies two levels of digital preservation: bit preservation, and functional preservation. Bit preservation ensures that a file remains exactly the same over time - not a single bit is changed - even as the digital formats and physical media evolve. Functional preservation ensures that the material continues to be immediately usable in the same way it was originally - the file will change over time - while the digital formats and physical media evolve. Some files can be functionally preserved using straightforward format migration (e.g., TIFF images or XML documents). Other file formats are proprietary, or for other reasons are much harder to preserve functionally.

At UHM, for the time being, we acknowledge the fact we cannot predict or control the formats in which faculty and researchers create their research materials. Faculty use the tools that are best for their purposes, resulting in materials of a variety of file formats. Because of this we've defined three levels of preservation for a given format: supported, known, or unsupported.

  • Supported formats will be functionally preserved using either format migration or emulation techniques.
  • Known formats will be functionally preserved if possible. These are formats that we can't promise to preserve (e.g., proprietary or binary formats) but which are so popular that we believe third party migration tools will emerge to help with format migration.
  • Unsupported formats will not be functionally preserved. These are formats that we don't know enough about to do any sort of functional preservation.

All three levels will be bit preserved so that "digital archaeologists" of the future will have the raw material to work with if the material proves to be worth that effort.

Contact your Community's eVols administrator or write if you have questions about eVols.

Appreciation is given to the University of Oregon and Massachusetts Institute of Technology for providing some of the information on these pages.

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