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Abstract

The challenges of long-term access issues are multifaceted, often requires a mixture of approaches. Considering the critical role of metadata in any successful digital preservation strategy, the Preservation Metadata Implementation Strategies (PREMIS) has been extremely influential on providing a “core” set of metadata elements that support the digital preservation process. However, there is no evidence, in the form of previous research, as to what factors explain and predict the level of adoption of PREMIS. This paper attempts to identify factors that affect the adoption of PREMIS in cultural heritage institutions. The study employed a web-based survey to collect data from 123 participants in 20 country as well as a semistructured, follow-up telephone interview with a smaller sample of the survey respondents. Roger's diffusion of innovation theory was used as a theoretical framework. The main constructs considered for the study were relative advantage, compatibility, complexity, trialability, observability, and institution readiness. The analysis showed that all six factors influence the adoption of PREMIS in varying degrees. Results of a regression analysis also showed a statistically significant relationship. The R square value for the model was .528, which means that 52.8% of the variance in PREMIS adoption was explained by a combination of the six factors. This research just barely begins to show the many layers of the complex problem of digital preservation. This study has important implications for future research on preservation metadata and provides recommendations for researchers and stakeholders engaged in digital preservation and metadata standards development efforts.