With agencies storing so much important information on CDs and DVDs, it’s important that the data remain as protected as possible in the years to come. A recent research project has found the best disks and methods to use to accomplish this goal.

As part of a long-term project with the Library of Congress, researchers from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) tested how well recordable optical disks made with different manufacturing processes held up when exposed to high temperatures, humidity, and light levels. They found that some disks performed better than others and that exposure to any of these conditions can accelerate the disks’ deterioration. Most importantly, research showed that some disks can be expected to reliably store data for decades.

The Government Information Preservation Working Group is working with the optical disk industry to set requirements for archival quality CD and DVD recordable media and to specify to the industry the minimum number of years that recordable CDs and DVDs need to last to meet their requirements.

To contact the Government Information Preservation Working Group send an e-mail to [email protected]
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